Difference between Indoor and Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Image of pool side lounge with outdoor ceiling fans

Choosing Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Sitting and enjoying the outdoors is the best part of summer, but not if you’re stifling in the heat. Putting a ceiling fan in your porch, verandah, sunroom or deck is a great way to keep your cool when you’re enjoying lunch, cocktails, tea or some quiet reading time in your outdoor room.

Benefits of an Outdoor Ceiling Fan

Add a fashionable element. Outdoor ceiling fans come in every style and color imaginable. Whether you want to make a dramatic statement or add a cozy touch, you can find the right fan.
Keep your cool. Enjoy your outdoor areas on sunny mornings and warm evenings. A fan will keep you comfortable while you’re on your porch or patio.
Keep bugs away. The breeze of a fan helps keep mosquitoes and other bugs away from your outdoor area.

Before you install your fan, make sure it’s rated for the environment where you plan to use it. You can use regular indoor fans in rooms that are well-protected from the elements, for instance, an enclosed sunroom or a shed. You shouldn’t use one in any area that gets exposed to dampness.

Choose the Right Fan

A regular indoor fan won’t work in an outdoor area. It’s not made to withstand wetness and bad weather. Your lovely indoor fan will soon rot, grow mold and disintegrate.

How Do Outdoor Ceiling Fans Differ from Indoor Ceiling Fans?

When you shop for a ceiling fan, look for its weather rating. There are three. Using this simple grading system makes it easy to buy the right fan for your needs.

  • Dry-rated. You should only use dry-rated fans indoors. Their blades and wiring are not water-resistant. You can use dry-rated fans in almost any indoor room. Don’t install them in bathrooms, kitchens or damp basements.
  • Damp-rated. Damp-rated fans are ideal for rooms that get some moisture. You should use damp-rated fans in your kitchen, bathrooms, laundry room, covered garage or outdoor shed. These fans won’t rot or bend out of shape in damp conditions.
  • Wet-rated. Manufacturers typically make these fans of durable, weather-resistant materials. They can tolerate all kinds of weather extremes. Wet-rated fans have rust-resistant materials including heavy-duty plastic, vinyl, and stainless steel. They have all-weather blades and will work through rain, snow, salt water, and wind.

You can use wet-rated fans in open outdoor areas that get exposure to all kinds of weather. You can use them in any outdoor area such as a deck, porch, balcony or gazebo. A wet-rated fan is ideal for a beach house.

Installing Your Outdoor Ceiling Fan

Start your installation by planning where you will place your fan. If the ceiling has exposed rafters, you can install the fan directly into a rafter. If your porch or balcony has a ceiling, use a saw to drill a hole in the ceiling. The hole should be large enough to hold the ceiling fan brace and the electrical box.

  1. Turn the power off before you begin the installation.
  2. Use wires rated for outdoor use.
  3. Install the fan blades before you hook the fan onto the support brace.

Call SESCOS for Expert Help

At SESCOS, we’re more than an electrical services company. We’re also your friendly neighborhood electrician. We’re available to handle your ceiling fan installations to help you add style and comfort to your outdoor space. Call us today for help with your ceiling fans and all your electrical needs.

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