Syracuse (WSYR-TV/ABC) - Tens of millions just sweated through the summer's first massive heat waves. Many suffered, especially the elderly and the infirm.
And those who don't have, or can't afford an air conditioner, will most likely use an electric fan to cool off. But do 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 do more harm than good.
One study indicates that 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. The fan might actually increase heat gain and sweating, and that could lead to dehydration and the multiple health problems that come with it.
But the review of effective fan heat relief by the Cochrane Library also says there are simply not enough credible studies around to show the benefits and harms of electric fans.
So, instead of using an electrical fan, just drink more water and head over to a nearby cooling center.