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In answer to near30 and Lvanett, what I would do is to take a large container (a large aluminum roasting pan, lined with 2 or 3 plastic bags to prevent leaking would work great), fill it with ice the first day. Then when all the ice melted, instead of dumping it out and putting in fresh, just put the whole pan in the freezer and re-freeze. You can even add more ice on top so the pan is more full. But that would give you a large block of ice that wouldn't melt as fast after that, plus can be used over and over since it won't be used for drinking or cooking.
Hint: I would cover it with cheese cloth to keep pets (my cat loves to play in any water he finds) out and also to keep any splashing from the fan from happening.
But like Thrifty Gal (Guest Post), using ice in front of the fan only adds to the already high humidity in my area so instead of helping to cool, it just raises the heat index and makes it even more miserable. In the winter however, I use my room size humidifier and it helps to make the house feel warmer.
How much ice is needed? I have a box fan and not a lot of ice, but have tried using frozen bottled water (2 liter bottles). So far very little cooling. :/
How about using cold packs or such items. Many people have them and are available for a dime or such at garage sales. Should help on water melting and humidity. The wife has "Ice Cubes" that are in plastic, and you freeze them like freezer packs. Plus we also have the blue flexible packs and the hard plastic packs for refreezing. Maybe if you used larger packs and redirected the fan's wind direction off them?
Like the doting mother I have to say that the utmost caution must be used around ice within the parameters of an electrical current. As the ice melts, if there are any shorts in the electrical cord it may prove an "electrifying" experience for the person... Just be aware...
This worked for me when I lived in the desert, but now I live in a more humid climate, and the ice melting/evaporating only adds to the uncomfortable humidity. The ice will work on drier days, when the humidity is at a more comfortable level.
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