Looking for the best outdoor ceiling fans? Well, look no further. We looked at dozens of ceiling fans to provide you with the best ceiling fans rated for outdoor use. We also suggest checking out our buyer’s guide which covers everything you need to know about buying a fan. We cover indoor/outdoor ratings, AC vs DC motors, downrods, and a whole lot more. We hope you enjoy!

  • Airflow: 5670 CFM Airflow quantifies the amount of air a ceiling fan delivers and is measured in CFM which stands for cubic feet per minute. CFM measurements are taken when a fan is on high speed, then that number is divided by the watts used. This means that the higher the CFM, the more efficient the fan, and the more air it moves.
  • Windspeed: 3.28 MPH Wind speed from a ceiling fan is sort of the same as the breeze between the two buildings that created the wind tunnel effect. To feel the more powerful wind speed you will need to be directly underneath the ceiling fan, or at least very nearby and not far from the tips of the fan blades.
  • 3 blades, 6 speed DC Motor
  • Controlled by Bond Wi-Fi.
  • No light fixtures

The Minka Aire 52′ Simple Ceiling fan is a fantastic for both indoor and outdoor use. It is built out of high quality parts that can outlast even the toughest weather. The fan carries a WET rating so you can sleep easy knowing it will be fine when exposed to the rain.

It doesn’t come standard with a light fixture, but you may certainly opt to add one on through your purchase. You can add other accesories, like a 6′ downrod or extra controls for operation. The Minka Aire 52’ Simple Ceiling fan comes with three blades in brown color and oil rubbed bronze.

You can also control or operate your Minka Aire 52’ Simple Ceiling Fan with a Bond Wi-Fi controller with Amazon Alexa or Google assistant. That makes everything easier and lets you stay seated while controlling the fan. The blades are made of plastic and colored in medium maple. They can thrive in every kind of weather.

Minka Aire is a renowned group company that produces high-quality modern ceiling fans at affordable prices. Their products are made with an emphasis on simplicity and fashion.

  • Airflow: 7074 CFM Airflow quantifies the amount of air a ceiling fan delivers and is measured in CFM which stands for cubic feet per minute. CFM measurements are taken when a fan is on high speed, then that number is divided by the watts used. This means that the higher the CFM, the more efficient the fan, and the more air it moves.
  • Windspeed: 3.83 MPH Wind speed from a ceiling fan is sort of the same as the breeze between the two buildings that created the wind tunnel effect. To feel the more powerful wind speed you will need to be directly underneath the ceiling fan, or at least very nearby and not far from the tips of the fan blades.
  • 3 Blades, 6 Speed AC Motor
  • Rated for indoor & outdoor use
  • Includes Reverse function

The modern forms aviator 54″ Ceiling Fan is a multipurpose ceiling that works efficiently in all weather. It comes with distressed Koa colored ABS, all-weather blades, eco-friendly and durable.

It is a high-quality creation of modern forms fan company that combines a vintage appearance with modern functions. The modern forms aviator 54″ ceiling fan has a high breeze rating with 5 out of 5 quality ratings. It can be customized with led lights and a downrod.

This wonderful ceiling fan was created for both indoor and outdoor use. It was designed with flawless functions that run smoothly and silently with less electricity. If you are looking for a ceiling fan model that uses less electricity, this is an excellent option.

The Modern Forms Fan company designed this ceiling model to outshine other types with smart Wi-Fi controls, F-WC-WT Full Function RF Wall Control and reverse functions. They are known to come up with beautiful designs with a high-quality rating and efficiency.

  • Airflow: 6056 CFM Airflow quantifies the amount of air a ceiling fan delivers and is measured in CFM which stands for cubic feet per minute. CFM measurements are taken when a fan is on high speed, then that number is divided by the watts used. This means that the higher the CFM, the more efficient the fan, and the more air it moves.
  • Windspeed: 3.28 MPH Wind speed from a ceiling fan is sort of the same as the breeze between the two buildings that created the wind tunnel effect. To feel the more powerful wind speed you will need to be directly underneath the ceiling fan, or at least very nearby and not far from the tips of the fan blades.
  • 3 blades, 6 speed DC Motor
  • Reverse Function
  • Remote control

The Concept III LED Coal Ceiling Fan is an award-winning product by Minka Aire featuring a simple and elegant design. It comes in a black coal color, well-structured with matching ABS UV protected plastic blades. It is strong, durable and has all-weather blades with 14-degree blade pitch and 54″ blade span. It comes with a WET outdoor rating so it can be exposed to rain and still work perfectly.

It has three blades with a high breeze rating (4 out of 5), high-quality rating (5 out of 5), 6 speed, and reverse function. It comes with a LED light featuring 3000k color temperature. The ceiling fan can be controlled manually with the RC1000 full function handheld remote control or wall control sold separately.

Minka Aire is perhaps the market leader of ceiling fans. Their indoor and outdoor ceiling fans are very high quality and built to last.

 

  • Airflow: 4.51 MPH Airflow quantifies the amount of air a ceiling fan delivers and is measured in CFM which stands for cubic feet per minute. CFM measurements are taken when a fan is on high speed, then that number is divided by the watts used. This means that the higher the CFM, the more efficient the fan, and the more air it moves.
  • Windspeed: Not specified Wind speed from a ceiling fan is sort of the same as the breeze between the two buildings that created the wind tunnel effect. To feel the more powerful wind speed you will need to be directly underneath the ceiling fan, or at least very nearby and not far from the tips of the fan blades.
  • 6 blades, 7 speed DC Motor
  • High-quality rating
  • Curved blade degree & pitch

The Big Ass Fans 72″ i6 outdoor ceiling fan comes in white and is designed with strong and durable materials. It doesn’t come with any light fixture, but there is room to add a light fixture or any other accessories such as a downrod.

The ceiling fan comes with 6 different blades of equal size coated in white color. These blades have a larger margin than usual ceiling fans and rated for both indoor and outdoor use. It is WET rated, meaning it can be exposed to rain and still work just fine – a must for any outdoor fan that isn’t covered fully by a ceiling. The DC motor keeps it running quietly, and at a cheaper energy cost that any average AC motor.

Big Ass Fan Company is an award-winning establishment whose products are provided based on two factors- design and functionality. They make use of modern-day technology to design top-rated ceiling fan products.

  • Airflow: 8385 CFM Airflow quantifies the amount of air a ceiling fan delivers and is measured in CFM which stands for cubic feet per minute. CFM measurements are taken when a fan is on high speed, then that number is divided by the watts used. This means that the higher the CFM, the more efficient the fan, and the more air it moves.
  • Windspeed: 4.53 MPH Wind speed from a ceiling fan is sort of the same as the breeze between the two buildings that created the wind tunnel effect. To feel the more powerful wind speed you will need to be directly underneath the ceiling fan, or at least very nearby and not far from the tips of the fan blades.
  • 5 blades, 6 speed DC Motor
  • Wet rated
  • 14-degree blade pitch

The Minka Aire Cone Led Ceiling Fan is a beautiful and outdoor friendly ceiling fan. It offers a sophisticated appearance, well-structured, and designed with the most appropriate materials in the most appropriate style. It boasts a WET outdoor rating. Thus, it can be exposed to direct rain and will still function smoothly.

It comes in white with five different blades designed to run smoothly and quietly at a high performance. It will also keep your energy bill down with its energy efficient DC motor. The ceiling fan comes with an integrated dimmable LED light feature, which makes it suitable for outdoor use.

Minka Aire is one of the leading ceiling brands across the world. They build modern 21st century designed ceiling fans that consistently rank among the best.

  • Airflow: 5670 CFM Airflow quantifies the amount of air a ceiling fan delivers and is measured in CFM which stands for cubic feet per minute. CFM measurements are taken when a fan is on high speed, then that number is divided by the watts used. This means that the higher the CFM, the more efficient the fan, and the more air it moves.
  • Windspeed: 3.28 MPH Wind speed from a ceiling fan is sort of the same as the breeze between the two buildings that created the wind tunnel effect. To feel the more powerful wind speed you will need to be directly underneath the ceiling fan, or at least very nearby and not far from the tips of the fan blades.
  • 3 blades, 6 speed DC Motor
  • Minimalistic Design
  • Handheld Remote Control

The Minka Aire 52″ Simple Ceiling fan features a simple, sleek and elegant design portraying a classic appearance. It is well-structured with a whitish finish. It comes with three blades at a 14-degree blade pitch, and a 52” blade span. The Minka Aire 52″ Simple Ceiling fan is rated for outdoor and indoor use. It has a WET outdoor rating so you can safely expose it to rain and it will work just fine.

It works quietly and efficiently, which makes it suitable for resting or while working. The Minka Aire 52″ Simple Ceiling fan also comes with a super-efficient DC Motor to save you money off of your AC bill. It also ranks above most ceiling fans in quality and breeze ratingThis wonderful piece of work can be customized with an Led light, extra long downrod, smart controls, and other accessories.

  • Airflow: 7929 CFM Airflow quantifies the amount of air a ceiling fan delivers and is measured in CFM which stands for cubic feet per minute. CFM measurements are taken when a fan is on high speed, then that number is divided by the watts used. This means that the higher the CFM, the more efficient the fan, and the more air it moves.
  • Windspeed: 3.57 MPH Wind speed from a ceiling fan is sort of the same as the breeze between the two buildings that created the wind tunnel effect. To feel the more powerful wind speed you will need to be directly underneath the ceiling fan, or at least very nearby and not far from the tips of the fan blades.
  • 5 blades, 6 speed DC Motor
  • LED-Wall Control
  • Compatible with Light fixtures

The Emerson 60″ Carrera Grande Ceiling fan features a sleek and minimalistic design with short-sized fan blades. It is an indoor/outdoor fan with a damp rating. Meaning, it can be outside but is not meant for direct exposure to the rain.

If you are looking for a ceiling fan that’s strong, durable, and economical, this is a great option for you. With a 6 speed, DC motor, it operates silently and efficiently, saving you some money on energy bills. At top speed, it hits up to 150 revolutions per minute. It comes with a 4.5″ downrod and a 16″ blade pitch.

It is designed by Emerson Fan Company, a reputable award-winning company with over 100 years of experience. They provide ceiling fans with incredible airflow and high efficiency.

  • Airflow: 7160 CFM Airflow quantifies the amount of air a ceiling fan delivers and is measured in CFM which stands for cubic feet per minute. CFM measurements are taken when a fan is on high speed, then that number is divided by the watts used. This means that the higher the CFM, the more efficient the fan, and the more air it moves.
  • Windspeed: 3.23 MPH Wind speed from a ceiling fan is sort of the same as the breeze between the two buildings that created the wind tunnel effect. To feel the more powerful wind speed you will need to be directly underneath the ceiling fan, or at least very nearby and not far from the tips of the fan blades.
  • 5 blades, 6 speed DC Motor
  • 13-degree blade pitch
  • Contemporary style

The Modern Forms Wynd 60″ Ceiling fan is a wonderful piece of art. It combines traditional style and  modern-day technology. It is an excellent fan that can spruce up in outdoor area.

The outdoor ceiling fan is an efficient smart ceiling fan that comes in 316 marine-grade stainless steel. This accounts for its tensile strength, workability, and durability. It has the ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. It comes with an integrated LED light feature, allowing you to keep the fan going on those warm nights outside.

The Bluetooth smart controls offer convenience, allowing you to operate it from the comfort of your seat. You can also get this model with smart-fan technology so that you can operate it with the power of your voice through a smart home device.

  • Airflow: 6573 CFM Airflow quantifies the amount of air a ceiling fan delivers and is measured in CFM which stands for cubic feet per minute. CFM measurements are taken when a fan is on high speed, then that number is divided by the watts used. This means that the higher the CFM, the more efficient the fan, and the more air it moves.
  • Windspeed: 3.8 MPH Wind speed from a ceiling fan is sort of the same as the breeze between the two buildings that created the wind tunnel effect. To feel the more powerful wind speed you will need to be directly underneath the ceiling fan, or at least very nearby and not far from the tips of the fan blades.
  • 3 blades, 3 speed AC Motor
  • Handheld remote control
  • LED light available

Here is a lovely ceiling fan design brought to you by Matthews Fan Company. It comes in three blades well-structured, and crafted in 316 marine grade bronze stainless steel. It features a sleek, simple, and elegant design rated for indoor and outdoor use.

The Matthews Atlas Donaire 316 Marine Grade Ceiling fan consists of an integrated dimmable LED light feature with blades made of ABS Plastic. Its blades can thrive in any type of weather condition- winter or summer. It features a 14-degree blade pitch and a 52” blade span with a bronze glossy white finish.

The Matthews Atlas Donaire 316 Marine Grade Ceiling fan is made of stainless steel, which is one of the strongest materials in the world. It can be controlled using a 3-speed handheld remote control. It is a highly rated ceiling with incredible breeze rating, quality rating, airflow, and efficiency.

It was designed by Matthews Fan Company, made in South America, and assembled in the USA. They provide top-rated ceiling fans with varying designs.

  • Airflow: 7782 CFM Airflow quantifies the amount of air a ceiling fan delivers and is measured in CFM which stands for cubic feet per minute. CFM measurements are taken when a fan is on high speed, then that number is divided by the watts used. This means that the higher the CFM, the more efficient the fan, and the more air it moves.
  • Windspeed: 3.96 MPH Wind speed from a ceiling fan is sort of the same as the breeze between the two buildings that created the wind tunnel effect. To feel the more powerful wind speed you will need to be directly underneath the ceiling fan, or at least very nearby and not far from the tips of the fan blades.
  • 3 blades, 3 speed AC Motor
  • Fanimation Xeno Wet Ceiling
  • Remote Control feature.

The Fanimation Xeno Wet Ceiling fan comes in a dark bronze color with three different blades. It doesn’t take too much space and works quietly and efficiently.

The Fanimation Xeno Wet Ceiling fan is a simple ceiling fan with a sleek appearance, contributing to the beauty of your interior décor. It is an excellent choice for outdoor use. With a WET rating, it can be exposed to the rain and still function just fine.

This fan has a windspeed of 3.96 MPH and a 7782 CFM airflow rating – both above average when ranked among all fans. The AC motor has 3 speeds, topping out at 186 RPM (revolutions per minute). Due to the AC motor, it can be a bit noisier and less energy efficient. We recommend DC motors if you are looking for quieter and energy efficient fans. A 4.5″ downrod is also included.

As an affiliate partner, we may earn from qualifying purchases made on these products.

A Ceiling Fan Buyer’s Guide: Everything To Know When Buying Outdoor Ceiling Fans.

We have a deep love for ceiling fans and live to help others understand these products as well as we do. That is why we took the time to write a ceiling fan buyers’ guide.

Buying outdoor ceiling fans for the first time can be overwhelming. There are many options for fans and each fan has different styles, sizes, functionality, blades, and installation steps.

Fortunately for you, we have distilled all of the key variables down into an accessible and digestible guide. You can read this guide if you want an in-depth understanding of ceiling fans or you can skim it if you only want to better understand certain aspects of the fan itself. 

This includes how to select a fan to buy, the types and angles of a fan’s blades, the pros and cons of the AC and DC motors that power fans, and how to install the fan on your ceiling. If you follow this guide you can be confident that you are making a well informed buying decision.

How outdoor ceiling fans obtain their climate rating and why you must know this rating before buying an outdoor fan.

Outdoor ceiling fans need to be made of weatherproof plastic or metal blades that can withstand different moisture, sun, and rain conditions. Many outdoor fans are made of stainless steel hardware to resist rust.

Specifically, all outdoor ceiling fans have a “climate” rating label to indicate that they are fully functional outside. If you are placing your fan outside, you need a climate rating of “damp” or “wet”

Fans are set to one of three climate ratings: dry, damp, or wet. Dry-rated fans can only be used in a dry place, whereas damp-rated fans can be used in damp or dry areas, and wet-rated fans can be used in dry, damp, or wet areas – effectively almost anywhere.

Damp and wet rated ceiling fans means that the fans can withstand sun and high humidity. Damp rapted fans are great for sub-tropical environments. 

Wet fans are even tougher. They are built to withstand the elements, including rain and snow. 

Generally damp rated fans are the most expensive because the premium finishes are water resistant and enable you to place the fan anywhere.

Outdoor fans are similar to indoor fans but have special electrical, paint, and durability properties

We know all things ceiling fans and want to pass on our learnings and insights to help you. 

Most importantly, we know that once you evaluate, select, and install a ceiling fan it will likely remain in place for many years to come. That is because ceiling fans can be heavy, expensive, and labor intensive to install. 

A central air conditioning system consumes 3 kiloWatts, which is about 36 cents per hour. Running a fan only runs at 30 Watts, equivalent to only a cent per hour. 

This makes fans affordable and energy efficient alternatives that many people love as they are good for you, your wallet, and the environment.

Take the time to do research now before buying because the switching costs of changing your mind can be high.

Go through this evaluation check-list so that you better understand the types of motors, blades, installation units, and fans that exist. We encourage you to optimize for:

  1. Overall quality: in particular the speed of the motor to optimize for cooling efficacy and quietness.
  2. Aesthetics: in particular ensure that you are happy with how the fan looks, its color, shape, design, and blade count.
  3. Size: select the right size fan for your outdoor space. Larger spaces require larger fans to create strong air flow.

Placing a fan outside

Most ceiling fans are used within the home. Others are for outdoor structures. Before deciding which type of fan to buy, determine where you will place it. 

Understanding the placement of a ceiling fan will help you select other attributes – like size, speed, and sound – that will enhance your experience with the fan.

Outdoor fans require different electrical strategies and water-proof finishes. Please keep this mind throughout the guide as we largely focus our attention and advice to those people who want to install indoor fans.

Also you need to know if the fan will be covered partially or entirely. A fan placed on a porch, for example, will not be subject to direct sun exposure if the porch is covered by an overhang. A fan on a porch is still subject to wetness and moisture.

If placing the ceiling fan outdoors, measure the size of the space the fan will go.

Knowing the approximate size of the area in which the fan will be placed is important. 

Larger fans are best suited to larger outdoor areas as their blades and motors move greater volumes of air. This will provide particular benefits for outdoor dining, reading, and relaxing if you want to keep the space cool to enjoy.

Even though your fan is going outside, here is a handy and quick reference guide for fan size by room size. Some outdoor ceiling fans are placed in outdoor rooms – like patios or in barns.

Ceiling Fan Size Chart

Room (in feet) Cubic Feet/Minute Fan Size
6′ x 6′ 3,000 – 4,500 Shop: 24″ to 36″
10′ x 10′ 4,000 – 5,500 Shop: 37″ to 48″
12′ x 12′ 6,200 – 7,500 Shop: 49″ to 56″
15′ x 15′ 7,000 – 9,000 Shop: 60″ to 72″
Larger 9,000 – 11,000 Shop: 80″ to 99″

The length of the blade of the fan and the size of the room go hand in hand.

In short, if you have a large room, buy a larger fan. The bigger the fan the better for generating enhanced air flow.

The common sizes for ceiling fans are 36, 44 and 52 inches, with the largest having a blade wingspan of 60 inches. 

On average, outdoor fans tend to be larger and you can see some fans with wingspans of up to 99 inches. This is 8.25 feet. 

If you are going to buy a fan this large make sure that your outdoor structure and ceiling can support it.

Measure the height of the ceiling and allow at least 7 feet and 6 inches of space.

It is wise and safe to place your fan at least 7 feet above your flooring. 

Placing a ceiling fan high up protects tall individuals from hitting their head or having their hair caught while the fan is in motion. Fans need to be installed on ceilings and these installation bases take space as well. 

An installation base is adjoined to a downrod, which is a simple piece of metal that the fan is connected to and hangs from. 

The average American ceiling height today is 9 feet (2.7432 meters). This means that the average room can support a fan but with a shorter downrod. 

If you have average sized ceilings you can afford to install no more than 1 foot and 6 inch downrods.

Outdoor spaces tend to have higher ceilings than indoors because building codes for outdoor structures generally allows the home owner or builder greater flexibility. Ensure that you have easy access to outdoor electrical outlets to run and power your fan.

How to measure downrods and base mounts

A ceiling fan is composed of fan blades, a downrod, and an installation base. 

The installation base attaches to the ceiling. The downrod connects to the base. And the fan itself hangs from the downrod.

Per the measurements mentioned above, the fan must be at least 7 feet and 6 inches above the ground if you have a standard 9 foot ceiling.  

Many people enjoy selecting the fit and finish of the downrod as these pieces of metal or plastic come in different colors, shapes, and sizes and compliment the overall fan’s aesthetic.

As a general rule, more expensive ceiling fans enable you to have longer and more customizable downrods. The downdrods tend to be longer – between 6 and 18 inches.

This is for functionality and aesthetics. Cheaper ceiling fans sometimes have very short – or almost nonexistent downrods – because the base and the fan are fused together.

Design and Look: What to Think About the fan’s general aesthetics

A hugely important aspect of a ceiling fan is what it looks like. If you see the fan while engaging in outdoor dining you might view it differently than if you are using cool air on a porch that is heavily trafficked.

The base and downrod are not nearly as important as the blades for how a fan looks in a room. 

Blades come in different cuts, lengths, seizes, finishes, colors and of course quantities. 

How many blades should an outdoor ceiling fan have?

At a minimum, a ceiling fan will have two blades though four or five are certainly more common. 

A two blade fan can be made of one long piece of metal connected at the mid-point or two distinct blades.

One type of ceiling fan, called a windmill fan, can have upwards of 20 blades packed tightly together. These fans tend to be less common for outdoor usage because they are more delicate.

Blades add functionality and impact the air flow.

When you look at a fan that is turned on, the blades are hard to see. When the fan is stationary, however, the design and color of the blades will need to align with your preferences for style and decor. 

Fans with four to six blades produce a lower pitch, softer volume noise output. Three blade fans use the air surrounding the fan most efficiently and require the least effort to clean as you have fewer blades and surface area to collect dust. 

The color, material, and quantity of the blades impact how the fan looks and performs. 

Outdoor fans need to be water and moisture resistant. Even if they won’t encounter direct sunlight or rain, an outdoor ceiling fan can benefit from more durable paint finishes. Lucky for you, all outdoor fans have these durable finishes by default.

Another subtle variable is at play too: the angles of those blades. If the blades are too flat, they won’t whisk through the air and create air flows. We highly advise blades with angles between 12 and 14 degrees. 

Nearly all of the fans we provide you here have angles in that range for optimal air circulation and air flow efficacy.

More than a fan: how a fan provides lighting, symmetry, and aesthetic benefits.

Some people buy ceiling fans simply to cool or heat a room or outdoor location. Others buy ceiling fans because they can be elegant and add character to the exterior of a home. Some fans have lights and others do not.

If you are going to place your fan outside, you likely want lighting included. This is because you can generate air flows and keep an area well lit simultaneously.

For this reason, adding lights to outdoor fans is popular. If you add lights you will want to also consider how easy it is to change the bulbs, especially if the fan is very high above your outdoor flooring.

LED, Halogen, and Fluorescent lighting options are available on all fans that have integrated lighting.

Control Your Environment: Noise and Air Flow

Fans without lights produce two types of energy outputs when they are on: noise and air-flow. Both will impact your experience with the fan. Fans with lights also produce illumination as an energy output.

Firstly, noise is a byproduct of any fan. The rotation of the blades and the motor can cause distinct sounds. Larger motors produce more power and, as a result, can generate more noise.

The good news is that noise can be mitigated. 

Motors that are built from higher quality and durable screws, armature, bearings, windings, and rotors are more expensive. 

Cheaper fans have motors that usually produce more noise as a byproduct. 

If you want a quieter fan, buy a more expensive one. You won’t regret it.

People tend to care less about noise when a fan is in a garage or garden or porch.

The second type of energy output is air-flow.

Fans can not only cool rooms, they can also heat outdoor space and reduce air moisture.

Fans do not lower air temperatures. They produce air flows and circulation which can in turn create the effect of a windchill. 

The wind chill temperature is how cold people feel. The air flow, which leads to evaporative cooling (deratification), is generated by the ceiling fan.  

If you are using a fan for general room cooling, you will want a fan that accelerates the heat loss from exposed skin. 

Put simply, you will want a fan that generates significant air-flows point downwards and towards the center of the room.

Air Flow Deep Dive: Cubic Feet per Minute

Air flow is the volume of air that is produced by the fan. 

The most common way to measure air flow is Cubic Feet per Minute (or CFM). 

All of the fans we review have a CFM rating so that you can easily compare how much air that each fan produces. 

The average CFM is around 5,000. 

For nearly all non-industrial use-cases, like your home bedroom, kitchen, living room, or garage, a CFM of 6,000-7,000 is optimal. 

At this rate you will be left feeling cooler without greatly enhancing your energy bill or having papers strewn all over the place from the powerful wind currents that larger fans produce.

You might also see a measurement similar to CFM which is air (or wind) Miles Per Hour. 

Much like measuring the speed at which one drives, a fan can have its air speed measured too. 

Nearly all fans produce between 3 and 5 Mile Per Hour air flows. Naturally, the higher the MPH, the stronger the air flows.

Controlling Your Fan and Your Energy Output for Efficiency

Mobile apps and the internet have changed how we communicate, manage, and control various technologies. 

Ceiling fans are no exception. 

Ceiling fans are well suited for management by a digital switch, remote, or mobile app because you can power the fans on or off (or even alter the speed) from afar. 

A connected fan is controlled via a remote control or smartphone. In contrast, less expensive and simpler fans are controlled via a manual switch.

Lastly, some ceiling fans are controlled by pull chains. Chains are popular with older outdoor ceiling fans because they are generally less “high tech”. Simply pull the chain and the fan goes on. Pull it again, and the fan is turned off.

While chains are usually made long enough for all users to reach them, please keep in mind that this can cause discomfort or annoyance on high ceilings or fans that need to be frequently turned on or off.

If you plan on installing your fan over 9 feet above the ground, you should buy a fan that can be controlled digitally.

All ceiling fans can create air-flows bi-direactionally. 

Usually a simple switch exists on the fan’s motor or external base that enables you to change the direction in which the blades rotate. 

Changing the directional air propulsion is critical during the winter months. 

Rather than have air convected from the center of the room for cooling, you will want air to move from the blades horizontally down through the walls. 

Lateral air-flow is used for heating rooms and maintaining central warmth while reducing your energy bill.

Choosing the right ceiling fan direction

How you control your fan is correlated with how much energy your fan uses. Will you leave it running all the time? Or will you use smart logic to power it down after a certain amount of time?

Outdoor fans are usually powered on only when someone is nearby to eat, read, or relax. As such, having a digitally controlled outdoor ceiling fan is less common. As is using the outdoor fan to heat an area.

What A Fan Looks Like To You and Others

This guide provides ample information pertaining to how a ceiling fan works and things you should be aware of before buying one or many fans for your home. 

What we have not discussed in great depth is how a fan looks and the importance of design aesthetics. 

A fan will need to fit aesthetically into your room and, as a result, you should think about material (wood, metal, plastic), color, and design patterns. Some questions to reflect on:

  • Is the outdoor area well lit or dark? Is it well lit or does it require lots of electrical light?

If your ceiling fan is going in an outdoor area without lighting, or access to natural light, you should have a fan with built-in lights.

  • Do you want a smart fan that connects with your digital applications and services (Google Home, Nest Apple Siri, Amazon Alexa)?

If you control other aspects of your home – the temperature and humidity – via smart apps, you might want to add a ceiling fan as another connected Internet of Things device. Likewise if you have high ceilings and plan to install a fan that you can’t easily reach by hand. Generally low tech is fine for outdoor fans because you will only run them when you are outside. This stands in contrast to indoor fans which you might want to turn on even when you are not home. 

Smart fans can be controlled via your phone, tablet, or voice, and these controls will make turning them on or off easier.

  • What color do you want the fan? What style finish do you want?

Sleek and minimalist fans have fewer blades. These fans, made of lightweight metal, have universal white, grey, or black finishes. Outdoor fans can be larger because outdoor space is usually more plentiful. Fewer blades means less wear and tear and general maintenance.

Where to buy an outdoor ceiling fan?

Ceiling fans are heavy and can be difficult to fit in a car or to transport yourself unless you have a large vehicle or flat-bed truck. Given this, it makes a lot of sense to have your fan shipped to you so that it arrives ready for home assembly.

You can self-install a ceiling fan. This work requires moderate technical skills and physical strength. This is because you will need to install not only the fan (the blades) but you will need to connect the fan’s base to the ceiling and its electrical fixture hardware and wiring.

How much do outdoor ceiling fans cost? What impacts the price of a fan?

Outdoor ceiling fans range in price from $175 on the cheap-end to over $2,000 on the high-end. There are several reasons why the range in price is so large.

A ceiling fan, made of plastic instead of more durable wood or metal, is cheaper.

Additionally, less expensive fans have weaker motors. This means that they are capable of producing less air flow or have smaller Cubic Feet per Minute scores.

More expensive fans are akin to those you would experience at a resort or high end hotel. A ceiling fan over $1,200 will likely come packed with high tech solutions built-in. 

These fans will enable you to:

  1. Program the fan based on motion, temperature, or humidity. 
  2. Turn the fan on or off based on preset logic or rules for maximum physical comfort. 
  3. Enjoy very efficient and quiet DC motors that have multi-decade support and lifetime expectations.

Moreover, these pricer fans come with app based (smart phone, iPad) mobile management and remote controls.

Remember that sans are set to one of three climate ratings: dry, damp, or wet. Dry-rated fans can only be used in a dry place, whereas damp-rated fans can be used in damp or dry areas, and wet-rated fans can be used in dry, damp, or wet areas – effectively almost anywhere.

Damp rated fans are the most expensive because the premium finishes are water resistant and enable you to place the fan anywhere.

It is common for expensive ceiling fans to come with mount options so that you can install a panel adjacent to your light switch. These wall mounts enable you to control not only the fan (on/off) but also the fan speed and direction. 

Cheaper fans do not come with these in depth level of controls or sophisticated management features. 

And that is ok. Simplicity might be what you crave. 

Cheaper fans cool rooms as well and can be easily turned on/off with pull chains.

Less expensive fans (in the $100-$300 price point) still come with energy-efficient dimmable lightbulbs.

AC vs DC fans: Understanding a fan’s power source

Most inexpensive fans leverage AC motors.

Although AC motors are more powerful than DC motors, they typically are less efficient and are not as good at using their energy output. 

This can cause additional noise (thereby making it harder to sleep if that fan is in your bedroom). 

When buying a fan, please take a moment to see the Power Source listed in the fan’s essential product information that all suppliers provide. If you buy a fan with an AC motor, it will be louder.

As a result, we highly advise buying a DC powered fan if you will be sleeping near it.

AC motors are durable and longer lasting. While this might seem positive, DC motors are better (and therefore more costly). 

DC motors are simpler to install into the fan’s base, have high startup power, and have a faster response time. 

This means that time will be shortened from when you switch the “on” button to when the fan is accelerating to cool your room.

Although more expensive, ceiling fans with DC motors consume 70% less power which will enable you to save money over time as you pay less to power them.

Where to place the ceiling fan: voltage and flush mounting

Many people place their outdoor ceiling fans in the center of a porch or green room.

This is to maximize comfort and the impact of the fan’s air flows.

A centrally placed ceiling fan also creates room symmetry.

Voltage is the pressure from an electrical circuit’s power, and the most common electrical outlet in any home is a 110 volt. If you live in the United States, you will need to select a fan that complies with this voltage limit. 

All off-the-shelf ceiling fans support this standard. 

When installing a ceiling fan you will need to get a few things absolutely right. We have done this many times for ourselves, our family, friends, and of course our clients.

Firstly, some ceiling fans support flush mount integrations. Flush mount fans sit directly against the ceiling and point downwards. These fans are typically useful for cooling a small room. 

Not all ceiling fans are flush mountable. 

This means that they will hang lower from the ceiling. If you buy a fan that cannot be flush mounted, please ensure that the lower point of the fan is at least 7 feet and six inches from the ground.

Additionally, ensure that the weight bearing load of the ceiling can support the fan. 

Similar to voltage, this should be routine in many homes. 

But it is worth investigating because you don’t want to buy a fan just to see it unable to stay upright. 

For most fans that we review and see our clients deploy, a ceiling must be able to support approximately 35 pounds of downward pressure.

Buyer’s Guide Summary: Bringing It All Together

Buying an outdoor ceiling fan for the first time does not need to be overwhelming.

Simply follow this guide to evaluate and buy the fan that fits best in your outdoor space and adds the most value in your life.

Don’t get bogged down in the details. If nothing else, pick a fan that looks great, fits well within your outdoor area, and that is priced according to your budget.