Outdoor Ceiling Fans Guide: How to Find Your Best Match

Outdoor Ceiling Fans Guide: How to Find Your Best Match

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What’s better than sitting on your porch swing and enjoying a warm summer evening with a cold glass of iced tea? How about swinging on your porch and sipping cold iced tea under the cool breeze of an outdoor ceiling fan! Outdoor fans are great for keeping porches and patios cool during the summer, but there are some important factors to think about when buying outdoor ceiling fans.

If you're looking for an affordable, high-quality fan, then check out our huge outdoor ceiling fan selection. Look for a fan that matches your home's style and appearance, or one that could enhance your outdoor area’s overall ambiance. Once you find an outdoor ceiling fan you love, you can use our How to Install a Ceiling Fan video and guide to help ensure the installation process is smooth and quick. But first, let’s explain the difference between an indoor fan and a porch fan.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Why Buy from Del Mar Fans and Lighting?

Pictured are three icons to represent some of the reasons to shop with Delmarfans.com.

There are many reasons to buy from Del Mar Fans and Lighting, however, here are just a few reasons we would like to bring attention to!

  • Returns for 365 days.
  • Free shipping on all orders of $40+.
  • A safe shopping experience.

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What’s the Difference between Indoor and Outdoor Ceiling Fans?

All ceiling fans have an Underwriters Laboratories (UL) rating to help you determine which to buy based on the ceiling fan’s intended location. Dry-rated fans should always be used indoors and away from areas where moisture can accumulate.

If you’re considering using an indoor fan for your outdoor space, please know that outdoor ceiling fans are built to withstand the harsh exterior elements that interior fans often can't handle. Here's the difference:

How to choose your correct UL listed outdoor ceiling fan

What’s the Difference between Wet-Rated & Damp-Rated?

Wet- or damp-rated fans can be used both indoors or outdoors; the difference between these outdoor fan types focuses on how much moisture the fixture may be exposed to. Wet-rated ceiling fans can be exposed to directly to the elements, whereas damp-rated should only be used in moist or damp locations without direct exposure to water.

What Does Damp Rated Mean?

UL Damp-rated ceiling fans are ideal for covered outdoor locations that have no direct exposure to water, rain, or snow. These outdoor fans can handle moisture and damp areas like a pro, but don’t like getting rained on directly. Use these fans in the in-between places of your home or facility to cool the area and keep the air circulating.

Suggested locations for damp-rated ceiling fans include:

  • Bathrooms
  • Garages
  • Covered Patios
  • Screened Porches

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What Does Wet Rated Mean?

UL Wet rated ceiling fans can handle it all. You could spray these fans with a hose to clean them and they will still hold up great. They can handle ice, snow, and intense rain equally well, and can also stand up to the harsh, salty breezes from the ocean. This is the fan you want around while you’re outside trying to enjoy the day without so much summer heat.

Suggested locations for wet-rated ceiling fans include:

  • Exposed Decks
  • Verandas or Lanais outside a seaside home
  • Gazebos
  • Cabanas

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What Does Dry Rated Mean?

UL Dry-rated ceiling fans are great for indoor uses, including living rooms and bedrooms. As long as these fans aren’t used in damp rooms, like bathrooms or laundry rooms, they’ll have long and healthy service lives. However, it’s never a good idea to place these fans outdoors. The exposure to the elements will ruin a dry-rated ceiling fan quickly. If you can keep these fans away from all forms of moisture, they will provide long-lasting cooling for your home or office.

Suggested locations for dry-rated fixtures include:

  • Bedrooms
  • Kitchens
  • Dining Rooms
  • Foyers

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Can Indoor Fans Be Used Outdoors?

Indoor dry-rated fans are not designed to withstand the outdoors, as even a small amount of moisture getting into the motor will lead to the fixture dying much faster than it should. Worst case scenario: using a dry fan in a damp or wet location could lead to dangerous situations. Some of the things that could happen when dry-rated ceiling fans are used in wet or even damp environments include the following.

  • Burned. The hardware of your fan could begin to rust, creating the potential for exposed wiring and electrical fires, leaving burned ceilings, fans, outlets, and more.
  • Melted. Your blades could begin to warp or melt due to heat/moisture and become uneven, causing poor circulation, noise, or a wobble to begin.
  • Rusted. The finish of your ceiling fan could begin to rust, tarnish, and fade, leaving you with a dull, lackluster ceiling fan.

Bottom line, water and exposed electrical elements never work well together. That's why the protected UL Damp or Wet ceiling fan is what you need outside. Why waste your hard-earned money on the wrong ceiling fan? Keep your home safe by installing the proper rated ceiling fan in the right location. UL Wet or Damp ceiling fans in outdoor locations will last so much longer.

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Can Indoor Fans Be Used on Covered Porches or Carports?

No, indoor ceiling fans should not be used on a covered outdoor area if any amount of moisture is present. The better question is should you use a damp-rated or wet-rated ceiling fan on your carport or covered porch? This really depends on how much exposure to the elements the fan will have and what your weather is like.

For instance, here in Florida, we would advise against using just a damp-rated ceiling fan because of our tropical climate and tendancy to have heavy rains with high winds, where the rain may get to the ceiling fan. However, if you live in Wisconsin, for example, it might be just fine to add a damp-rated ceiling fan to your screened in porch or sunroom. That being said, there's not a dramatic price difference between wet and damp rated fans, so you might want to err on the side of caution and get a wet-rated ceiling fan.

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Can Outdoor Fans Get Wet?

Yes, outdoor rated ceiling fans can get wet. How wet can they get is the next question. Damp-rated ceiling fans can have a light mist, dew, or condensation on the motor exterior without much worry, but they can't withstand direct exposure to moderate, heavy, or driving rain.

Wet-rated ceiling fans are designed to withstand exposure to moderate, heavy and driving rains. However, if you are installing your wet-rated ceiling fan in region with heavy winds, we would suggest a flush mount, hugger or low profile ceiling fan or a locking downrod mount to secure your ceiling fan and ensure the fan does not blow around.

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Can Outdoor Ceiling Fans Be Used Indoors?

Yes, outdoor rated ceiling fans be used indoors. This is especially true if you are installing a fan in a bathroom, basement, or attached garage. If you have found your perfect fan for your home and it's rated for outdoor use, there's also no issue with installing it in your indoor living space. It just means that it's built to withstand anything, including squirt guns, food splatters, and lifes other little messes.

What Size Downrod Do I Need?

How Do You Secure An Outdoor Ceiling Fan?

Are you anticipating that your newly installed ceiling fan will blow around in the wind? Or have you already experienced this troubling sight? Securing your outdoor ceiling fan is an important aspect to consider. Depending on the location you plan to install the ceiling fan and the height of your ceiling, there are two options: Install a flush mount, low profile, or hugger ceiling fan or install a ceiling fan with a locking downrod. Casablanca offers the Hang-Tru Perma-Lock downrods, which are wet-rated and work with all of their fans

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How to Install an Outdoor Ceiling Fan

Installing an outdoor ceiling fan is as easy as installing an indoor ceiling fan. 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:

  1. Install the mounting bracket to the junction box
  2. Hang the ceiling fan body from the bracket
  3. Connect the wires as follows: green ground wires, white neutral wires, and black power wires
  4. Attach the blades to the motor housing snuggly
  5. 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. If you have any issues with your newly installed indoor or outdoor ceiling fan, read through our ceiling fan troubleshooting guide for more information.

What Are The Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans?

If you're looking for a ceiling fan that offers form, function, and comfort, look no further! We have developed a list of the best outdoor ceiling fans across the board. From outdoor ceiling fans with lights, to a ceiling fan for your covered deck, you will find the best ceiling fans for any outdoor area.

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Table of contents

Why Buy From Del Mar Fans & Lighting?

Pictured are three icons to represent some of the reasons to shop with Delmarfans.com.

There are many reasons to buy from Del Mar Fans and Lighting, however, here are just a few reasons we would like to bring attention to!

  • Returns for 90 days.
  • Free shipping on all orders of $40+.
  • A safe shopping experience.

Shop Our Deals!

Best Top Overall Outdoor Ceiling fan

Quorum Proxima Wet-Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fan

This high airflow outdoor ceiling fan features 8 reversible blades, 6-speed wall control, and a 6" downrod. The upturned fan blades are positioned at just the right angle for maximum air circulation and the gorgeous, cylindrical housing adds even more contemporary artistry to this looker. The energy efficient DC motor provides high torque at a low speed, meaning greater airflow using less energy consumption. The Proxima 60" patio fan is also available in an indoor version.

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Best High CFM Outdoor Ceiling Fan for

Craftmade Colossus

What is a High CFM ceiling fan? In short, a high CFM ceiling fan is a fan which can move more air and cool down larger areas of space. To learn more about high CFM ceiling fans and find a list of the top high CFM ceiling fans, we encourage you to visit our blog "Blown Away:The Best High CFM Fans for Residential Use."

The Colossus by Craftmade is amazing as it holds a CFM rating of 13,644. The Colossus has a 96-inch blade span, a DC motor, and is available in a Brushed Satin Nickel or an Espresso finish. This fan is certainly a focal piece and a top ceiling fan for those looking for a high airflow.

Want to add some flare to your new fan? Check out the additional brightly colored fan blades, including Lime, Citron, Tangerine, Purple, Lavendar, Red and Blue, that you can choose from the liven up this already impressive fan.

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Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans With Lights

Craftmade Riverfront

A form factor of carefully balanced composition creates a unique and stylish celling fan for outdoor spaces. With solid, durable construction suitable for wet locations, the Riverfront also features 5 aged bronze fan bladesreversible motor, 2 LED lights, and pull chain control.

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Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans Without Lights

Kichler Monarch 70"

Featuring clean lines, textured accents, and a beautiful tannery bronze finish, this 5 blade 70 inch Monarch ceiling fan will effortlessly complement the existing décor in your living room. The high airflow ceiling fan also features an 8" downrod, three-speed wall control, and reversible blades.

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Best Wet-Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fan

Minka Aire Java

The Minka Aire Java is a wonderful choice to consider when you are shopping for a top-notch outdoor ceiling fan. Not only is it available in four different finishes, but it brings a contemporary twist, and offers dimmable lighting. The Java comes with a three-speed remote control, reverse function, and a 6-inch downrod. This outdoor ceiling fan carries a UL approval for wet locations and is suitable for all indoor and outdoor environments. This model is also available with an LED light.

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Best Marine Grade Ceiling Fans

Kichler Arkwet

The unique 52-inch Arkwet Ceiling Fan in a weathered copper powder coat finish is sure to leave a lasting impression in your home. This contemporary fan is wet rated for outdoor locations and is corrosion and weather resistant. It's made to withstand outdoor elements. This fan also features 3 brown blades and pull chain control. It is installable on sloped ceilings up to 30°.

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Best Damp-Rated Ceiling Fans for

Casablanca Aris

Clean and simple design that appeals to the senses. Wood-tone finishes dipped in film put the exclamation point on this new, contemporary ceiling fan model. This Energy-Star rated fan features 4 plastic blades, 4-speed universal wall control with reverse, and a three position mounting system that allows for standard, flush mount or angled mounting.

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Best Outdoor Flush-Mount Ceiling Fans

Kichler Sola

This 44" ceiling fan from the Sola collection is one of our best hugger ceiling fans. It's made for use in wet locations and features integrated LED lighting and flush mount installation. The globe inspired motor housing shape brings delightful style to any space. A metal fixture cap is included for non-light use installations. Available in three finishes including matte white, brushed nickel, and olde bronze, this flush mount fan also features high airflow at 4,298 CFM. The fan comes with three-speed wall control with full range light dimming and reverse function.

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Best Large Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Craftmade Mondo

The Craftmade Mondo has a whopping 72-inch blade span, and is UL listed for damp locations. The Mondo is made of silicon steel and has a gorgeous Espresso finish. This outdoor ceiling fan brings modern, contemporary, and industrial style. The Mondo is compatible with a light kit, and can additionally be ordered with custom powder coat colors.

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Best Small Outdoor Ceiling Fan

Casablanca Wailea

Well under 42 inches, the Casablanca Wailea has a 31-inch blade span and is only about 13 inches from the ceiling to its lowest hanging point with a 3" included downrod. The Wailea brings contemporary style with its Snow White or Brushed Cocoa finish and six short blades.

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Best Smart Control Outdoor Ceiling Fan

Modern Forms Zephyr

With smart controls and a discreet DC Motor, Zephyr is a form of luxury. A robust outdoor LED light fixture with artisan-crafted opal glass and thick aerodynamically soundless fan blades round out the design. Available in four rich architectural finishes. The Modern Forms app allows for seamless integration of this smart fan with your smart home controls and voice control devices, including Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Samsung SmartThings.

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Best Outdoor Ceiling Fan with Remote Control for

Minka-Aire Simple

So simple! We gave this wonderful design a name that best denotes it's spirit! Incredibly delicate and nearly invisible. This design best displays the advancement in technology with indoor/outdoor use, DC motor, optional LED light kit and a Wi-Fi compatible remote control. This 3-blade ceiling fan is available in multiple finishes including oil rubbed bronze, coal, silver, and flat white.

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Best Outdoor Wall-Mounted Patio Fan

Craftmade Bellows I

With a heavy-duty, 3-speed oscillating motor and 14" stainless steel blades, this 16" wall-mounted fan combines the retro style of a table fan with the power and efficiency of a ceiling fan. Finished in your choice of Aged Bronze Textured or Brushed Polished Nickel, it features separate knobs for oscillating and speed control. The wall fan can be hung and plugged in with 40" corded plug or hard-wired.

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Top Outdoor Ceiling Fans By Location

For Screened Porches:

Pictured is a dark oak outdoor ceiling fan with a downrod.

The Minka-Aire Sundance is a very popular wet-rated outdoor ceiling fan for anyone looking to install a fan in an area that is often wet. The oil-rubbed bronze finish combines beautifully with the all-weather dark oak to make this an excellent fixture for your porch, patio, or gazebo. This ceiling fan has a 42-inch blade span, a 3,428 CFM rating, and a 65.6 high-efficiency rating. The Sundance makes a for a great product, and perfect addition to any screened porch.

For Covered Decks:

Pictured is an outdoor ceiling fan with five silver plastic blades and a lantern-like downlight.

The 60-inch Quorum Portico's unique aesthetic creates a beautiful centerpiece for any room. The Portico has a nautically designed downlight and holds a 5,365 CFM rating. This outdoor ceiling fan is gorgeous addition for covered decks.

For Gazebos:

Pictured is a tropically styled outdoor ceiling fan with five leaf-like blades and a downlight.

Although the blade span on the 48-inch Westinghouse Oasis is on the smaller side, the airflow efficiency ensures a great breeze for the gazebo. This elegant, wet-rated ceiling fan brings tropical style and a 56.6 airflow efficiency rating. The Oasis is a nice focal point for gazebos with it's lantern styled downlight and tropical, leaf-like blades.

For The Pergola:

Pictured is an 8-bladed bronze outdoor ceiling fan with a downlight.

The 65-inch Minka-Aire Slipstream is a great and sleek fan to place under your pergola. Although the wet rating is its most important aspect, the modern style, and 8 blade design is an important factor for having this fixture rank so highly. The Slipstreams style, low electricity use, and high airflow rating are all components which make this outdoor ceiling fan a popular product.

For An Outdoor Lanai:

Pictured is a white 3-bladed outdoor ceiling fan with LED lighting.

When it comes to selecting an outdoor fan for a lanai, the value of the 52-inch Minka-Aire Traditional Concept is remarkable. The UL listed wet rating, traditional design, attached light kit, and included remote create the best value for outside your home. The Traditional Concept also brings modern style and a clean, simple look to any lanai.

For A Sunroom or Solarium:

Pictured is a damp-rated outdoor ceiling fan with five grey pine blades and a nautically inspired downlight.

While there are many different fans to accomodate different sunroom styles, the Hunter Key Biscayne is certainly a top choice. The Key Biscayne not only has a UL damp rating, but it also has a 6,239 CFM rating, and a lantern-style light kit. It's five grey pine blades and it's weathered zinc motor house make it a beautiful fit for most sunrooms regardless of the style.

For Your Garage

Pictured is a 5 tropical outdoor ceiling fan with five palm-leaf blades.

Looking for a ceiling fan to fit perfectly into your garage? The 54-inch Hunter Bayview outdoor ceiling fan is a fine choice for installation in garages or workshops. The decorative blades are reversible and bring tropical style with their leaf-like design. The Bayview is available in two finishes, and comes with a three-speed pull-chain, reverse function and an ETL damp listing.

For Your Carport

Pictured is a black 52-inch outdoor ceiling fan with five blades.

Shopping for the perfect fan for your carport? The 52-inch Savoy House Nomad features a UL wet listing and large blade span, making it a perfect match. The Nomad has three available finish options and can be standard, angled, or flush mounted. This outdoor ceiling fan is a great match for any carport.

For A Pool House

Pictured is a tropical outdoor ceiling fan with five walnut palm-leaf blades and a downrod.

The decorative 52-inch Monte Carlo Cruise is another outdoor ceiling fan which shows off five leaf-like blades. The Cruise is an amazing choice for any warm pool house. This outdoor ceiling fan features an efficient CFM rating, a UL and ULC wet rating, as well as a three-speed pull chain and a manual reverse switch. The Cruise can also be fitted for optional light kits.

For The Bath

Pictured is a wet-rated outdoor ceiling fan with five wooden blades, a galvanized motorhouse, and a downrod.

The small Quorum Estate Patio is a perfect ceiling fan for any bathroom. The short blade span is compensated for with a sixth blade and a great energy efficiency rating. This outdoor ceiling fan comes with a UL wet listing, a three-speed pull chain, and a reverse function. The Estate Patio is also available in nine different finishes, ensuring it to be a great fit for any bath.

Whether you are looking for an outdoor ceiling fan for your patio or pergola, there are multiple styles, sizes, and finishes to shop and consider. In addition to outdoor ceiling fans, we have a great selection of the top outdoor wall mount fans. Not only are oscillating wall fans stylish, but they can provide a nice blast of fresh air when you or your guests are sitting outside.

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August 19, 2021
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