Even the best fans can struggle with direct contact with rain in outdoor spaces. If you install an outdoor ceiling fan, it should stand up to direct exposure to water, especially in wet locations with heavy rains. For example, damp-rated fans are great for open-air decks with mild moisture levels. Wet-rated fans are specifically designed to withstand direct exposure to water, making them suitable for outdoor areas that can be directly exposed to rain, snow, or other water sources. Before making your final decision, read this guide to damp-rated vs wet-rated fans.
- Damp-rated fans are best for covered outdoor locations like covered decks, porches, and carports.
- Wet-rated fans feature durable materials that withstand harsh outdoor conditions and intense storms.
- Wet-rated models will work in damp locations, but you should not install dry or damp-rated fans in wet conditions.
Do not invest in a wet-rated fan unless you have an uncovered outdoor space needing air circulation.
Once you know what size fan for an outdoor patio you need, you can learn what fan works best for a damp location.
What’s the Difference Between a Damp-Rated and Wet-Rated Ceiling Fan?
There is a wide variety of indoor vs outdoor fans, like a ceiling fan vs a standing fan, but they aren’t entirely interchangeable. While a wet-rated stylish model will work inside, an indoor ceiling fan cannot stand up to direct contact with water.
While indoor and outdoor models share some features, like a three-speed pull chain and a reverse switch, since you should be changing your fan direction for winter vs. summer, there are some key differences, especially regarding water resistance. For example, top-rated misting fans produce a light mist, putting them in direct contact with water. This would also be the case if you went the DIY route and make a misting fan yourself.
Since outdoor ceiling fans deal with exposure to moisture, a damp rating is acceptable, but a wet-rated model is better. A wet-rated outdoor ceiling fan is best if your setup allows for direct water contact. Wet-rated fixtures feature advanced seals and all-weather blades designed to withstand a wet environment.
Wet-rated fan manufacturers use durable materials that withstand heavy rain, wind, and storms. That doesn’t make them unattractive units, though; you can still acquire stylish fan blade designs similar to dry-rated fans. You can only place damp-rated models in mostly dry locations, such as covered porches or carports.
A ceiling fan installation is expensive regardless of which type of fan you choose. Whether dry or wet-rated, an exterior ceiling fan requires special steps to insulate the motor housing and light fixtures from water. Additional seals and covers protect the essential elements and electrical currents from flooding.
STAT: A 2020 US EIA (Energy Information Agency) survey showed that 72% of American households use a ceiling fan. (source)