Ceiling fans are not typically associated with the outdoors, so it is understandable if you scoff at the idea of installing an outdoor ceiling fan. But before you dismiss the idea altogether, consider this first: do you not want to spend a fine summer evening lounging on your patio, front deck, or veranda, maybe while sipping a cold drink? If you do, then an outdoor ceiling fan might just be the thing you need.
It goes without saying that using an air conditioning unit to lower the temperature of an open space is ineffective and wasteful in terms of electric consumption. To cool down open spaces, the trick is not to lower the temperature but to generate air movement. Creating a gentle breeze allows hot air to rise and cool air to be pushed down, thereby directing hot air away from my skin.
Given the benefits of installing an outdoor ceiling fan, especially during warmer days, it is time to ask the crucial question: how do you decide which outdoor ceiling fan to purchase? Here are some guidelines.
Can you install an indoor ceiling fan outdoors?
Before we discuss the factors you should take into consideration before purchasing an outdoor ceiling fan, let us first discuss a common inquiry among homeowners: whether indoor ceiling fans can be installed outdoors. The short answer is no for practical reasons.
For one, indoor ceiling fans are simply not designed to withstand outdoor elements. Indoor ceiling fans are typically dry-rated and even the slightest moisture can damage the fixture. In addition, installing a dry-rated ceiling fan at a place where it may regularly come into contact with moisture can lead to a short circuit, causing the burning of the fixture and its immediate surroundings, the melting of the blades, or the plain rusting of the ceiling fan. Installing an indoor ceiling fan outside is a waste of money and can even lead to potentially dangerous situations.
What factors should you consider when buying an outdoor ceiling fan?
If after considering the things above, you have resolved that an outdoor ceiling fan is just the thing you need, then it is important to know what to look for when making your purchase. Here are the factors you should bear in mind when choosing an outdoor ceiling fan:
- Environmental conditions. There are different types of outdoor ceiling fans, each one catering to specific conditions. For example, if you are installing the outdoor ceiling fan in a covered place where it may be subjected to moisture but will not really get wet, then a damp-rated outdoor fan should be sufficient. On the other hand, if the fan is likely to be splashed with water every so often, then it is better to invest in a wet-rated fan. Finally, if you are living by the beach, then you should opt for a coastal ceiling fan. This type of outdoor fan is specifically built for coastal areas and are less likely to rust. Regardless of the type of outdoor ceiling fan you might decide to buy, it is important to look for one made with rust-resistant materials such as stainless steel and plastic. And since outdoor fans are exposed to the elements, it is important to find something durable.
- Air flow. The next thing you have to consider is your preferred level of air flow. This will depend on the environmental conditions in your area, the size of the place where you will be installing the outdoor ceiling fan, as well as your level of comfort. If you are looking for a gentle breeze, then most outdoor ceiling fans will meet your specification. However, if you are looking for something more powerful, then you might need to look into larger or even industrial-grade fans. If you are living in a place where the temperature tends to fluctuate over the year, then you would want a fan with various settings. Most outdoor ceiling fans only have three speed settings, but many brands offer up to six speed setting, allowing the user more flexibility when it comes to controlling the air flow. Take note, however, that when it comes to air flow, size does not necessarily translate to power. Smaller fans may have higher speed settings as compared to larger fans. The only difference is that larger fans will be able to cover a bigger area at a time.
- Another important consideration when buying an outdoor ceiling fan is the size. As previously mentioned, the size of the ceiling fan will affect the area it can cover at a time. Also, bear in mind that the size of the ceiling fan should be relative to the space. If you have a relatively small patio, then you would not want to install an industrial-sized fan or you will crowd out the space. Aesthetic is also a factor consider when determining the size of the fan you will purchase. If you are trying to keep your space stream-lined or minimalist, then you would not want to install a large, eye-catching fan. On the flipside, if your style is leaning towards industrial, then a large fan that packs a lot of power will serve you and your décor well.
- Fixtures are not only practical, but they can also be used to enhance the overall look of a given space. That said, when choosing an outdoor ceiling fan, you might also want to consider the overlook of the area where it will be installed. Outdoor ceiling fans nowadays are available in a whole range of styles, color, and finish, so you definitely do not have to worry about having limited choices. All you need is a clear vision of how you want your space to look.
- Finally, the most crucial factor is your budget. To avoid overspending, determine your budget before shopping for an outdoor ceiling fan. Outdoor fans are available in a whole range of price points, although certain features might be compromised in more affordable options. The trick is to determine what features are essential for your use so you know which ones you are willing to forego in case you need to find a cheaper alternative.