How to Buy an Outdoor Ceiling Fan

Outdoor Ceiling Fan Information

There is nothing better than enjoying a warm day with some lemonade and an outdoor ceiling fan. Outdoor fans are a great way to make your exterior living areas more comfortable when the temperatures rise. Before rushing out to buy a new fan to finish that outdoor area, there are a few things you should consider.

Outdoor ceiling fans generally have more powerful motors that can keep your outdoor areas comfortable and can even help keep away flying insects such as mosquitoes. The ceiling fans also come in a variety of styles along with a selection of different fan blades to fit whatever décor your prefer.

Outdoor ceiling fans

Fan Location and Safety Rating

An outdoor ceiling fan can be a great choice for all types of outdoor areas, however, your fan must have a proper UL rating for its location. All exterior fans should be rated either UL Damp or UL Wet. The difference is important because a UL Wet rated fan can be installed in a damp location, however, a UL Damp rated fan cannot be installed in a wet area.

A UL Damp rated fan should only be installed in a location where there is no chance of it getting wet, even against wind-blown rain. A damp rated fan can stand up to humid climates, however, a UL wet rated fan will be even better. If there is any possibility that your outdoor ceiling fan may come into direct contact with water, you should buy a UL Wet rated ceiling fan.

A UL Wet rated fan can be rained on, or cleaned with your garden hose and function just fine afterward. A UL Damp rated ceiling fan’s blades may warp if they get wet, especially if they are regularly exposed to rain.

Seaside Considerations

If you live near the sea ocean even a UL Damp rated fan may not last long outside, even in locations that would normally be okay for a UL Damp rated fan. Salty air can wear down your outdoor ceiling fans more quickly than other environments. UL Wet rated fan are not just made to withstand water, they are also more durable all-around. 

Outdoor area

General Information

UL Dry rated ceiling fans or indoor fans should not be installed outside due to their lower durability when exposed to rain. Our door ceiling fans use a seal that protects the motor from water. The fan blades used with outdoor ceiling fans are made with all-weather blade systems. These fan blades are made to stand up to all weather conditions. You will not find outdoor ceiling fans with wooden blades due to the fact that wood tends to warp over time when exposed to moisture. We also have a series of posts on selecting the right ceiling fan whether indoor or out. See here for the first part of the series.

Outdoor ceiling fans can be placed indoors if you desire. Indoor ceiling fans however, should never be placed outdoors. To learn more about safety ratings, see our article on Understanding UL Ratings. See our selection of Top Outdoor Fans.

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