6 Things to Consider When Buying an Outdoor Ceiling Fan
If you’re in the market for an outdoor ceiling fan, you undoubtedly know that there are multiple different types on the market, with varying features, specifications and sizes from which to choose. When comparing different outdoor ceiling fans, be sure that you know a thing or two about the following options to ensure that you get the right style for your needs.
Pictured Above: Quorum Galveston Model 13525-86
- Their Rating: Wet or Damp?—The most important consideration in any light fixture or ceiling fan purchase is location. Where will it be installed? You will typically find two options suitable for outdoor use: damp rated ceiling fans and wet rated ceiling fans. These ratings come to us from Underwriters Laboratories (now known simply as UL), a safety organization that certifies products with regard to electricity and fire safety. Wet rated ceiling fans can be installed in either damp or wet environments and may be directly exposed to rain. Damp rated ceiling fans, on the other hand, should only be installed in covered locations that are not exposed to rain.
- Other Environmental Factors—Besides moisture, your fan will be hit with a slew of other environmental insults, including possibly wind and salty air. Make sure to choose ceiling fans for high-wind areas—especially “unibody fans” that feature sturdy blades with no blade holders—to ensure that the components do not sway or break in high wind. If you intend to install your new fan in a location with salty air, such as in a beachside cabana or on a yacht, then you should choose ceiling fans for salt air locations. These kinds of fans are built using marine-grade components that won’t corrode or rust, even when they’re constantly barraged with salty air.
Pictured Above: Casablanca Caneel Bay Model 59360
- Sizing and Breeze Rating—Another important consideration is the size and performance of your fan. You need one that can effectively promote airflow and cool you down, even in particularly hot, open environments. Sizing outdoor fans is a bit more complicated than sizing indoor ones, which can be easily achieved by measuring the square footage of a room. However, we do recommend using our ceiling fan size calculator outdoors, measuring the area of your immediate patio or porch, for a better idea of which size to buy. If you need a high breeze, narrow your search using our fan breeze rating option and opt for ones with four- or five-star ratings.
- Their Motors: AC or DC?—You’ll see ceiling fans labeled either AC or DC. This refers to the type of motor used. AC motors draw a lot of electricity, while DC ceiling fans use the latest technology that incorporates electronics to converts normal AC power to direct current. DC fans use 75% less electricity without compromising performance, so they are far more efficient and environmentally friendly. Both motor types connect directly to your normal household electricity. It’s a little confusing for those of us who aren’t well-versed in electrical components, but the important thing to know is that, thanks to electronics, DC motor ceiling fans use significantly less energy. If an energy efficient outdoor fan is what you’re after, it’s got to be DC!
- Lighting and Other Features—Need a little light outside? Let your fan do double-duty for you. Choosing an outdoor fan with lights is a great choice for any exterior living area that gets used at night or in low-lit conditions. Of course, the best option is always the one that’s the most energy efficient, low-maintenance and customizable, and in the case of the ceiling fan, that means LED lights. Many lighted fans come with remote controls so that you can easily adjust the brightness and airflow from below.
- Aesthetics: Does it Suit My Space?—Last but absolutely not least…aesthetics! These days, there are thousands of viable exterior fans on the market, in styles ranging from ultra-modern to warmly traditional. Choosing the right style will tie together your entire exterior design motif, helping you create a space that feels just as welcoming and relaxing as the interior of your home. While outdoor ceiling fans come in many of the same styles as indoor ones, there are some varieties that work particularly well in the open air, especially palm leaf fans and those with a coastal or tropical twist.
Pictured Above: Fanimation Crestford Model FP7954OB
At Hansen Wholesale, we know that not all buyers are the same. Your considerations, budget and environment may vary widely from another customer’s. Luckily, we’ve built a team of dedicated ceiling fan experts who are always available to assist you with your purchase. Be sure to get in touch with us if you need one-on-one advice!