How to Choose Outdoor Ceiling Fans for Damp and Wet Locations
Many homeowners enjoy spending time outdoors during the spring and summers months as the warmer weather is ideal for family get-togethers and neighborhood parties. However, you cannot always rely on Mother Nature to deliver the idyllic 72-degree day. Outdoor ceiling fans, like indoor ceiling fans, circulate air to provide a cool and comforting breeze that enhances open-air activities and events. Outdoor fans, like Hunter outdoor fans, are designed with moisture-resistant bodies and all-weather blades that stand up to exterior conditions like rain, snow, ocean spray, and water. These ceiling fans are sealed to protect key motor and electrical components. Most exterior ceiling fans are rated by the Underwriter Laboratories, an independent, non-profit organization that conducts product safety testing, and are designated for damp or wet environments.
Fans with UL-damp ratings are suited for humid and moist outdoor spaces with no direct exposure to water, rain, or snow. Damp-rated ceiling fans are great for covered areas like screened-in patios or porches and sunrooms, where rain or water will not reach the ceiling fan. Fans with UL-wet ratings can be exposed directly to rain, water and snow. Wet-rated ceiling fans are great for exposed gazebos, patios, and porches. These ceiling fans can easily be maintained free of dust and debris by using a water hose. UL-wet fans can be installed in dry and damp environments; however, UL-damp ceiling fans cannot be installed in wet environments, and indoor ceiling fans are strictly to be installed in dry, interior spaces. Outdoor patio fans are available for both damp and wet environments, so choose the ceiling fan that best matches your outdoor porch environment.
Installing outdoor ceiling fans is as easy as installing indoor ceiling fans. You should read the owner's manual to familiarize yourself with the detailed directions; however, here's a brief overview. Prior to installing an exterior ceiling fan, make sure the power is turned off at the circuit breaker box. Then, confirm all the necessary parts and tools are included in the original packaging. You may pre-assemble the downrod and fan blades to save time. Next, follow the instructions below:
- Install the mounting bracket to the junction box
- Hang the ceiling fan body from the bracket
- Connect the wires as follows: green ground wires, white neutral wires, and black power wires
- Attach the blades to the motor housing snuggly
- Fasten all screws tightly
Lastly, turn the power back on and test the new exterior ceiling fan at the highest speed. Look for wobbling and listen for noises that indicate additional balancing in necessary.
Types of Outdoor Ceiling Fans
Manufacturers like Emerson outdoor ceiling fans are producing exterior fans that vary in sizes, designs and finishes. These fans bring beauty and comfort to the great outdoors, whether it is enjoying drinks on the patio or reading a book in the gazebo. The following are the most popular types of outdoor ceiling fans:
- Small Outdoor Ceiling Fans – These versatile ceiling fans are appropriate for outdoor living areas with less than 100 square feet such as a balcony. However, do not hesitate to install a small outdoor fan in your kitchen, bathroom, pantry or walk-in closet to minimize indoor humidity.
- Large Outdoor Ceiling Fans - These ceiling fans are suitable for exterior areas greater than 300 square feet such as a large patio or front porch.
- Flush Mount Outdoor Ceiling Fans - These exterior fans are suited for outdoor living areas with a ceiling height less than the recommended eight feet.
- Outdoor Ceiling Fans with Lights - These outdoor fans combine comfort and safety by providing the cooling breeze of a ceiling fan with the necessity of a light fixture.
Outdoor ceiling fans are available in many styles, from contemporary to tropical, to complement and improve your home’s exterior. Many of these fans include features like integrated lighting and handheld remote or wall controls. If installing an exterior ceiling fan is not an option, consider purchasing outdoor wall-mounted fans or outdoor standing fans, which are portable and can be repositioned where they are most needed. Select an exterior fan from one of Del Mar Fans & Lighting’s many renowned brands and enjoy your home's great outdoors.
Article Written by +Colby Harris