This is a love letter to a fan.

Last week, we had three days with temperatures that pushed 90 during the daytime. Nights weren't much better. In a house without A/C, that's a recipe for misery. Long runs are off the table. Men's shorts, tragically, are rendered fashionable. The cool draft that comes out of a just-opened refrigerator becomes a cruel joke, a middle finger to a world that's otherwise melting into a pool of sweat.

Enter: the personal fan.

Image via Amazon
Image via Amazon

My dalliance with a personal fan began in earnest last summer. It was a gift from a friend, who swore by its transformative abilities. Having grown up in Arizona, I thought I had a good handle on cooling accessories. I knew my BTU's before I knew my ABC's. But I'd never heard of anybody who used a personal fan. It just seemed so puny and inadequate. Of what use could it really be?

Quite a bit, it turns out. With the Holmes Personal Fan, rather than pay to cool an entire house, I can focus that energy on the only place that really needs cooling: the space immediately around me. You will be shocked at just how large an impact a 6″ tall device can have.

Image via Amazon
Image via Amazon

Warm night? Put it on your bed stand. Stuffy office? It is the perfect desk companion. When turned on, the fan provides a low hum of white noise; a soothing hum. It circulates air pleasantly without being too loud and forceful. Plus, when your computer overheats, you can just point the fan near the CPU and it'll be cooled off in no time.

It's a real device that actually plugs into a wall outlet, and made of metal, so it doesn't tip over if I accidentally brush something against it. I've yet to have a single issue with it, and I got mine second-hand.

But don't be mistaken–this thing won't cool a room. For that, you need larger—stronger—options, like a classic pedestal fan, or if you have the means (and a window that opens), a decent removable A/C window unit.

Image via Amazon
Image via Amazon

For immediate relief, this low profile, admittedly cute fan gets the job done. Right now, the Holmes Mini High Velocity Personal Fan is listed for 16.99 on Amazon (that's 15% off MSRP), with the option to take an additional $3.53 off with a limited-time coupon that gets added at checkout.

While doing some background on this article, I remembered that bizarre moment in time when manufacturers realized they could draw power from USB outlets and started minting nonsense accessories. (Remember the USB-powered dart shooters and keyboard vacuums?) Did you ever get a weird USB accessory? Did you like it? Sound off in the comment if you have. I truly want to hear your story.

(Cool Stuff is a new feature at Willamette Week where we feature product reviews, roundups, sales and other commerce and shopping-oriented content. All Cool Stuff reviews are editorially independent, meaning we provide honest reviews and aren't paid by the brands we write about. If you do choose to purchase something after following one of our links, Willamette Week may receive a commission, which helps fund our journalism.)