Using Outdoor Ceiling Fans for Your Space

Using Outdoor Ceiling Fans for Your Space

Summer is the best time to get outside and enjoy your porch, patio or deck as the case may be, but the summertime heat can often inhibit your enjoyment. Outdoor ceiling fans can change your experience and help you enjoy the outdoors even in the peak of heat. Using an outdoor ceiling fan can create a cool breeze even when there’s no breeze to be found, making those dog days of summer much more pleasant. If you are considering adding an outdoor ceiling fan to your outdoor space, here’s where you can find all the tips to get started.

Why get an outdoor ceiling fan?

The obvious reasons a homeowner begins to dream of adding a fan element to their outdoor living space are pure enjoyment and cool comfort. But, adding an outdoor fan to a patio, gazebo or any outdoor living space, includes a mixed bag of benefits.

    • Creating a breeze – The enclosed areas of your home’s exterior are the perfect places to find refuge from mosquitos or grab shade from the sun, but the temperaturecan rise even higher with less opportunity for a breeze to pass through. This is where an outdoor ceiling fan can provide the perfect solution.
    • Adding flair – The addition of elements to your home’s exterior from outdoor lighting to hardscapes is usually for one of two purposes: form or function. The best outdoor ceiling fans will accomplish both objectives for you. Your outdoor lighting and outdoor décor create focal points of your home and your outdoor ceiling fan can add a nice finishing touch to the overall look.
  • Show some love to your garage  Whether you spend time in your garage working on side projects and hobbies or simply use it to store equipment and overflow belongings (and of course, vehicles), temperature control matters. A strategically-placed ceiling fan can keep your garage, “man-shed” or “she-shed” cool and comfortable for those that are active with projects inside the space.

Understanding the difference between indoor and outdoor ceiling fans

Just like you wouldn’t place your indoor couches outside on the patio to face the harsh elements, there is a different grade of ceiling fan for indoor use versus outdoor use. Depending on the location of your outdoor ceiling fan, there are also a variety of fans to take into consideration.

    • Wet-rated outdoor ceiling fansAs the name implies, wet-rated outdoor ceiling fans have been manufactured to hold up under weather conditions such as rain, wind and even snow. If your outdoor ceiling fan is protected from the elements, you may not need to opt for this added level of sturdiness. Keep in mind that even partial exposure to these weather elements can cause serious problems such as damaged or warped blades, or potential fire hazards from shorts in your unprotected electrical wiring. Wet-rated fans are sealed and their wiring is specifically designed to protect the electrical elements of the fixtures. An added benefit of your wet-rated ceiling fan is that it can easily be hosed off for convenient cleaning.
  • Damp-rated outdoor ceiling fansIf your outdoor ceiling fan does not need as much protection from the elements, a damp-rated ceiling fan might suffice. Damp-rated models of outdoor ceiling fans are optimal for use in humidity in covered exterior spaces. A word of caution for the damp-rated model – it will not hold up well with direct exposure to precipitation such as snow or rain.

Where should you use outdoor ceiling fans?

Outdoor ceiling fans are the perfect option for areas where air movement can help improve the comfort of the space. Many homeowners choose outdoor ceiling fans for use as patio fans, porch fans, gazebo fans as well as for garages and other outdoor structures.

    • Consider the placement  When you consider where to place your outdoor ceiling fan, you’ll need to give some thought to air flow. Your ceiling fan will need enough open space around to pull air from the back and move it toward the front, also known as unrestricted air flow.  The larger the ceiling fan, the more space it will require to accomplish its goal of moving air throughout your exterior space.
  • Hone in on safety precautions – While safety is always a top consideration when installing anything inside your home, it is even more important when you are working outside. Here’s why: your outdoor ceiling fan will be facing harsher conditions than anything protected on the inside of your home. Take extra care to ensure that the mountings and electrical connections of your outdoor ceiling fan will stand up to weather, especially the possibility of moisture and rain. All electricity should be grounded, and wires should be sealed.

How to choose an outdoor ceiling fan

Now that you’ve gotten up to date on the uses of outdoor ceiling fans, you’re surely considering how to select the best outdoor ceiling fans for your unique outdoor space. Your choices will hinge upon the area you are adding the ceiling fan, your taste, the weather environment you live in and the parameters of your home’s exterior. These tips will help you get started as you set out to choose the very best outdoor ceiling fan for your home.

    • Style – This is the fun part! You might prefer an outdoor ceiling fan that blends into your ceiling and provides a cool breeze without being noticed, or you might want to add some flair to your home’s décor with an island-style fan or a Tuscan-inspired look, the choice is yours. As with anything in your outdoor exterior planning, every detail matters. Take the time to evaluate the space, how you want to accent it, and what aesthetic will complement your style.
    • Size – Of course design matters, but let us not forget the reason for installing our outdoor ceiling fan in the very first place. The outdoor ceiling fan should accomplish its goal of creating a breeze and moving air through your exterior space. As a rule of thumb, the following sizes apply when assessing how big of an outdoor ceiling fan you will need: a 36-inch ceiling fan for 144 square feet, a 42-inch ceiling fan for 225 square feet, a 52-inch ceiling fan for 325 square feet.
  • Mounting – Installing your outdoor ceiling fan will vary based on the constraints of your space’s ceiling. The main three types of mounting for an outdoor ceiling fan are the close mount, downrod mount or the hugger mount. The close mount is the ideal choice for low ceiling areas while the downrod mount works best for high ceilings. Hugger ceiling mounts are mounted flush against the ceiling without the use of downrod.

The choice to add an outdoor ceiling fan to your outdoor space can add extra enjoyment to your summer. It can add flair to your décor as well as improve the comfort of your overall outdoor experience. The key to success in this area will be choosing the right outdoor ceiling fan based on your personal tastes, the outdoor area your fan will be placed in, and the weather elements it will be exposed to.

– The Capitol Lighting Team

Browse our complete collection of outdoor lighting here.


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