Pedestal fans, or floor fans, cool a room by creating a wind-chill effect. They also improve circulation because they sit higher up than table fans, cover more area when they rotate from side to side and can direct airflow toward the ceiling using a tilt-up feature.
The fan's wind-chill effect is similar to what meteorologists talk about when forecasting temperatures. A fan blowing air on the skin causes sweat to evaporate, decreasing body heat and making a person feel more comfortable. The more sweat produced, the greater that effect. Even though the fan is actually blowing the existing hot air around the room, the space feels cooler.
To get maximum air circulation, pedestal fans work best when placed in a corner facing out into the room, leaving enough space for the top section to move freely. Most have adjustments for fan speed, the range of side-to-side motion and the amount of tilt allowed by the fan head.
Using a pedestal fan along with a window air conditioner is also an option. Standing the fan right in front of the air conditioner allows it to blow the cool air over a wider area. Another idea is to create a swamp-cooler effect: placing a large bowl of ice on a table and setting the fan in back of the table, facing the ice. The air blowing over the ice increases the wind-chill effect.