The great outdoors can be an escape from everyday demands. But that escape is anything but relaxing on days when the air feels heavy and still, which is why outdoor fans are a godsend. The best outdoor fan — whether it’s a ceiling fan for your porch, an adjustable wall-mounted fan, or a smaller standing unit — has the weather-resistant build and desired airflow for your location.
Damp or Wet Ratings
Outdoor fans can be categorized as either “damp” or “wet” rated, depending on the amount of moisture they can withstand. Damp rated fans can handle a decent amount of humidity but won’t stand up in a downpour. They’re made for areas like covered patios or screened-in porches where they might get a little misty in a thunderstorm but stay relatively protected from the elements. Wet rated fans, as you might expect, will be built for exposed outdoor use. They can be installed on open decks or verandas that experience direct rain or snow.
Materials & Safety
Some fan models can still be built for outdoor use but don't come with designated damp/wet rating. In that case, look for materials like galvanized stainless steel and weather-resistant protective coatings, plus a sealed motor to completely encase the motor’s machinery. Safety features like leak detection and GFCI plugs will provide additional layers of protection from electric shock.
Airflow For Your Space
One final consideration is airflow. Airflow is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM), and a higher number corresponds to a stronger breeze. Semi-enclosed spaces don’t need as much power to feel cool, but open plans require fans with a stronger output since there aren’t walls to contain the breeze. And, since individual preferences vary, knowing what the CFM is can help you narrow down on the outdoor fan that’s right for you and your space.
Keep scrolling for the best outdoor fans that will bring a breath of fresh air to every type of outdoor setting.
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