The beautiful coastal area of Barcelona often gives very hot and humid night time temperatures. As such, sleeping through the sticky heat of July and August can be difficult. I’m sure we’ve all experienced a night of tossing and turning (and tossing some more) in sodden bedsheets when Barcelona seems as hot in the dark as it is during the day. For those not lucky enough to have air conditioning in their apartment, a good fan (or maybe two) is a necessity in the Barcelona summer heatwaves.
Why buy a fan?
Fans circulate the air and keep it moving, providing a fresh breeze to cool and keep humidity down. They can also assist in providing a supplement to air conditioning. An old trick is to wet a thin sheet, wring it out and then place this in front of a good fan. The effect is a cool vapor blowing through the room, much like an air conditioning unit but without the high energy consumption or expense.
Types of fans
Flat and box fans are small and portable. Oscillating fans swing back and forth. Open blade fans tend to be much bigger and are fixed onto the ceiling. In the world of fans, you get what you pay for. For long term, go for a sturdy option. A cheap plastic fan will almost certainly die within a year of use but if you are only in Barca for the summer then it might be worth it.
Most fans have different speed settings and some even have timers to save energy meaning they are good for the environment. An important point to remember is that leaving a fan blowing directly into your face as you sleep can lead to sinus issues and a blocked nose which can interrupt sleep.
Where to buy a fan
El corte inglés is another big store where fans can be purchased.
Carrefour is another big chain of supermarkets which also sell home appliances. Prices are competitive but not cheap. They have big stores in Rambla de los Estudios and Glories on the Calle Llacuna.
The Spanish word for fan is Ventilador. (This might make things a little easier when asking in the shops.) So don’t get caught out in the heat. A fan will make things a lot more comfortable at night.