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Outdoor Ceiling Fan Buying Made Easy: [8 Step Guide]

Buying an outdoor ceiling fan can be difficult. There are so many different things to consider.

For example, some people swear by the 3-blade fan while others love their 4-blade fan. Ceiling fans come in all shapes and sizes, and when you’re buying one for your home or office, you’ll want to know the measurements of that exterior casing and the blade span.

You should also figure out what type of lights will be included with the ceiling fan to see if you have enough room to accommodate them inside or outside the casing. All these factors need to be considered before you make a purchase.

But for outdoor specificity, here are the 8 most important things that you primarily ensure in a ceiling fan you are about to invest in!

outdoor ceiling fans

What To Consider Before Buying an Outdoor Ceiling Fan

You Need to Make Sure It’s an Outdoor Fan

Now you know what makes a ceiling fan an outdoor fan, but how do you make sure it’s an outdoor fan?

The first step is to check the label! If your ceiling fan has been labeled an indoor or residential fan, then it’s safe to say that this particular model isn’t meant for outdoor use.

However, many companies have started labeling their products differently — so if you see something like “For Outdoor Use Only” on the box or manual, then congratulations! It may actually be safe to use your new purchase outside!

If there aren’t any labels on either the packaging or instructions (which is often the case), here are some other ways to tell:

The Materials Used in Manufacturing

Many outdoor fans are made with non-corrosive components and materials that are more resistant than those found in typical indoor models. They’re also typically sealed against moisture and dust ingress so they can withstand harsh weather conditions without getting damaged by rainwater or snowmelt/freezing temperatures over time.

The Finish of an Outdoor Fan

It will also differ from its counterparts indoors; these finishes are usually rougher so as not to affect airflow efficiency during operation.

The Structure

The structure itself should always be metal instead of plastic or wood because those materials would warp under extreme temperatures like those found outdoors in direct sunlight all day long during the summer months.

Wet-Rated Fans are More Durable

The wet-rated fan, also known as a damp-rated ceiling fan, is the most durable and efficient type of outdoor ceiling fan you can buy. These fans are typically designed for damp environments where they will be exposed to moisture e.g. covered porches, patios open to rain, etc.

Wet-rated fans have been tested to ensure they operate safely under these conditions without malfunctioning or causing injury. This makes them perfect for use outdoors in climates where there is high humidity or rainfall.

These fans feature thicker blades than standard models, as well as other components that make them ideal for use outside in damp locations such as covered porches or patios.

More Blades Don’t Necessarily Mean More Airflow

When it comes to the number of blades on an outdoor ceiling fan, you may think that the more blades, the better. But that’s not always true. In fact, more blades can actually reduce airflow.

In general, a fan with less than five blades will have greater airflow than one with six or more. This is because fans with fewer blades rotate faster and are able to move more air per rotation than fans with many blades.

Generally speaking, fewer blade designs also tend to be quieter because they’re able to spin faster while maintaining a lower decibel level (which is measured in units called sones).


As for price, because fewer blade designs require less material in production and shipping costs are lower as well (fewer boxes!), they tend to cost less than other styles of fans—but not always!

The best way to shop smartly when looking for an outdoor ceiling fan is by knowing exactly what kind of room you want your new fan installed in What size will fit best? Is there going to be ample clearance overhead? And most importantly: Does this type of ceiling fan match my style preference?

The Size Matters

The size of your ceiling fan is the first thing you should consider when buying an outdoor ceiling fan. Most fans have a diameter between 42 and 60 inches, so it’s important to take into account your room’s size before purchasing one.

If you’re looking for a large, open space that needs cooling down fast, opt for a larger fan.

On the other hand, if you’re working with smaller areas and need some help circulating air without moving too much air volume around (and maybe even saving some money on cooling costs), then smaller fans may be just what you need.

Some retailers sell two different versions—one for large rooms and one for small. So if you want to get creative with placement in your home or office space but don’t want to compromise on performance or aesthetics by using multiple sizes of one model (which can look messy), this might be an option worth considering!

Read: Ceiling Fan Size Guide

Consider the Blade Materials Carefully at This Point

At this point, you may be wondering how to choose the right blade material. It’s important to consider what will look best with your fan and make sure that it’s durable enough for outdoor use.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each option:

  • Plastic blades are generally cheaper than other materials, but they are also more likely to break when exposed to sunlight or moisture. They can also crack if hit by flying debris such as twigs or stones during high winds.
  • Wooden blades don’t have these problems—they’re more expensive but last longer than plastic ones do & plus they have a rustic aesthetic that matches well with many types of fans!

However, if you live somewhere with high humidity levels (like Florida) or experience frequent rainstorms during winter months (like Seattle), wood shouldn’t be used because it’s susceptible to rotting unless treated properly beforehand.

Think About The Style and Design While You’re Shopping

As you shop for a new fan, think about the style and design. You may want to incorporate your fan into your overall home decor or keep it simple so that it blends in with any type of room.

If you have an eclectic or modern interior design, then a ceiling fan with bold colors or patterns might be just what you’re looking for. If traditional is more your thing, then a more subtle color scheme will work better.

Be sure to also consider how much light the fixture gives off when considering this aspect of its style and design; fans can come with different light sources such as incandescent bulbs or LED lights that offer varying degrees of brightness depending on their wattage rating (a higher wattage will mean brighter light).

Make Sure Your Ceiling Can Handle the Weight of the Fan

The first rule of buying an outdoor fan is to make sure your ceiling can handle the weight of a new accessory. If you buy a downrod, which is used to hang a heavier fan, make sure it’s securely mounted and rated for outdoor use.

Read: How To Choose The Right Ceiling Fan Downrod Length?

Also, check that your choice has a rating that matches or exceeds the weight limit of your ceiling (usually listed in pounds).

An easy way to do this is to look at what other models have been installed in similar locations—if they’re working just fine, then yours should be fine too!

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FAQs – Get The Answers You Need!

Can you use an outdoor ceiling fan indoors?

Since outdoor fans are typically damp-rated, they can be used indoors. However, ceiling fans are all about airflow, as they move air from one location to another. If you have more than 1,000 square feet of space and don’t plan to use your ceiling fan during the colder winter months then it’s most likely ideal for indoor use.

Can outdoor ceiling fans get wet?

Ceiling fans with an indoor rating should never be used outside. They are not waterproof and will deteriorate when exposed to the elements. Fans with a “damp” or “wet” rating can be used indoors and outdoors, as long as they are protected from water.

What should be the size of the ceiling fan for the outdoor patio?

Take a measurement of your outdoor patio space. The size of the ceiling fan you choose will depend on the square footage of your space. If you have 100 square feet, you should use a 30-inch fan. If you have 200 square feet, use a 42-inch one.


Before you buy an outdoor ceiling fan, make sure it is rated for outdoor use. The fan motor should be enclosed and the blades should be made of corrosion-resistant materials. If the fan will be exposed to rain, make sure it is also rated for wet locations or has a sealed motor housing.

The best time of year to purchase an outdoor ceiling fan is spring or fall because there tend to be fewer insects flying around during these times of year than in summer or winter.