Ideal for generating a cool breeze on a patio or porch or to draw hot air up and away from a seating area, outdoor fans include a wide range of ceiling fans, pedestal and table fans, wall fans and tower fans. Just about any type of fan you would find indoors is available in a indoor outdoor model. Wet rated and built with an anti-corrosive coating, outdoor fans are designed to withstand air and/or water exposure. Outdoor fans should never be allowed to sit out in the rain despite their U.L. wet rating. However, their durable build makes them useful and safe for outdoor use.
Outdoor Fan Types
The basic types of outdoor fans include ceiling fans, portable fans and wall-mounted fans. Outdoor ceiling fans are perfect for use in patios, porches, gazebos or along breezeways. They are hardwired fixtures, so they are fixed installations. Portable outdoor fans include several varieties such as pedestal fans, tabletop fans and tower fans. Pedestal and table fans resemble those found inside except for their more durable construction. Tower outdoor fans feature internal oscillators and are designed to look like decorative posts, lamps or other garden accoutrements.
Both tower fans and ceiling fans, depending on the model, may come equipped with a light fixture, but they are available as fan-only units as well. Wall-mounted outdoor fans either oscillate or do not. Coming with a sturdy bracket, they are easily installed on a post, beam or to the side of the house.
Outdoor Fan Characteristics
Outdoor fans are meant for cooling and, in the case of ceiling fans, hot air removal. Outdoor ceiling fans are very good at pulling hot air up and out of a space in order to lower the temperature. This can be very effective on a hot, muggy day. Direct cooling fans push stirred up air towards you, cooling you off in the hot weather. Oscillating fans send a steady breeze over a wider arc, usually 85 degrees in scope. The bigger the fan blade and more powerful the motor, the more cubic feet per minute (CFM) the fan moves.
Outdoor fans are built with corrosion-resistant stainless steel or coated metal. Look for outdoor fans with a U.L. wet rating so you know the unit is designed to last outdoors. On ceiling fans, the blades may be constructed out of hard plastic, treated wood, canvas or some type of natural or synthetic fiber.
Makers of outdoor ceiling fans include Casablanca, Hunter, Minka Aire, Maxim Lighting, Vaxcel Lighting, Concord, Kichler, Westinghouse and Casa Vieja. Outdoor portable fans are sold by Deco Breeze, Fanimation, Honeywell, Lasko and Hunter among others. Gettington makes an outdoor wall-mounted unit. Outdoor fans come in stylish designs, whether modern or period. Ceiling fans are especially known for their unique and sometimes radical designs. Compare the different types of outdoor fans from the available brands to determine the type and style that best suits your needs.
Don't assume that any indoor fan may be brought outdoors. Outdoor fans are designed to cope with wind, water and sunlight and have a more durable build. While all outdoor fans may be brought indoors, the opposite is not true.