ceiling fans, a/c, what's right for me?

First up, the facts, which will probably give you a good idea about my cooling problem:
I do shift work, so I've had to black out my windows with black plastic. Not the thin stuff used for trash cans, this stuff is a bit thicker. Behind this, the blinds are pulled down. You're probably thinking this is the cause for my cooling problem, but at most, there's a 3c temperature difference, and I've been just as uncomfortable during summers when I haven't had this setup. For some reason, I also don't sweat, no matter how hot it gets (mostly 25-30c days, with a few getting to 40). I've tried a swamp cooler, but I can't feel anything from it unless I'm an inch from it - that suggests to me that it's either very humid or very dry in here. Having windows/external doors aren't great options for 2 reasons - it would have to be while I'm sleeping, so I'd be screwed when it comes to insurance, and because I'm pulling night shifts, noise when I'm going about my business could be a problem for the neighborhood. Anyway, my floor plan
(combined kitchen and lounge, the bedroom is about the same size as the lounge section - in front of the sofa - the windows I'm talking about are about 2x3m in both the lounge and kitchen, at the "top" part of the diagram):
http://img90.imageshack.us/img90/37/ceilingfan2cx8.gif
For this section, I only really need cooling where I'm working, in the upper-right corner, but as you can see, having such a huge surrounding space causes problems. Unfortunately, portable a/c might not be an option, as a) I need 24/7 cooling, and b) the exhausts for those are set up for open windows - and to make thinks worse, I have horizontal sliding ones.
About $US300 is my budget, which could cause problems if I'd need in-wall a/c for the lounge and bedroom. I've heard different things from different people about ceiling fans - they work great no matter what, and they're useless unless you have fresh air coming in. I'm not too sure about the latter, as pederstal fans provide *some* relief without fresh air. Ceiling fans would be great if they worked, as they're pretty cheap (from $US30 for a 40"), and I could easily have a few installed if needs be. However, there's one catch - if one with longer than a 1 foot drop is mounted further ahead than the sofa, it's going to cast a shadow with my projector. I could sure live with it for summer, but having to deal with it for the rest of the 3 seasons would be a pain... ideally I could mount one over my workspace, which wouldn't intefere.
I've got some pretty high hopes, haven't I? Nevertheless, there has to be a solution somewhere, if anyone can advise me, I'd really appreciate it.
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On 27 Sep 2006 09:02:10 -0700, snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com wrote:

I use my ceiling fans in conjunction with my AC. Keeps us comfortable higher thermistat settings on the AC.
Another plus, ceiling fans work in the winter time too, to even out room temps.
BTW, can you tell I like'em? :p
later,
tom @ www.Consolidated-Loans.info
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