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The 5 Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Staying cool on the warmest of days can be tough, but the best outdoor ceiling fans have the damp or wet rating you need while providing enough airflow to keep your space cool, whether that's a small porch or larger backyard patio. Plus, as an added bonus: The moving air keeps bugs away, too. Here are a few tips before you shop.

Outdoor ceiling fans should have an Underwriters Laboratory seal (UL) damp or wet rating. A wet rating is a fan that can withstand the elements outdoors, with features like weather-resistant blades, housing and motors that can hold up against moisture and rust, and durable stainless steel hardware. A ceiling fan with a damp rating works for covered patios or porches where it won’t be directly exposed to rain or snow.

A fan’s airflow is measured by cubic feet per minute (CFM), and ceiling fans with higher CFMs can move more air. So how much CFM do you need? It’s helpful to know that the CFM required to cool an outdoor setting should be three to four times the total area. A CFM of around 5,000 to 6,000 is considered efficient airflow. All of these fall at least within that range, with one ultra-powerful pick delivering more than 8,000 CFMs.

Convenient features on a ceiling fan can include a remote control, multiple speed settings, and lights (ideally your ceiling fan comes with a light kit.) A clearing of 8 to 9 feet from above the floor is standard for installing a ceiling fan; downrods allow for simple height adjustments of a ceiling fan — and all of the picks below come with an included downrod.

Outdoor ceiling fans come in all kinds of styles to match your decor, and some have reversible blades with a different finish on each side.

A standard fan size is 52 inches, though smaller or larger fans may be more suitable for coverage of your space. You’ll see four or five blades on most ceiling fans; fewer blades can move air more efficiently with a more noticeable cooling effect, while more blades tend to function more quietly.

With all this in mind, below are the best outdoor ceiling fans to keep you cool.

In a hurry? These are the best outdoor ceiling fans:

UL Rating: Wet

The best wet-rated ceiling fan is designed to handle wet weather, so it can keep you cool even in exposed outdoor settings, like a pergola or gazebo. The classic oil-rubbed bronze finish fits right in with most decor, but you can also choose from other finishes.

Reviewers report the three-speed fan is pleasantly quiet and stable when it runs. The 52-inch fan has five blades and up to 5,967 CFM. It comes with a downrod, and it can be adapted with a light fixture and remote control.

A helpful review: “Five stars. I really wanted an outside fan and this one is. It is sealed and wet area ready.”

Blade size: 52 inches | CFM: 5,967 | Remote control included: Yes

UL Rating: Damp

If you'd prefer an outdoor ceiling fan with lights, this modern pick has a frosted LED light and comes in a sleek matte black finish or white. The 52-inch fan has a damp rating and a CFM of 5,568 on the highest of three speeds. It comes in two finishes: white and matte black.

A downrod is included with the option for an angled mount if you have a sloped ceiling. Plus, this fan's four blades are reversible for easily updating the look with ebony or aged cedar finishes.

A helpful review: “We purchased the outdoor fans due to indoor fans were not holding up outside - LOVE THESE fans - they look good and it has been very windy for three days in a row and they are holding up wonderful. I am very happy with these fans.”

Blade size: 52 inches | CFM: 5,568 | Remote control included: Yes

UL Rating: Damp

This large outdoor ceiling fan just looks powerful with its long brushed nickel blades spanning 72 inches, but it backs it up with an impressive 8,014 CFM.

This damp-rated fan has three blades for cooling down covered patio areas, and it functions with wall control or the included remote. This pick has four speeds and includes a downrod. One reviewer commented that the installation is easy and it works quietly.

A helpful review: “This is a very large fan. It is super quiet and puts out the perfect amount of air.”

Blade size: 72 inches | CFM: 8,014 | Remote control included: Yes

UL Rating: Damp

This outdoor ceiling fan with remote control is damp-rated for cooling covered patios and porches. With three speeds, the fan's 5,627 CFM is “strong enough to blow your hair” and cooling enough for brutally hot Texan summers, a reviewer commented. Its remote control includes an on-off light operation and the option to reverse the direction of the blades.

This 60-inch fan with three blades has an oil-rubbed bronze finish that suits most decor, and it comes with a downrod. Though the manufacturer says this fan's not made for humid climates or areas with salt water exposure ⁠— probably because of its metal blades ⁠— a couple reviewers from perpetually humid Florida report they love this outdoor fan. The fan doesn't come with a light, but another reviewer commented they easily attached one. You would just need to purchase a compatible light kit.

A helpful review: “To survive Florida summers, air movement is imperative. Not only to keep you cool, the also to keep the bugs at Bay. These fans get it done on both fronts. Easy to install and made if metal to last.”

Blade size: 60 inches | CFM: 5,627 | Remote control included: Yes

UL Rating: Damp

This highly rated tropical ceiling fan instantly adds personality to any patio or porch space. Its oval wicker blades are wet-rated while the motor housing is damp-rated, so it's still best for covered outdoor areas but will better withstand humidity and moisture than some other similar fans.

Four speeds on this fan go up to 5,022 CFM and the five-blade fan comes with a downrod. You can choose from an oil-rubbed bronze finish or white. Reviewers report successfully adding lights and remote units to this 52-inch fan.

A helpful review: “I bought two of these for our covered deck. Look very nice, are very quiet, and they put off a good amount of air. Easy for my very talented neighbor to install. Glad we selected these!”

Blade size: 52 inches | CFM: 5,022 | Remote control included: No

This article was originally published on July 19, 2020