Choosing the best ceiling fans whether outdoor ceiling fan or indoor for your home is not easier than the fan you have installed in your living room but our buying guide will show you how the high-performance models align features to brace the outdoor elements. Outdoor ceiling fans have become very durable – they can withstand moisture, have durable hardware, and are perfect for your style and outdoor area be it a patio or deck. You can also explore other fan options in our best fans guide.
The best thing about outdoor ceiling fans is that they do not take up space. This is similar to ventilation fans. They contribute to outdoor comfort without being intrusive. It allows you not just rely on an air conditioner as it can do a great job saving on operation and energy costs. Another fan that is great for improving your indoor air quality is described in our best misting fan guide.
After extensive research on over 46 outdoor ceiling fans and consulting three home industry experts, we’ve selected the trustworthy Hunter 59135 Key Biscayne as our favorite pick. We understand that the rustic style is not everyone’s taste, but you got to give it to this fan to tick the right boxes. It has airflow and air flow capacity, weatherized blades, and a sealed housing for damp areas.
Its powerful air movement is whisper-quiet to ensure it does not get in the way of a silent evening enjoying the sunset.
We like that it includes a light and it can be configured in three different positions. Whether you have a standard, low, or angled ceiling, it will install with no hassle.
Outdoor Ceiling Fan Brands & Market Growth
The charming ambiance of a ceiling fan is undeniable in any living space. And for outdoor spaces, fans are more popular than air conditioners. Outdoor ceiling fans with lights are the second largest product in lighting taking a market share of over 20% in 2016.
By the year 2022, outdoor ceiling fans will reach a volume of over 70 million units growing at a rate of around 2% CAGR. Top brands to watch include the Hunter Fan Company, Emerson, Monte Carlo, Honeywell, and Casablanca Fans Company. They offer ceiling fans in different designs like frosted glass, hand-crafted blades, silent blade movement, and affordable choices.
Top Rated and Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans –
#1 Hunter 59135 Key Biscayne Porch Patio Heater
Award: Best for Covered Patios, Decks
- Design: 5/5
- Airflow: 4/5
- Versatility: 5/5
- Outdoor Performance: 4/5
- Reversible motor for reversible airflow movements
- Rust-resistant due to an application of an antistatic agent
- Does not produce any sound
- Comes with a beautiful light
- Includes stainless steel hardware
- Allows mounting in three different positions
- It does not come with a remote
- Light cover has to be taken off to access the reverse light switch
- Blades must be installed the right way to not interfere with the light housing
Worry about an empty wine bottle but not a hot drink sitting on your porch. This ceiling fan reminisces the beach with some maritime-looking fan blades that give you a rustic vibe. Just like other Hunter Sea Air ceiling fans this too can withstand moisture, so no worries about condensation drip if you live in high humidity areas.
This fan combines ultra-quiet performance and a reversible motor to give you an all-year performance, making it one of the best-rated Hunter Ceiling fans. The only feature we don’t like is that its bulbs are rated for 14 watts only. Whether it’s CFL or LED you can’t go above that, lest you risk starting a fire. You might also like the best modern ceiling fan.
Another option worth looking at is the Hunter 53125 Bridgeport ETL Damp Listed Ceiling Fan.
#2 Emerson Ceiling Fan CF152WW Curva Sky
Award: Best Wet Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fan
- Design: 4/5
- Airflow: 3/5
- Versatility: 5/5
- Outdoor Performance: 5/5
- High-quality construction with a wet rating
- Flush mount installation for low ceilings
- Fan comes with a six-speed remote control
- It includes a no-light plate
- Durable die-cast hanging ball
- Quiet, reversible performance
- The light fixture is stuck at 50W per light bulb
- LED lighting is not dimmable on this model
- The receiver is not wet-rated
- No pull chain
Outfitted with aesthetically appealing parts, Emerson Ceiling Fan with LED light is our recommendation for people looking for flush mount ceiling fans. Its blade and electrical components are all weatherized, meaning you get to enjoy fresh air on the hot summer days and warm air in the cold of winter.
For covered screens, porches, or gazebos, you can use the remote, but an exposed setting needs hardwiring of this fan because the receiver for the remote is not wet-rated. Otherwise, this is a good low-profile fan for people with low ceilings, easy peasy when installing a ceiling fan. Another option is to use one of the best tower fans to cool a room.
#3 Harbor Breeze Twin Breeze li:
Award: Best Design for Large Spaces
- Design: 5/5
- Airflow: 4/5
- Versatility: 4/5
- Outdoor Performance: 4/5
- Reversible motor for all-year use
- Weatherized reversible blades
- Integrates two bulb lights
- Has a higher bulb watt rating at 120 watts
- Ideal for large outdoor spaces
- It does not have a universal light bulb base
- Lacks a remote controller
- Changing its configuration with a longer down rod mount is challenging
Nothing beats the style and output performance of a double ceiling fan. For all those with large patios and not interested in buying two fans, grab the Harbor Breeze Twin Breeze li. This ceiling fan comes with a reversible AC motor with three speeds and equals the efficiency of other much more expensive fans thus saving you money.
Its elegant design befits the contemporary home with traditional accents. This ceiling fan comes with a lifetime warranty, the more reason to get it if you don’t plan on upgrading it after a few years. For what it’s worth, we would expect better customer service since some models may come with a damaged part or two during transport. We consider these factors and more when choosing the best fans. Do you want to learn more about another high-velocity fan that will keep you comfortable on your patio? Open our best outdoor floor fans guide.
#4 Monte Carlo 3MAVR60BK Maverick
Award: Best High-End Outdoor Ceiling Fan
Why we chose it.
- Design: 4/5
- Airflow: 4/5
- Versatility: 3/5
- Outdoor Performance: 3/5
- It is energy star rated
- Ideal for indoor and outdoor use
- Available in three blade spans; all for large patios
- Can work with Alexa in conjunction with a Bond Hub
- It has handcrafted blades
- It is not wet-rated for the price
- It does not have a light kit
- There’s no way to attach any form of light fixture
Nothing, not even the weather should keep you from enjoying your deck, or screened porch and gazebo. Monte Carlo has created their most elegant outdoor ceiling fans with features that play the part. It boasts a handcrafted design that speaks of its upscale price, and is rated for damp conditions which means it’s ideal for a covered patio.
What you get is a thoughtfully made fan that also features a remote for controls, such that you can install it as high up as you want without looking for a ladder to switch it on and off. The lack of a light bulb isn’t exactly a bad thing because it would have ruined its aesthetics.
You won’t however, receive a wall switch if you want to hardwire it. If you want to cool off a more personal-sized space, check out the best USB fan.
#5 Honeywell Duvall Tropical Ceiling Fan
Award: Best for Wet Areas
- Design: 4/5
- Airflow: 3/5
- Versatility: 3/5
- Outdoor Performance: 4/5
- Quality wicker bronze blades
- Ceiling fan features energy-efficient DC motor
- It has four speeds on pull switch
- Simple to install using ‘quick to hang’ technology
- The reversible function is easy to activate
- Does not come with a light kit
- Remote is sold separately
- Complaints about poor packaging
Sweating profusely and tired of pushing a hefty air conditioner? Turn to the oil-rubbed bronze-colored Honeywell Duvall outdoor ceiling fan. From high airflow to saving you energy costs, it is the perfect addition to your porch. You don’t need to bother with expensive electricians to install it. With quick-to-hang technology, it is a breeze to get it up and running. You will love this 52inch indoor outdoor ceiling fan from Honeywell!
Only two colors are available for this fan, and the oil-rubbed bronze model is way more expensive than the white one.
Another model that just missed our list was the 52″ Casa Delta-Wing Modern Outdoor Ceiling Fan. The Casa Delta-Wing features three blades, all sporting an oil-rubbed bronze finishing.
How to Choose Your Type of Outdoor Ceiling Fan – Buying Guide
Damp and Wet Rating – indoor ceiling fans vs Outdoor Ceiling Fans
- The difference between indoor fans and outdoor ceiling fans is that indoor fans including wall mount fans will get damaged when exposed to wet conditions since they are not “weatherproof”. The best ceiling fans for outdoor purposes should either be damp or wet-rated ceiling fans that boast a weatherproof construction suitable for wet weather conditions. That’s why you need a ceiling fan with a damp or wet rating, depending on whether you have a covered patio. An Underwriter Laboratories (UL Listed) rating means that the fan can be exposed to moisture or come in direct contact with water without getting damaged or risking fire from the electrical components. If you are looking for a fan you can expose to water damp-rated ceiling fans that won’t work for you, buy a wet-rated ceiling fan.
Fan Blade Span
- The size of the fans gives you a good idea of how large a space the fan can cool. For large spaces above 300sqft, you will need a fan not smaller than 52 inches to circulate cool air. Anything too small is probably just a great desk fan. For spaces up to 100sqft, you will want to invest in a fan size no bigger than 36 inches, and for 100sft to 300sqft, a fan size up to 42 inches is ideal.
- But size is not everything because you also need to look at the design and quality of the blades.
- Choosing an energy-efficient product will definitely save you money on your utility bills. If you’re not sure where to start, look for ceiling fans that are energy star-certified. An ENERGY STAR certification guarantees the model will deliver cutting-edge energy efficiency. A top-rated energy-efficient ceiling fan in 2020 was the HAIKU. The Haiku relies on integrated sensors to adjust the fan’s speed depending on several factors, including your presence and changes in humidity or temperature. These adjustments conserve energy while keeping you comfortable year-round.
Choose your Style
- Be sure to choose a fan that complements your outdoor locations. You will find modern ceiling fans, contemporary, industrial, traditional, coastal, rustic, and combination styles in fan designs. Design is not just important inside your home (aka interior design) but also outdoors. The last thing you want is a fan that looks as if it’s going to walk away any minute because of being out of place.
- Go for solid colors that contrast the color of the ceiling, like a bronze finish. They are easy to blend in with most outdoor furniture and are versatile just like recessed lighting. They are available in a wide range of colors from brushed nickel to weathered zinc. Blades are also available in a wide range of colors including, flat white, roman bronze, brushed steel, matte black, and rubberized white plastic blades. If you take pride in both exterior and interior design, the style of your fan should be a top priority.
- Decide beforehand whether you want your ceiling fan to be fitted with a light fixture. If you would prefer a model “with lights” be sure to choose an option that comes with a universal light bulb base (if possible). Plus, consider the type of light, whether it’s an incandescent light or LED. LED lights will tend to last significantly longer than an incandescent light which is important if the fan is difficult to reach.
- And remember to set yours correctly If you are a DIY enthusiast, here’s how to install an outdoor fan.
Fan Clearing and Finding an Ideal Location
- Ceiling fans have standard requirements though it may vary if you have a high ceiling. Ideally, it should be 1ft from the ceiling, 7ft from the floor and the blades should be 2ft. from the nearest wall. If you want to install the fan closer to one end of your patio, it’s good to go with a big one so that it can circulate enough air to reach the other end.
- Also, if you have partitions in an outdoor space, it’s better to install two fans instead of one.
- Besides ETL damp listing or wet rating, you should also look for weatherized blades made of ABS plastic or galvanized rust-proof metal. Your outdoor fan should also come with a waterproof seal for its electrical components. Most ceiling fans are made of metal that has a powder coating. The best outdoor ceiling fans should have waterproof powder coating or other stain and rust-resistant coating to enhance the durability of the fan, and also make it easier for you to maintain and clean it. Finally, don’t forget to check the price and customer service of the brand.
Top Questions About Outdoor Ceiling Fans Answered
Indoor fans are dry-rated and are not wet-rated fans. They are specifically used where they won’t be exposed to moisture such as in the living room, lounge, or bedroom. But some fine outdoor floor fans are either damp or wet rated for wet locations or damp locations application. They have partial or fully sealed housing where they can be installed in either covered or open spaces.
As we said, you should never expose a damp-rated outdoor ceiling fan to rain, snow, and salt air.
Yes. One handheld remote control can be used with as many as eight fans. But it is a long process to sync all of them, so we usually recommend using one remote for two fans. You will need to sync the frequency on the remote and the fans to control both fans with one remote using the needed fan accessories. Make sure you have the lighting and remote control unit manual.
No. Unless the manufacturer states otherwise, it is safe to assume that your remote is not wet or damp listed. They never are, and you don’t want to risk a damaged remote because of one occasion of leaving it outside.
Well, AC motor fans use alternating current as opposed to direct current in DC fans. The difference is that AC is more common than DC and AC fans can be controlled by wall controls, remote controls, and pull cords.
On the other hand, DC motor fans are only remote-controlled and typically don’t offer a wall control unit option, but they have more wind speed options than AC fans. DC motors also tend to be quieter than AC motor ceiling fans. And, when it comes to energy efficiency, DC fans are rated to be 70% more energy-efficient than AC motor fans, since the DC motor gives the fan a higher running efficiency. It could be why DC fans are more expensive than AC fans. However, more and more people are becoming fans of DC motors over AC motors, citing their lower operating costs.
When selecting the best ceiling fans for a home, we tend to think that the more blades on modern ceiling fans, the more air it can move. But it’s not as simple as that. For one, the CFM, blade pitch, and power determine airflow performance. Opting for a fan that packs great wind power is perfect for when temperatures are high.
If you have two 3-blade fans and one has a 12-degree pitch and a less powered motor while the other has a 15-degree pitch with a high-powered motor, the second fan will move more air.
It’s important to look at the CFM rating of a fan rather than the number of blades before you buy an outdoor fan.
The short answer. Yes. Depending on the manufacturer ceiling fans can be integrated with your smart home and other devices. The Modern Forms Vox 5 Blade LED Smart Ceiling Fan, for instance, is packed full of smart-home features, including Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, Samsung SmartThings, and Ecobee. If you prefer a handheld remote over a wall control unit, opt for a smart compatible ceiling fan. You’ll be able to control the fan via an App on your phone and using voice controls which is a step up from using a basic handheld remote.
Yes. Depending on the model, ceiling fans can be fitted to an existing light switch (with the option to add a handheld remote if desired).
To determine the size of the ceiling fan you need, you must first measure the square footage of your patio or outdoor area. To do this measure the length of the area and multiply it by the width. This will give you the square footage of your outdoor area which correlates to the size of the fan. For instance, if the square footage is let’s say 144, then you will need a fan of 36 to 44-inch diameter blades.
Yes. But, typically ceiling fans are made from iron, aluminum, plastic, or a combination of two or more (aka composite material). Using composite material makes the blades more durable, especially in humid conditions where natural materials may droop or begin to sag. We also recommend avoiding plastic models. Although lightweight cost-efficient and built for different environments, the main issue with plastic models is that they can become easily damaged depending on the wear and tear placed on them over a year or two.
Ceiling fans cool you down by essentially creating a breeze that is directly related to the speed (aka wind speed) they can operate at. For outdoor fans, the wind speed is critically important and fans with a wind speed of at least 3.5 to 4 MPH are recommended. In simple terms, the faster the air moves, the cooler you will feel. Wind Speed should not be confused with the amount of airflow measured in CFM (cubic feet per minute) that is published by fan manufacturers.
It’s impossible to tell the performance of a fan simply by looking at it. For outdoor fans, a lot goes into determining the best in a pool of hundreds of well-rated ceiling fans. The most crucial factors include the damp or wet rating, blade quality, energy efficiency, CFM, and aesthetics. After all, you want to be complimented for your excellent taste by choosing something that suits your style. Finally, don’t forget to double-check the length of the power cord. For outdoor patio areas, an 8-foot power cord should be sufficient. Grab any of these and enjoy the benefits of an outdoor ceiling fan.