When you think of ceiling fans, you most likely think of indoor fans used to cool bedrooms and living areas. However, there’s no reason fans can’t be used outdoors on your covered porch, deck, or patio as well. In fact, installing ceiling fans outside can increase your enjoyment of your outdoor spaces, especially when the temperature sources.
If you aren’t sure if you need to install a fan outdoors, consider these four key benefits of doing so.
Why You Need an Outdoor Ceiling Fan
As you might expect, the biggest reason to install a ceiling fan in your outdoor space is to help control the temperature. Although fans themselves don’t actually cool the air, they create a breeze to circulate air, which can make it feel cooler. On a sweltering day, the airflow created by a fan can make it bearable to sit outdoors.
That doesn’t mean fans are useless in cooler weather, though. Changing the direction of the blades to push air downwards can actually help keep a space a bit warmer. If you enjoy sitting outdoors around the firepit or outdoor fireplace, a ceiling fan can help circulate the warm air, keeping you from getting chilled. Ultimately, installing a fan can extend your enjoyment of your outside space regardless of the season.
Do mosquitoes and other flying insects make it impossible to enjoy your outdoor living space? When insects are buzzing around your head while you’re relaxing with a good book or dining with your family, they can be annoying enough to drive you back indoors. Nothing ruins a nice evening outside faster than bug bites, and a ceiling fan can help solve the problem.
Outdoor fans help keep bugs away in two ways. First, they create a breeze that can blow swarms of flies or mosquitoes away from where you’re sitting. It’s harder for these pests to fly through the wind created by the fan, so you can focus on eating or socializing and not swatting flies.
Fans also make it less likely for biting insects to even find you and start snacking. Humans give off carbon dioxide, which alerts insects to a food source nearby. Using a fan helps disperse the Co2, which prevents the bugs from finding and biting you — no insect repellant required.
Adequate lighting is a must for outdoor living. Not only does having enough light make it more pleasant to eat and socialize when the sun goes down, but it’s an important safety consideration.
Designing outdoor lighting relies on the same principles as indoor lighting. That is, you should incorporate ambient, task, and accent lighting to ensure that the space is well lit, safe, and functional. A ceiling fan with light helps fulfill the ambient light requirement. Depending on the type of light you install, you can adjust a ceiling fan light to different levels depending on the mood, from bright lights for dining to dimmer, more atmospheric lighting while you hang out with the family. Even if it’s the only light in the space, a fan and light allow you to use the space later into the evening than you might otherwise, making your space more functional.
As more homeowners add patios and decks to extend the livable space of their homes, they are also becoming more reminiscent of indoor spaces with furniture, decor, and features commonly found indoors, like full kitchens and televisions. Installing a ceiling fan adds to the ambience of the space. With virtually limitless styles of fans to choose from, it’s easy to find one that helps create the setting and atmosphere you want for your space.
How to Choose an Outdoor Ceiling Fan
When selecting an outdoor fan, your primary consideration should be that it’s designed for outdoor use. There are three types of ceiling fans: Dry-rated, which should only be used indoors, damp-rated, which can be used outdoors only when not directly exposed to water, and wet rated, which can handle exposure to the elements. If you are using the fan on a covered porch or patio, for example, a damp-rated fan will work. If you have a pergola or an outdoor space that gets wet when it rains, a wet rated fan is a must.
In addition, you should consider the size of the space. The larger the space, the wider the blade span should be; you may consider installing multiple fans if you have separate spaces for cooking, dining, and relaxing. Aim to hang the fan so the blades are 7-9 feet from the floor so you can actually feel the breeze.
Installing a ceiling fan outdoors can improve the space and make it more livable. It may be just what your patio needs to be the center of your home.