Chinchillas are South-American rodents with very thick fur to keep them warm. They can easily get overheated if they don’t have enough places to stay cool, like rock crevices or shaded rooms.
They need to stay cool, but you may wonder if fans are any good for them.
Are fans bad for chinchillas?
Most fans are not bad for chinchillas. Since chinchillas do not sweat, fans do not directly cool their bodies. Strong, loud, or unprotected fans can harm chinchillas. Fans might also upset chinchillas taking a dust bath. Do not blow extremely cold air on a wet or sick chinchilla.
In this article, I’ll answer the most common questions I get about fans and chinchillas.
5 Good Reasons Fans Are Not Bad for Chinchillas
There are five good reasons most fans are not bad for chinchillas. The reasons include the biology of chinchillas, fan design, and fan placement in your home.
1) Chinchillas Don’t Sweat
Fans create evaporative cooling, which is when sweat evaporates from your skin.
This pulls heat away from your skin and cools you down.
Chinchillas don’t have sweat glands, so they can’t use this natural cooling method to get rid of excess heat.
Therefore, fans are neither objectively good nor bad for chinchillas.
2) Chinchillas Can Withstand Gentle Airflow
Evolved to withstand the chilly mountain air, chinchillas don’t mind the gentle breeze of fans.
Like any other wild animal, normal speed wind does not bother them.
In other words, chinchillas are used to soft, light airflow in the wild.
3) Most Fans Are Simply Not Powerful Enough
The truth is that most fans do not propel enough air to bother chinchillas.
Unless you strap a jet engine to one (and I don’t recommend it), standard fans will not direct powerful air currents at your family pet.
Fan manufacturers simply do not make residential fans that strong.
Industrial fans, on the other hand, can be quite powerful.
4) Chinchillas Can Not Reach All Fans
For the most part, chinchillas live in cages far from fans.
Even if your chinchillas somehow escaped their cage (which is unlikely), they probably will not be able to reach every fan.
For example, a ceiling fan attached to a cathedral ceiling poses very little danger to your chinchilla.
5) Most Fans Come With Protective Covers
Most fans come with screens and covers to protect people and pets.
The cover stops your chinchilla from getting close to the sharp blades spinning at high speeds. Then again, your chinchilla probably wouldn’t stick their face into a fast-moving fan without a protective cover.
3 Crucial Times Fans Might Be Bad for Chinchillas
There are three times fans might actually be bad for Chinchillas.
Here are those three times:
- If the fan is too strong
- If the fan is too loud
- If the fan blows really cold air
Let’s talk about each one of these times.
1) Are Strong Fans Bad for Chinchillas?
A strong fan in close proximity may irritate your chinchilla. The strong airflow may bother sensitive chinchilla eyes and noses.
Be careful not to direct strong or extremely hard-blowing fans at your chinchillas.
Industrial grade fans might unintentionally blow your chinchilla across the room or off a raised surface (like a table).
2) Are Loud Fans Bad for Chinchillas?
It all depends on the volume of the fan.
Generally, you will notice that chinchillas don’t really care about fan noises. However, there is a threshold where noise will start bothering them.
If your fan is too loud, it can upset or even scare your chinchilla.
Very loud fan sounds are simply too jarring for their small animal ears.
If you’re able to keep the noise levels under control, your chinchilla won’t really have any issue with your fan. They are curious beings, so if you keep them free, they may try to go near the fan and explore it.
However, if you keep them in their own cage away from the fan, then you should be fine.
3) Are Very Cold Fans Bad for Chinchillas?
If a chinchilla is wet, sick, or otherwise vulnerable, a very cold fan could be problematic.
Extremely cold air could cool the chinchilla too much and make it very uncomfortable or even cause illness.
Be especially careful to not direct blasts of very cold air onto a wet chinchilla.
Directing a blizzard at your chinchilla is not recommended, but a gentle airflow under normal circumstances will usually not cause them harm.
Is It OK To Leave a Fan on Chinchillas All Night?
You shouldn’t leave a fan on any animal indefinitely, and chinchillas are no exception.
That being said, most fans will not bother chinchillas, even if you leave a fan on them all night. I suggest that you set your fan on a timer to circulate air around your chinchilla for a few hours before automatically turning itself off.
Otherwise, prolonged airflow from a fan can disrupt the temperature balance in the room.
Fans are also known to aggravate allergies in both humans and pets.
Are Fans Bad for Baby Chinchillas?
Temporary, light airflow from standard residential fans is not bad for baby chinchillas.
Baby chinchillas are born with fur that naturally keeps them warm.
Yet, if you keep very cold fans directed towards your baby Chinchillas, it could lead to pneumonia or other health issues.
Is It Ok To Have a Fan on a Chinchilla in a Small Room?
You can have a fan in your small room, but don’t keep it aimed towards your Chinchillas.
This might end up affecting your pet’s comfort.
Setting your fan across the room and generally blowing cool air around the space is more important in a small room.
Do Chinchillas Need Cool Air?
Chinchillas do not tolerate very high temperatures or extreme humidity because of their thick fur.
The ideal temperature for chinchillas is around 60° and 75° degrees Farenheight—that’s 15.5° to 23° Celcius.
They rely on you to keep the temperature within these safe parameters.
It makes a lot of sense to use air conditioning (AC) to lower the indoor temperature. Unlike a fan, AC changes the temperature. You probably want to have a dedicated AC unit with a thermostat.
You could also use a programmable timer if you want, depending on your needs.
Aside from having an AC unit, you can also provide shaded areas inside their cage.
Other ways to cool down your chinchilla include:
- Cooling stone
- Cooling house
- Reduce their physical activity
- Make sure they have enough fresh water
Here is a video with some extra tips on keeping your chinchilla cool during hot weather:
How Cold Can Chinchillas Tolerate?
The lowest temperature chinchillas can survive is 25 degrees Fareinheight (or -4 degrees Celsius).
The chances of your home getting that cold are unlikely.
That being said, you do want to keep your home within the safe temperature range. Anything well above or well below that range leads to discomfort for your pets.
Best Practices for Fans and Chinchillas
If you’re going to use a fan in a room with a chinchilla, it’s best to follow a few best practices.
First, use a small, oscillating fan on the lowest power setting. This helps circulate air without blowing air directly at your chinchilla. I recommend a bladeless desk or tower fan.
Only use the fan for a short period of time. I’d say around 1-3 hours at a time max.
A fan should not be used as the only source of air circulation or ventilation in a room. Ensure that your room includes vents and windows.
Finally, always monitor your chinchilla to make sure they’re staying cool and comfortable.
If you notice any issues, remove the fan immediately and contact your local veterinarian.
Final Thoughts: Are Fans Bad for Chinchillas?
The bottom line is that most fans are not bad for chinchillas.
However, you should be careful with some types of fans and always use caution when leaving your chinchilla unsupervised around any fan.
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