If you are planning on installing a ceiling fan in an outdoor location, it is important to purchase a fan that is designed specifically for that purpose. If you install an indoor fan in an outdoor area it is likely to short out (which can be hazardous) or simply break down prematurely. Outdoor ceiling fans are designed differently than indoor ceiling fans because they need to be able to the forces of mother nature.
Here are some of the ways that outdoor ceiling fans differ from those made for indoors:
The decorative motor casing is either sealed or designed to prevent water or moisture from coming in contact with the actual motor inside.
The wiring is a higher grade with additional shielding.
Screws and other components are typically made of stainless steel.
The finish on the motor casing and hardware is usually a weather resistant powder coat, stainless steel, or has some additional protective coating that can handle exposure to the elements.
The blades are likely made of ABS plastic rather than plywood. ABS is a very strong durable material that resists warping and discoloration from moisture or UV exposure.
Light fixtures are sealed on top and designed for outdoors
The mounting hardware is either water tight or designed to prevent water from entering from above.
There are 2 types of outdoor ceiling fans, those rated for DAMP locations and those rated for WET locations. There is a notable difference between the two and it is important that you choose the right type for your application. In either case, make sure the fan you purchase is UL Listed for the application you need so that you know it can be safely installed without creating a potential electrical hazard.
Here are the differences between the two types of outdoor fans:
Damp rated outdoor fans are designed to handle moisture but not direct contact with rain or running water. Therefore, a damp rated outdoor ceiling fan can be installed in a covered area such as a patio or screened in porch or other areas that are protected from rain or dripping water.
Wet rated outdoor fans are designed to handle direct exposure to rain. They can be installed in virtually any indoor or outdoor location, covered or uncovered. So you can install a wet rated outdoor ceiling fan in an open gazebo, lattice covered lanai or other similar shade structure as well as under a covered porch or patio. crompton silent pro Because wet rated outdoor fans are pretty much water tight, you can actually clean them by hosing them off…which is a great reason to buy a wet rated fan even if all you need is a damp rated model.
Commonly asked questions about outdoor fans:
Can an outdoor ceiling fan be installed indoors?
Yes, you can install an outdoor fan in your living room or any other room in your home where you want a fan. Many people will do this simply because they like the look of a particular outdoor fan. Also, outdoor fans are highly recommended for laundry rooms and bathrooms or any other room inside your home that that tends to have excessive moisture. In more humid climates, outdoor fans are a great choice for every room in the home.
I live in a very windy area and have had problems with blades breaking off…are there any outdoor fans that are made to handle high winds?
High winds can in fact sheer the blades off a ceiling fan, particularly cheaper models that use lightweight materials. Usually it is the metal blade holders that attach the blades to the fan that break rather than the blades themselves. So if you are in an area prone to high winds, outdoor fans that do not have blade holders are your best choice. If the fan is to be installed in an area that is 9 feet high or less, a hugger style outdoor fan is even better. A perfect example of such a fan is the Minka Aire Concept II Wet, which is one of the very few outdoor fans that meet this criteria.