Buy The Best Ceiling Fan For Your Outdoor Area

out ceiling fan

There are two main types of ceiling fans made for the outdoors with UL approval that is rated for outside: Damp Locations and Wet Locations depending on installation. Check your local building safety codes for correct type required.

  • Wet UL rated outdoor ceiling fans are for outdoor locations that is directly exposed to rain or water. This includes uncovered areas, partially covered areas or covered areas where rain (or water from sprinklers) can blow onto the fan.
  • Damp UL rated outdoor ceiling fans are for all other areas that is covered or not directly exposed to rain.

A wet rated fan can be installed in a damp location, but a damp rated fan cannot be used in a wet location. Both damp and wet rated ceiling fans can be installed indoors, but indoor ceiling fans cannot be installed outdoors because they are not properly sealed for the weather and can short out creating a potential fire hazard. Additional reading can be found here about the differences of outdoor and indoor fans.

Best outdoor ceiling fans are not only rated for the weather, but are well constructed for durability and requires less maintenance. Choose a wet rated ceiling fan because they can be used indoors and outdoors and are designed to handle excess moisture and harsh elements such as UV radiation and fluctuations in temperature.

SaleBestseller No. 1
Honeywell Palm Island 52-Inch Tropical Ceiling Fan, Five Palm Leaf Blades, Indoor/Outdoor, Damp…
  • QUALITY DESIGN: Features a bronze finish and 5 ETL damp rated, palm leaf fan…
  • EASY CONTROLS: Traditional pull chains included for easy “on and off”…
  • QUIET REVERSIBLE MOTOR: Conveniently quiet, 4 speed, reversible motor that can…
Bestseller No. 2
Honeywell Belmar 52-Inch Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan, Five Damp Rated Fan Blades, Bronze
  • QUALITY DESIGN: Features a bronze finish and 5 ETL damp rated fan blades….
  • EASY CONTROLS: Traditional pull chains included for easy “on and off”…
  • QUIET REVERSIBLE MOTOR: Conveniently quiet, 3 speed, reversible motor that can…

Installation areas for a Wet Rated Fan

  • A patio, porch or other outdoor living area with a lattice or screened covering…or no covering at all.
  • A pergola or partially covered Gazebo.
  • A narrow porch or lanai where the fan is close enough to the edge for rain to blow on it.
  • Any indoor or outdoor location close to the ocean.

Installation spots for a Damp Rated Fan

  • A covered patio or wide porch where rain cannot reach the fan.
  • Screened in porch or sunroom.
  • A Gazebo that is completely covered and rain cannot reach the fan.
  • Any covered area over a pool (indoor or outdoor).
  • Bathrooms that have a tub or shower.
  • Small enclosed laundry rooms.

Tip: you can “hose off” a WET rated outdoor ceiling fan to clean it. Even the best outdoor fans can get dirty rather quickly, so being able to hose it off can be a true blessing. Keep this in mind when deciding which type to buy.

Environmental Concerns

Salt Air

  • Choose wet rated ceiling fans for both indoor and outdoor areas that are exposed to salt air.
  • Fans that have powder coated finishes will hold up the best to salt air, as apposed to those with polished metal surfaces.
  • Darker more rustic finishes will do best. Even if they do begin to show signs of rust over the years, it will only add more character to the finish.
  • If you must choose a white or off-white fan, most of the more expensive models (over $250) will have a special UV coating that helps prevent yellowing and flaking.
  • If you prefer a metallic finish, the higher quality (more expensive) models that are wet rated will do best, although you can expect some signs of rust over the years regardless of the quality.
  • Avoid cheaper brands sold at home centers because they simply will not hold up in salt air, even if they are wet rated.
  • Any of the wet rated fans shown to the right will be appropriate if you live near the ocean.


Outdoor ceiling fans typically require higher airflow. Ceiling fans cool you off by creating a wind-chill effect by moving air across your skin. Air temperature does not change though.