Deb Nicols was out to buy 60 oscillating tower fans for her office in Vancouver.

With record high temperatures and high humidity in Metro Vancouver, sales of fans and air conditioners are brisk.

Scott Hankin, a department supervisor at a Home Depot store in Vancouver, says hundreds of air conditioners and fans are being sold daily.

Deb Nicols was there Monday to buy 60 oscillating tower fans, one for every two employees at Rocket Gaming Systems' office in Vancouver.

"The building's air conditioning unit blew up last Monday, and it's going to be four weeks until it can be fixed, so we're buying every fan in town. We have no windows. It's so hot — like people can't work, that's how hot it is," said Nichols.

Gwendal Castellan, a Vancouver energy adviser, favours fans over air conditioning.

"A fan will only use somewhere between 60 and 100 watts of energy to use per hour, whereas an air conditioner will be hundreds and hundreds, if not thousands, of watts of energy per hour to use," he said.

Castellan said even a breeze of two km/h will reduce the temperature by 3 C.

"Taking advantage of any breeze that's around is a really effective way to cool a house. ... If you open the windows on either side, the air will flow through the house," he said.

Castellan also suggested switching to compact fluorescent light bulbs from the incandescent variety, turning off pilot lights in fireplaces and covering windows with light colours to reflect the sun.

CBC meteorologist Claire Martin said Metro Vancouver is experiencing conditions "you would expect to see in and around Toronto."

She said heat and humidity combined to cause "some discomfort" throughout most of Metro Vancouver, with "great discomfort" in Abbotsford and Hope, east of Vancouver. Overnight lows on the South Coast were forecast between 17 and 20 C.