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 June 25, 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.
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.
- Three speeds
- Included down rods
- Not energy efficient
- No remote
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.
- Four speeds
- Quiet motor
- No remote
- No light
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.
- Three speeds
- AC motor
- Tropical feel
- Lacks airflow
- No remote
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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
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
- 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
- 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.
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.
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.