Reviews

Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021

Feel the cool breeze on your patio with an outdoor fan.

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BY Andra DelMonico / LAST UPDATED ON March 19, 2021

You’re sitting on your patio with a cold drink, trying to enjoy a little time in the fresh air. Or, perhaps you’re working in your garage on your car. In either scenario, it becomes apparent whenever there’s a distinct lack of airflow—the warm, stagnant air surrounds and stifles you as sweat builds on your brow. 

 

An outdoor ceiling fan can create a gentle breeze you need to make time outside more enjoyable. You could choose a stylish one that adds to the decor and design of your home. However, installing a fan is more involved than simply picking one out and installing it. This guide will help you determine what to look for and the best outdoor ceiling fans out there for your needs.

Best Overall
Westinghouse Lighting Brentford Fan
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Summary
Summary

This elegant fan has a vintage charm and measures 52 inches. Powering it is a silicon steel motor with a triple capacity. There are also 40-watt incandescent lights.

Pros
Pros
  • Three speeds 
  • Reversible 
  • Included down rods
Cons
Cons
  • Not energy efficient 
  • No remote
Best Overall
Westinghouse Lighting Brentford Fan
Best Value
Honeywell Palm Island Tropical Ceiling Fan
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Summary
Summary

This tropical palm fan measures 52 inches with wide leaf blades. It’s ETL damp-rated with pull-chain controls. The fan comes in three colors: bronze, sandstone, and white.

Pros
Pros
  • Four speeds 
  • Quiet motor
  • Reversible
Cons
Cons
  • No remote 
  • No light
Best Value
Honeywell Palm Island Tropical Ceiling Fan
Honorable Mention
Harbor Breeze Twin Breeze Ceiling Fan
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Summary
Summary

This double fan with its light design is going to stand out on your patio. Each fan has three wicker blades, with the entire unit measuring 74 inches. In the center is a frosted glass light shade.

Pros
Pros
  • Three speeds
  • AC motor 
  • Tropical feel
Cons
Cons
  • Lacks airflow 
  • No remote
Honorable Mention
Harbor Breeze Twin Breeze Ceiling Fan
Outdoor Ceiling Fan Close Up
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All of our reviews are based on market research, expert input, or practical experience with most products we include. This way, we offer genuine, accurate guides to help you find the best picks.

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Benefits of Outdoor Ceiling Fans

  • Cool and Comfortable. A covered patio can get a hot or stagnant feeling when the air stops circulating. Depending on the structure, you need a fan because the natural breeze will never move the air. 
  • Additional Lighting. Some outdoor fans come with light integrated into the body. This can be useful if you want to use your outdoor space at night since the light helps to make it safe to maneuver. 
  • Fewer Pests. The turning fan blades push through the air while they spin to create turbulence that insects and other flying bugs don’t like. Should they try to fly around near you or your patio, they’ll get caught in the breeze and swept away. 

Types of Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Wet-Rated 

These are the most durable fans and are designed to reliably work no matter what comes their way. The fan’s outside has a special finish that will prevent corrosion, rust, and motor damage. This coating also helps to make keeping the fan clean easier. These fans are the best choice for uncovered areas that experience regular exposure to rain, snow, or ocean spray. Most are made from durable and water-resistant ABS plastic. 

Damp-Rated 

Damp-rated fans are safe for use outside but shouldn’t be in direct contact with the weather elements. A covered patio is a perfect example of where you can safely use this type of fan. These fans can handle high moisture levels, such as humidity, but aren’t meant to come in direct contact with water. Because of this, there’s more variety in the style and construction material. 

Top Brands

Honeywell 

Since its founding in 1906, Honeywell has established itself as a multinational conglomerate that provides products for everything from aerospace applications to home security systems. Its commitment to producing products designed for reliable performance has made it a popular choice for consumers and businesses. The Honeywell Glencrest LED Edison Bulb Ceiling Fan has a retro style with modern technology. 

Hunter Fan Company

Founded in 1886, Hunter is one of the oldest fan companies in the United States. What began as a water motors and meters company has turned into an internationally known fan company. It's popular for producing elegant fan designs that look beautiful in homes. The Hunter Builder Elite Outdoor Ceiling Fan is affordable and dependable. 

Harbor Breeze

Fans that are manufactured under the Harbor Breeze name are a part of the Lowes store brand line. These fans are known for being top-quality with elegant styling. The Harbor Breeze Tilghman Outdoor Ceiling Fan will give your outdoor space a tropical feel. 

Outdoor Ceiling Fans Pricing

  • Under $250: Outdoor fans in this price range tend to be smaller in size and have basic functionality. You’ll find them to be an affordable option that will serve its purpose. 
  • $250 to $350: Fans in this price range come in a wide variety of designs and sizes. You’ll also see a range of features, so you’re sure to find the right combination to fit your needs. 
  • $350 and up: You’ll find that fans in this price range are the largest on the market. They also have unique designs and innovative features. It’s well worth investing in the perfect fan for a breezy addition to your outdoor space. 

Key Features

Wet or Damp Rating

The fan you install needs to be safe for the location you want to put it. This means looking at the UL rating to confirm that it’s rated correctly. Covered and protected areas are safe with a damp-rated ceiling fan. Exposed areas and those that will come into direct contact with water require a wet-rated ceiling fan. 

Durability 

The fan you install needs to last for a long time, so it should be made from durable materials that can withstand the harsh weather elements and changing seasonal temperatures. Wet-rated fans tend to be made out of ABS plastics that are rust and corrosion-resistant. Damp-rated fans will have metal or woods that are treated to prevent rusting or rotting. 

Size

Sizes range from compact fans to oversized fans depending on what you need for your specific space. Spaces that are up to 75 square feet are best with a 29-36 inches fan. Spaces 76-144 square feet are best with a fan that’s 36-42 inches. Outdoor areas that are 144-225 square feet are best with fans that measure 44 inches. Spaces larger than 225 square feet need a fan that measures 50 inches or larger. Keep in mind that the fan shouldn’t be low above your head. 

Other Considerations

  • Lighting. Choosing a fan with light gives you an additional lighting source in your outdoor space. Look for one that’s energy-efficient and low maintenance.—LED lights are usually the best option. A remote control is nice because you don’t have to get up every time you want to turn the light on or off. Dimming ability is also beneficial because you can adjust the amount of light you have. 
  • Motor. Fans are labeled as AC or DC for the type of motor it has. AC motors use old technology, while DC utilizes modern technology. This makes DC motors 77 percent more energy-efficient without sacrificing performance. Both install directly into your home’s electrical system, so you don’t have to worry about if it’s compatible with your home. 
  • Style. The fan you choose needs to fit your design aesthetic. There are thousands of options to choose from, including ultra-modern, tropical, traditional, rustic, or industrial. Choose a fan that complements your home’s design and the rest of the decor you have outside. Look at the main central unit and the design of the blades. 

Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans Reviews & Recommendations 2021

Best Overall
Westinghouse Lighting Brentford Fan

This vintage-inspired fan measures 52 inches. It has five blades with an aged walnut finish. The central light features a metal cage with a lantern-inspired design. The fan is powered by a silicon steel motor with a triple capacitor. You can choose from three fan speeds: low, medium, and high. There is also has a reverse option for year-round use. The light is a candelabra design with three 40-watt incandescent light bulbs. Included with the fan is a 4-inch down rod for installation versatility. This fan is specifically designed for outdoor use with metal, glass, and plastic construction. 


Unfortunately, this fan doesn’t come with a remote. However, you may be able to buy one separately from Westinghouse that’s compatible. It also isn’t very energy efficient since it has incandescent light bulbs instead of LED light bulbs. 

Best Value
Honeywell Palm Island Tropical Ceiling Fan

Just because you have a limited budget doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice style. This tropical fan measures 52 inches across and comes in dark bronze, white, or light sandstone. It’s constructed of ABS plastic and has an ETL damp rating. You can install the fan in three positions: flush, flat, and angled mount. There are pull chains on the center of the fan that you can use to control the fan. Choose from four speeds and reverse for the speed of the fan blades. What makes this fan stand out is the wide fan blades that look like palm leaves. 


One drawback of this fan is that it doesn’t have a remote, so you’ll need to use the pull chains. It also doesn’t come with a light, but you could buy one separately and install it.

Premium Pick
Harbor Breeze Twin Breeze Ceiling Fan

This unique fan is two fans in one: a down rod supports a central light with two small fans on either side. The entire fan unit measures 74 inches. A silent AC motor powers three fan speeds. The fan has an elegant tropical resort feel with oil-rubbed bronze, wicker fan blades, and a frosted glass light cover. Included with the fan unit is a four-inch down rod. The fan is damp-rated for installation indoors or in covered outdoor locations. This fan is best for spaces that are over 400 square feet. 


One downside is that the two fans create a gentle movement that won’t feel like strong airflow, which could be disappointing depending on your expectations. There’s also no remote included, but you can easily wire it to a switch in the wall.

Best Design
Honeywell Sabal Palm Ceiling Fan

Embrace the tropical resort aesthetic with this 52-inch fan that has blades that look like large palm leaves. The fan’s base is constructed of durable steel with an aged bronze finish. The blades are made from basswood and are hand-carved, making them unique and custom to each fan. The fan blades have a 12-degree pitch and a three-speed reversible motor. It’s tri-mount compatible, so you can install it on a flat or pitched ceiling or choose a flush mount. It also comes with a 4-inch down rod. This fan is ideal for cooling spaces that are 350-450 square feet. 


However, this fan isn't reversible, so you can’t switch the spin direction for the changing weather. It also doesn’t come with a light, and you can’t add one either.

Best Basic
Hunter Fan Company Cassius Matte Black Ceiling Fan

Give your outdoor space a modern look with this three-blade fan measuring 52 inches. Choose from white, matte black, matte silver, or bronze for the color of your fan. This fan has an industrial style with reversible fan blades. One side has a grey walnut stripe, and the other is a plain matte color. The motor is whisper quiet and can keep the blades spinning at three-speed levels. There are pull chains to operate the fan. Three and 5-inch down rods are included to give you more versatility in how you install it. It has a damp rating, making it ideal for covered porches and patios. 


The downside of this fan is that it doesn’t have a remote or light included, keeping the fan relatively simple in its functionality.

Honorable Mention
Honeywell Belmar Outdoor LED Ceiling Fan

Hang this white fan on your patio and have plenty of cooling power. This 52-inch fan is waterproof and damp-rated. It also comes in all dark bronze. The fan base is constructed from durable steel and has two pull chains for operating the light and fan independently. The fan blades are constructed of ABS plastic with a wood texture for good looks and lasting durability. The light produces 3,000K and uses LED bulbs. There are three options for installing this fan: flush, angled, or down mounted. A 4-inch down rod is also included with the fan. You'll appreciate how quiet the three-speed motor is, and since it's reversible, you get year-round functionality. 


The only drawback to this fan is that it doesn't have true LED bulbs. Instead, it uses LED technology, which isn't the same and won't give you the same useful life or energy efficiency.

Honorable Mention
Home Decorators Collection Kensgrove Ceiling Fan

This oversized fan will keep you cool with its eight fan blades and 72-inch size. The blades have an espresso maple finish, and the base is oil-rubbed bronze. At the center of the fan is a light. A remote control makes it easy to adjust the fan speed and light brightness. The fan is wet-rated, making it safe for use outdoors. An energy-efficient DC motor will be quiet as any of the nine speeds. This fan’s standout feature is the decorative canopy at the base that covers the exposed installation screws. 


Unfortunately, the fan’s motor is on the small side for the size of the fan. This can make the airflow feel weaker than other similar-sized fans. You’ll also want to be careful wiring it to ensure it works correctly.

Honorable Mention
Casa Vieja Delta-Wing Outdoor Ceiling Fan

You’ll love the rich wood of this three-blade fan—the blades are made of solid wood and have a walnut finish. It measures 52 inches and has an oil-rubbed bronze base. It’s damp-rated, so it’s safe for covered outdoor patios, porches, and gazebos. The blades have a nine-degree pitch for sufficient air movement. A remote control makes the fan easy to operate with buttons for low, medium, and high. A six-inch down rod is included for installing this fan on angled ceilings with a slope of up to 25 degrees. 


Keep in mind that this fan isn’t meant for use in high humidity locations or where it will experience saltwater exposure. It also doesn’t come with a light, but you can buy a light separately and install it yourself.

Honorable Mention
Minka-Aire Outdoor Ceiling Fan

Have plenty of air-moving power with these 65-inch fan blades. It’s constructed of metal and comes with a remote control for easy operation. It has an oil-rubbed bronze finish to give the eight blades a contemporary design. Powering the fan is a silent DC motor that has six speeds to choose from. A 6-inch down rod is also included to give you more versatility when installing. The fan is wet-rated so that it can get mounted in exposed places. A standout feature is a 9-degree pitch to the blades for maximum air movement. 


Unfortunately, it doesn’t come with a light. However, there’s a separate 20-watt LED light kit available for purchase. You’ll also need to buy a separate hub if you want it to integrate into your smart home devices.

Honorable Mention
Prominence Home Journal Ceiling Fan

Update the look of your outdoor space with this three-blade fan. It comes with two blade options in the box. It’s ETL damp-rated and measures 52 inches. The body of the fan has a gunmetal finish, and the blades have a silver oak finish on one side and a carbon fiber finish on the other side. It also has a dual mount option, so you can use the standard mount or use the 6-inch down rod. This lets you install the fan on a flat or angled ceiling. There are three motor speeds to choose from, and it’s reversible. 


While there is no light option, this may not be an issue for you if you don't need the extra light. The fan also doesn't come with a remote, so you'll need to be able to reach the chain or wire it to a wall switch. 

Tips

  • Install your fan the correct distance away from the ceiling to allow the fan to move the air effectively. It shouldn't be too low to be dangerous or too high not to be effective. 
  • Change the direction your fan spins with the seasons to help you stay cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter. The direction the fan spins dictates the airflow direction and the way the air vents
  • Periodically check your fan for signs of aging or corrosion. Sometimes the protective coating gives, and water can seep into the fan's components. This can be a fire hazard and cause the fan to stop working. 

FAQs

Q: Who makes the best outdoor ceiling fan?

Reputable brands make the best outdoor ceiling fans with established histories of producing high-quality products that are built to last. Some of the more well-known brands include Craftmade, Minka-Aire, Kicher, Hunter Fans, Honeywell, and Harbor Breeze. 

Q: Are ceiling fans in style?

Ceiling fans will never go out of style because they’re functional. They range in price from affordable to luxury, making them accessible to people with a broad budget range. There’s no better solution that’s also affordable. 

Q: Are outdoor ceiling fans worth it?

Yes! It’s definitely worth buying an outdoor ceiling fan. It’ll increase your outdoor living space’s comfort level, making you more likely to use it. It can also add light to the area, making it safer and more functional during nighttime hours. 

Q: Do outdoor ceiling fans keep bugs away?

While outdoor ceiling fans don’t repel bugs and prevent them from coming around, they do move the air enough to disrupt their flying ability. This can cause them to fly off course or get sucked away in the force of the air, limiting the amount that is in your space.

Final Thoughts

The Westinghouse Lighting Brentford Fan is an elegant fan that can spin at three speeds and in reverse. Its durable build and nice size make it a smart choice. An affordable alternative is the Honeywell Palm Island Tropical Ceiling Fan with its quiet motor, three colors, and four-speed options.