Indoor vs Outdoor Ceiling Fans: What You Need To Know

Indoor vs Outdoor Ceiling Fans

What could be better than sitting outside on your front porch swing, sipping ice tea, and watching the world go by? It’s a perfect setting for the beautiful spring days when the days are still perfect enough to enjoy it, and all you need is a gentle, cool breeze to keep you enjoying for hours.

To prolong those days add an outdoor ceiling fan to your porch to keep those cool breezes blowing, even when the temperatures start to increase as summertime creeps into view.

Adding a ceiling fan to your outdoor porch can be a fun project. But don’t make the mistake of thinking its as easy as picking up the first ceiling fan you find, assuming it will work for your situation. There are differences between indoor and outdoor fans. Make sure you choose the right one for the job.

What’s The Difference?

While your first line of action may be to find a fan that matches your décor, there is more to it to ensure it meets all of your goals.

Ceiling fans come with three ratings, dry, damp and wet.

Dry ratings are designed for indoor use only. They cannot be exposed to any moisture. They should never be used in outdoor conditions, or in a room where they will meet with moisture at any time. You’ll typically find dry rated ceiling fans in bedrooms, living rooms, dining rooms or foyers.

Damp ratings are ideal for areas that have indirect exposure to moisture, water, rain or snow. They can handle moisture and dampness on occasion. They are great at keeping the air moving, circulating to keep you cool. You’ll find damp rated ceiling fans in bathrooms, carports, covered patios, screened porches, and kitchens.

Wet ratings can handle all kinds of weather, from intense rain to harsh, salty ocean breezes. This fan is used to beat the heat all summer long. You’ll find wet rated ceiling fans in verandas, lanais, gazebos, pergolas and exposed decks.

What Happens If You Use The Wrong One?

Dry rated fans are indoor fans. The blades are typically made with quality furniture grade wood. They usually have more electronic features and control options.

Wet or damp rated fans are built with the outdoors in mind. Blades are made from special plastics and are known as all-weather blades. They are built with galvanized steel and powder-coated paint finishes that stop corrosion and rust. The motor is encased and sealed for water protection.

If you place an indoor model outside, you’ll quickly see the difference. The hardware can rust and create a potential fire hazard. Blades can warp or melt due to heat and moisture problems. You’ll find rust throughout.

Bottom line, water and exposed electrical elements never work together. That’s why the ratings were initiated in the first place.

What is the right rating for your next ceiling fan project?

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