Electric Fans May Be Harmful In Extreme Heat

July 12, 2012 Updated Jul 12, 2012 at 11:52 PM EDT

By WKBW News

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July 12, 2012 Updated Jul 12, 2012 at 11:52 PM EDT

(WKBW/ABC News) Electric fans. A lot of people swear by them when the heat is on, but do fans really help you on a hot day?

Those who don't have or can't afford an air conditioner are most likely using an electric fan to cool off, but there's some question whether electric or ceiling fans really help lower body temperatures or stop
dehydration during extreme heat.

The surprising answer is - fans may help, but they could also be more harmful.

One study shows a fan might help you cool down if the temperature is
below 95 degrees, and if the fan is not directly aimed at you, but if the temperature is above 95, all bets are off.

Researchers say the fan might actually increase heat gain and sweating, and that could lead to dehydration and other health problems.

So, instead of using an electrical fan, researchers recommend drinking more water and heading over to a nearby cooling center.

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