Indoor vs Outdoor Ceiling Fans: What Type Do You Need?

Indoor vs Outdoor Ceiling Fans: What Type Do You Need?

Thinking of installing a ceiling fan in the balcony or your nice little patio? Make sure you understand the difference between various types of ceiling fans. Not all ceiling fans are made the same, and there are fans specially made for use in outdoor environments, where they remain exposed to harsh weather conditions. Choosing the right type of fan for your intended use prolongs its life, cuts down on costs, and reduces the risk of any untoward incident.

Just like your average car can’t perform the same way off road and you need big bad SUVs to climb up steep mountains, there are different fans designed to work in different environments. While they all might look the same from outside, they have different construction inside. Fans made for the outdoor environment are specially designed to withstand harsh environment.

Indoor Fans

These are your typical ceiling fans that you find in most homes. Indoor fans are the most common type of ceiling fans. As the name suggests, these fans are meant to be used indoors only. These fans are not designed to withstand long term exposure to moisture and water that can be very common in an outdoor environment. Indoor fans are generally cheaper than their outdoor counterparts.

While there are some very sturdy indoor ceiling fans available in the market, it is still strictly not recommended to use an indoor fan in an outdoor environment.

Outdoor Fans

If you are looking to install a fan in open places like balconies, you should buy a fan made specifically for exterior use. Outdoor ceiling fans are specially designed to withstand the attack of various elements present out there. They are further classified into two broad categories based on their moisture ratings – Damp rated fans and Wet rated fans.

Damp Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Damp rated ceiling fans are designed for use in outdoor conditions where the fan is installed under a roof or some other kind of shading. These fans cannot withstand water falling on them directly, as might happen during rains, if there is no overhead roof present. However, they can withstand damp environments with high moisture levels and mist that may be blown into them during heavy storms.

For outdoor installations, this is the type you will need in most cases. Damp rated ceiling fans are also available with hand carved wooden blades, treated with protective sealants to make them weather proof.

Wet Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Wet rated ceiling fans are a notch above damp rated fans in terms of how weather proof they are. These fans can be installed anywhere. Unlike damp rated fans, the wet rated fans are designed to withstand direct water downpour. So even if there is rain falling directly on the fan, it will not be affected.

Wet rated outdoor ceiling fans have better sealed components and are designed to keep water away from the internal components and windings. However the electrician making the installation must make sure water doesn’t enter the area housing the connections with the power mains and funnel down into the fan body. Wet rated fans generally come with special ABS plastic blades that are weatherproof and are not deformed by the sun’s heat.

Unlike damp rated fans, wet rated fans do not have an extensive selection available as the requirement of withstanding direct water contact limits the choice of materials.

While the wet rated outdoor ceilings fans have better weather proofing overall, there is no reason to believe that a wet rated fan will last longer than damp rated fans when used at outdoor places with overhead roof.

In Conclusion

We can’t stress more how important it is to choose the right kind of fan for the given environment it will work in. You now know the differences between different ceiling fan types and the fact that all might look the same, but they can be more different than you think.

Always remember that indoor fans are to be used indoors only. Do not put your and your family’s life in danger by using indoor fans in outdoor environments. There will be no problems initially but it can be a time bomb in the making. Your average indoor ceiling fan might work outdoor for months before suddenly developing dangerous short circuits or in the worst case a fire hazard. What goes in inside an outdoor ceiling fan is very different from indoor fans, and thus you should never make the mistake of thinking them to be the same.

Categories: Home Decor

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