How to Choose an Outdoor Ceiling Fan

Outdoor patio area of a residential home with furniture, ceiling fan, and white French doors.

Although many homes have indoor ceiling fans, it may not be as common to see outdoor ceiling fans. However, if you have a covered patio area with an overhang or an added structure like a pergola, you could add an outdoor ceiling fan to increase airflow on hot days.

In addition to providing a cool breeze, outdoor fans can also serve as a deterrent to bugs. The increased airflow will also make it harder for flying insects to move freely on your patio.

What To Look for In an Outdoor Ceiling Fan

Before you order a ceiling fan, you’ll need to know how to select the right fan for your patio area, which is harder than you might think. Here are some of the questions you need to answer before you make a final decision:

Can I Run an Indoor Ceiling Fan on My Patio?

First and foremost, you can’t just run any fan on a patio. Wet-rated ceiling fans are required for outdoor installations because they have additional safety measures in place for things such as rain and moisture caused by humidity. Electricity and water don’t mix, so having improper electrical fixtures outside can lead to problems for you and your home.

What Size Ceiling Fan for Outdoor Patios?

Ceiling fans are sized according to the diameter of the circle formed by the spinning fan, also referred to as the blade sweep. Ceiling fans are usually rated based on the square footage of the space they will occupy.

Start by identifying the size of your space, or at least as close as you can get to defining the space. For example, if your patio extends beyond your covering, only measure what is covered, not the full patio area.

Once you’ve established the square footage of your patio area, you’ll be able to identify the blade sweep required:

  1. 0 to 75 square feet: 29-36”

  1. 75-144 square feet: 36-42”

  1. 144-225 square feet: 44”

  1. 225-400 square feet: 50-54”

Outdoor Ceiling Fan Styles

The selection of outdoor ceiling fans is as diverse as indoor fans. Choosing the right style of fan can help complete your outdoor living space. For example, you could have a beach-inspired leaf-shaped fan installed above your poolside patio. Or go with a metal industrial-style fan for a clean and modern look. You can extend your farmhouse kitchen aesthetic to your outdoor dining area with a whitewashed fan. There’s an outdoor ceiling fan style perfect for every home.

Can a Ceiling Fan Be Too Big for A Patio?

Yes, it can be. If your fan is too big, it can make your space seem smaller than it is or even interfere with the available headroom. A fan too large for the space can also create a strong downdraft, making barbecues and outdoor card games unpleasant.

Related Topic: Everything You Need to Know About Ceiling Fans

Need Help Adding Ceiling Fans to Your Outdoor Space?

Adding ceiling fans to your outdoor living space can be a gamechanger, especially during the warmer months of the year. If you want to install a ceiling fan or two but aren’t sure where to start, your local Mr. Electric can help. We will access your current setup, upgrade or install new wiring (if needed), and install a fan that’s perfect for your space. To get started call (844) 866-1367 or schedule an appointment online today.