Difference Between Indoor & Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Indoor and outdoor fans are designed for different operating environments.

Here's the Spin

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You can use an outdoor fan indoors, but never use an indoor fan outside. Fans acceptable for outdoor use are UL-rated as wet or damp, with wet fans designed for uncovered patios and areas where the fan will be exposed to water. Damp fans are meant for sheltered outdoor spaces where water will not flow or blow into them as well as bathrooms, laundry rooms and other high-humidity indoor areas.

For safe operation, ceiling fans used outdoors require waterproof or water-resistant shielding around wiring and other electrical components. Stainless steel hardware prevents rust and special plastics keep fan blades from warping in humidity and heat. Outdoor blades are given an ultraviolet-resistant coating to prevent fading in sunlight and must withstand wind, salt air and temperature extremes depending on where they are located. Outdoor fans typically generate a higher amount of airflow than indoor units. This allows them to repel small flying insects and ensures that you feel the breeze they create, even in an open outdoor setting.

About the Author

Writing professionally since 2008, Michelle Miley specializes in home and garden topics but frequently pens career, style and marketing pieces. Her essays have been used on college entrance exams and she has more than 4,000 publishing credits. She holds an Associate of Applied Science in accounting, having graduated summa cum laude.