The Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans of 2023

Keep cool in your outdoor living space when one of these high-quality fans is overhead.

By Glenda Taylor and Jasmine Harding and Mark Wolfe | Updated Dec 5, 2022 10:24 AM

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The Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans Options

Photo: Debbie Wolfe

Quiet, unobtrusive, and energy efficient, ceiling fans can be a wonderful addition to practically any room in the home. They can even be a boon in outdoor living areas, including a porch or a covered patio.

Outdoor ceiling fans are similar in style to their indoor counterparts—with one notable exception. Models designed for use outdoors are constructed from materials that are capable of weathering the elements.

Whether you’re looking to add a long-bladed ceiling fan to a wide veranda or a compact fan to the reading nook on your porch, our tested models below make a great place to begin your search. Ahead, learn how we sourced and tested these top picks among the best outdoor ceiling fan options available.

  1. BEST OVERALL: Honeywell Belmar 52″ Outdoor Ceiling Fan
  2. BEST BANG FOR THE BUCK: Prominence Home Auletta 52″ Outdoor Ceiling Fan
  3. BEST FOR COASTAL AREAS: Hunter Oceana 52″ Outdoor Ceiling Fan With LED Light
  4. BEST MODERN: Hunter Cassius 52″ Outdoor Ceiling Fan
  5. BEST RUSTIC: Prominence Home Abner 52″ Outdoor Ceiling Fan
  6. BEST TROPICAL: Honeywell Duval 52″ Outdoor Ceiling Fan
  7. BEST FOR EASY INSTALLATION: Hampton Bay Mena 54″ Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan
  8. BEST FOR LARGE PATIOS: Minka-Aire Xtreme H2O 65″ Outdoor Ceiling Fan
  9. BEST FOR SMALL PORCHES: Hampton Bay Gazebo II 42″ Indoor/Outdoor Ceiling Fan
  10. ALSO CONSIDER: Hunter Dempsey 52″ Outdoor Ceiling Fan
The Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans Options

Photo: Debbie Wolfe

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Ceiling Fan

The best ceiling fan fits with a shopper’s home decor, providing a cooling breeze while elevating the look of their outdoor space. They will want to consider size, style, ease of installation, operation features, and overall performance when choosing a ceiling fan.

Size

Using the space’s square footage, determine the appropriate blade span for the outdoor space. Blade span measures the length from the end of one blade to the end of the opposing blade. Ceiling fans range from 15 inches to 80 inches across. Consider the following Energy Star size recommendations:

  • Up to 75 square feet: blade span of 36 inches or smaller
  • 75 to 144 square feet: blade span of 36 to 42 inches
  • 144 to 225 square feet: blade span of 44 inches
  • 225 to 400 square feet: blade span of 50 to 54 inches

The appropriate height for a ceiling fan is 8 or 9 feet, measured from the floor to the fan blades. Consider the included downrod length to determine how high or low the ceiling fan will sit once installed. For low-ceiling porches, consider a flush mount, which anchors the fan very close to the ceiling. High ceilings require an extended downrod, which holds the fan lower for optimal positioning.

Airflow

The best outdoor ceiling fans have a high airflow efficiency. Airflow efficiency refers to the amount of air the fan circulates on the highest fan setting, measured in cubic feet per minute (cfm). In open outdoor spaces, a high cfm performs better at circulating the air and helping keep insects at bay. An average cfm for a 52-inch fan is around 4,000 cfm, but this can range up to 10,000 cfm.

The number of fan blades does not affect a ceiling fan’s cfm; the blade count is more of an aesthetic feature than a utilitarian one. When selecting the best outdoor fans, consider selecting a higher cfm option that fits both style and budget.

Energy Efficiency

When choosing among the best ceiling fans, many shoppers prioritize energy efficiency. An energy-efficient fan cools a space without creating a hefty electric bill. Those looking for the most efficient options may want to consider an Energy Star–certified fan. These certified fans can be up to 40 percent more efficient than other models.

Ceiling fans can include either an AC or a DC motor. DC fans are the more energy-efficient option; they use less energy and run cooler and quieter than AC motors. Fans with DC motors tend to have a higher up-front cost than those with AC motors. If the ceiling fan includes a lighting kit, consider a model that uses LED lighting. LED light bulbs tend to be the most energy-efficient option.

Durability

Based on location, it’s important to determine if a damp- or wet-rated fan is needed. Damp-rated fans are ideal for covered areas with moisture exposure. Wet-rated fans are suitable for harsher conditions and tolerate direct rain, snow, and moisture. For example, a damp-rated fan is suitable for a covered porch, while a wet-rated ceiling fan is the right pick for an open gazebo.

Unlike indoor ceiling fans, outdoor models are exposed to the elements day in and day out. The best outdoor ceiling fans are designed for this constant exposure and are made from durable materials. Weatherproof and sturdy materials like ABS plastic, steel, or treated wood are common. Many also have sealed motors to protect them from moisture.

Lighting

Many ceiling fans include a light kit and are a lovely addition to a covered porch or gazebo. These lighting options provide overhead illumination without a separate installation. Ceiling fans without lighting can sometimes be modified with a compatible light kit later on.

Outdoor fans feature various types of lighting. LEDs are optimal since they surpass incandescent, CFL, and halogen bulbs in longevity and energy efficiency. They come in many shapes, from round, globe-like bulbs to vintage-style Edison bulbs. These lights are available in a range of brightness levels measured in lumens. To light a gazebo or deck, consider a brightness level between 100 and 400 lumens.

Also, take note of lighting color temperature. Cool lights tend to have a blue hue, while warm lights tend to have a yellow hue. Warm lights tend to be favored for outdoor lighting; it gives the space an attractive, warm glow as opposed to the stark lighting of cool bulbs. Shoppers will want to consider the style, brightness, temperature, and energy efficiency that best suits their aesthetics and needs.

Operation

Ceiling fans are available as basic pull-chain models or savvier, tech-forward designs. Common control methods include pull chains, remote controls, wall controls, and smart technology.

  • Pull chain: This is a basic, budget-friendly option ideal for low- to average-height ceilings. These standard fan types have hanging pull chains that allow users to click through control options.
  • Remote control: These ceiling fans include a handheld remote that controls the fan within close range. This is a convenient pick that allows users to adjust the fan without having to get up.
  • Wall control: These models have controls similar to light switches, allowing the user to operate the fan from a switch or button on the wall. While slightly less convenient than a remote control, a wall switch can’t be misplaced or lost. Remote-control and wall-switch fans tend to be costlier than pull-chain options. They are popular for spaces with high ceilings.
  • Smart: Fans with smart technology connect to Bluetooth or Wi-Fi and can be controlled by an app on a smartphone or other device. While these models tend to be pricey, they’re the most convenient to operate.

Style

For many, the ceiling fan’s style is just as important as its functionality. Ceiling fans come in a variety of designs and finishes to suit different decor styles. An outdoor ceiling fan should complement a home’s decor for a seamless transition from indoor to outdoor spaces.

  • Modern: Clean lines and smooth finishes define the modern decor style. Sleek and slim blade designs with a brushed or satin finish will fit in with modern spaces.
  • Midcentury: Many sleek, modern outdoor ceiling fans are also well suited for midcentury spaces. Midcentury design favors many of the minimalist elements of the modern style, but it can also incorporate a retro twist or pops of color. If the goal is an outdoor ceiling fan that makes a statement, then funky or geometric-shaped fan blades can add some interest to the ceiling decor.
  • Industrial: Combining modern elements with a lofty style, industrial decor is inspired by factories, warehouses, and industrial structures. Stripped-back details like metal beams and exposed brick contribute to this clean style. To suit the neutral tones and industrial materials of this style, opt for metallic, white, gray, or black ceiling fans with sleek fan blades.
  • Rustic: Rustic decor has an aged, homey, and cozy feel to it, featuring natural elements like exposed wooden beams, thick wooden furniture, and distressed textiles. It tends to use a lot of other wood elements and incorporates an unfinished and almost gritty look that’s full of earthy colors. Simpler wood-grain ceiling fans can fit in with rustic decor. Opt for those with a natural or warm finish for a cozy feel.
  • Farmhouse: Similar to rustic style, farmhouse design tends to include natural materials like wood. Farmhouse aesthetics tend to have a lighter and fresher feel than dark rustic rooms, using traditional designs, lighter wood grains, and colored woods. Similar to those used in rustic rooms, wood-grain ceiling fans give a clean and homey feel. Neutral wood and lighter colors brighten up the design, and Edison-style bulbs can also add a charming appeal.
  • Coastal: For a coastal decor style, consider outdoor fans with a natural and beachy look with warm neutral tones. Wood-style blades and neutral creams and white or pastels can match airy coastal decor. Some coastal-style fans also feature light fixtures that mimic the look of a lighthouse lantern.
  • Tropical: Tropical decor is another nature-inspired style. Natural materials and textures skew toward a more colorful tropical theme. For a more subdued look, go neutral with materials like bamboo and rattan, or make a statement with colorful leaf or flower blade designs or patterns.

Installation

Installing a ceiling fan is a relatively easy task if one is replacing an existing light fixture. These projects typically require tools such as a ladder, utility knife, screwdriver, pliers, and an adjustable wrench. A ceiling outlet box, keyhole saw, or wire strippers may also be necessary.

The basic installation process involves turning off the power to the fixture, mounting the ceiling-fan body, connecting the wiring, then attaching the blades to the motor. If any additional wiring is required, it’s a good idea to enlist the help of an electrician.

Our Top Picks

A ceiling fan is a worthwhile upgrade to add style and comfort to a covered porch or veranda. We chose the following picks for testing based on their design, cooling ability, and excellent customer reviews. Read on to find out how each one performed in our porch trials, and why we rank them among the best outdoor ceiling fans available.

Best Overall

The Best Outdoor Ceiling Fan Option: Honeywell Belmar 52" Outdoor Ceiling Fan
Photo: amazon.com

The Honeywell Belmar Outdoor Ceiling Fan produces a cooling breeze at an affordable price point. This three-speed fan has a classic design that features five blades and comes in a choice of white or dark bronze, making it a good all-around fan to complement most home design styles.

The Honeywell fan comes with an LED light kit so outdoor entertaining can continue after the sun sets. Alternatively, it also comes with a no-light conversion cap so it can be installed without the light. Without the light kit, the fan should be installed on ceilings at least 8 feet high. With the light kit, the fan should be installed on an 8.5-foot ceiling. The fan operates via a wall outlet, and it features convenient pull-chain operation as well.

We tested the Honeywell Belmar ceiling fan in bronze, which contrasted nicely with the white porch ceiling. During testing, we appreciated that it was easy to install, was well equipped to handle outdoor conditions, and moved lots of air.

We assembled the fan and wired it to a single light switch in about 50 minutes. We used the switch to turn the main power on/off and the pull chains to control fan speed and light independently. (It can also be wired to control the lights and fan on independent switches.) In testing, we noticed not only how well the fan circulated air, but that it moved air quietly—at all speeds, forward and reverse. We also liked the look of the plastic blades, which should resist warping or sagging with humidity and are perfect for outdoor use.

In addition to providing nice aesthetics and great airflow, the fan’s light kit, a frosted-glass cover and two 5.5-watt LED light bulbs, produced enough light to read comfortably. To top it all off, it was also one of the lowest-priced models we tested. The only downside was that it doesn’t come with a remote, but its transitional style and great functionality more than make up for that.

Product Specs

  • Sweep width: 52 inches
  • Number of blades: 5
  • Lights: Yes

Pros

  • Available in either bronze or white finish to match most color schemes
  • Reversible 3-speed motor is pull-chain controlled
  • Fan blades are wet rated for covered outdoor installations
  • Angled-mount compatible and quick-to-hang system make it easy to install

Cons

  • Remote control not included

Get the Honeywell Belmar outdoor ceiling fan on Amazon or at Lowe’s.

Best Bang for the Buck

The Best Outdoor Ceiling Fan Option: Prominence Home Auletta 52" Outdoor Ceiling Fan
Photo: amazon.com

This stylish matte-black ceiling fan from Prominence Home brings trendy and affordable cooling to an outdoor living area without a large up-front cost. It has a contemporary four-blade design that’s also available in white. Made for covered patios and decks, this outdoor fan is damp rated and features waterproof blades to handle moisture without warping. Choose from a reversible setting and three speed options to circulate air.

With a blade span of 52 inches across, this fan is recommended for spaces up to 324 square feet (18 feet long by 18 feet wide). It has a simple pull-chain operation and a frosted LED light, and it’s a well-suited pick for overhead cooling and lighting in large outdoor spaces.

Our Prominence Home Auletta ceiling fan was packaged and labeled “HKC model 50345,” which was a little confusing, but it looked good and performed well. We completed assembly and installation in 1 hour and 15 minutes. We appreciated that the four-blade design and dark neutral color were clean and simple enough to go with just about any decor.

This four-blade fan seemed to stir slightly less air than the five-blade fans we tested, but medium and high speeds were adequate for our hot, humid climate. While our time frame didn’t allow for long-term testing, we should note that one potential cause for concern over the long term may be this fan’s composite fan blades. We prefer plastic blades for peace of mind against moisture-caused warping. However, the frosted-glass light with two 8.5 LED bulbs offered plenty of light for entertaining or even reading well past dark. However, this model isn’t designed for uncovered installations and does not include a remote.

Product Specs

  • Sweep width: 52 inches
  • Number of blades: 4
  • Lights: Yes

Pros

  • Available in matte black or white to suit a variety of styles
  • Includes an integrated LED light with a frosted globe to brighten any space
  • Compatible with standard downrod, angled, or close-mounted installations

Cons

  • Not designed for uncovered outdoor installations
  • Remote control not included

Get the Prominence Home Auletta outdoor ceiling fan at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Prominence Home.

Best for Coastal Areas

The Best Outdoor Ceiling Fan Option: Hunter Oceana 52 Outdoor Ceiling Fan With LED Light
Photo: amazon.com

The Hunter Oceana outdoor ceiling fan features clean lines and a classic finish for a more refined appearance for transitional spaces or outdoor rooms. Rated for wet-area installations, this fan is built with a durable finish that resists corrosion caused by salt air as well as moisture damage, even when installed in exposed areas. Weatherproof plastic blades, an integrated LED light, and an included wall controller make this one of the top picks for both durability and convenience.

We assembled and installed the Oceana ceiling fan about 15 minutes faster than average because of open access to the bracket attachment connections (instead of screwing them in at an angle or through an access port in the motor housing). This was also one of only two models we tested that featured a threaded and pinned downrod assembly. To assemble, we twisted the downrod into the coupler on the motor housing, like a bolt and nut, until the pinholes in both pieces aligned. This setup eliminated any wobble from the connection and placed the weight of the fan on the threads rather than the pin. Then we inserted the pin to lock everything in place.

Assembly would have been nearly ideal if not for the remote-control receiver that must be installed separately and tucked into the small gap between the mounting bracket and the electrical box. The wall control switch was also a bit strange in that it replaces a wall switch, which adds to installation time and also requires batteries that will eventually need to be replaced. Even with those caveats, the total assembly and installation time totaled about 55 minutes—still great for a ceiling fan.

Once installed, the fan looked great and its airflow was strong, yet the motor was pleasantly quiet. We also really liked the frosted-light housing that was shatterproof plastic instead of glass. Plus, the two 9-watt bulbs lit up the entire entry area. All in all, this one was near the top in performance, appearance, and fan-assembly installation.

Product Specs

  • Sweep width: 52 inches
  • Number of blades: 4
  • Lights: Yes

Pros

  • Available in matte-silver or noble-bronze finish
  • Metal housing features a corrosion-resistant finish for harsh weather protection
  • Wet rated for exposed outdoor installations
  • Light fixture and 2 bulbs included
  • Dimmer, fan speed, on/off wall control switch included

Cons

  • Wall-mounted remote control requires a switch box
  • Remote receiver is not integrated into the fan motor housing

Get the Hunter Oceana outdoor ceiling fan at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Lowe’s.

Best Modern

The Best Outdoor Ceiling Fan Option: Hunter Cassius 52" Outdoor Ceiling Fan
Photo: amazon.com

Modern style usually calls for sleek and simple decor, and this 52-inch fan from Hunter delivers. The three-blade design has angular blades in a matte-black finish. The smooth metallic look gives this fan a clean and industrial feel. Other neutral colors are also available to coordinate a variety of modern decors.

This outdoor ceiling fan is damp rated and does not include a lighting kit, making it well suited for covered porches with existing lighting. Controlling the fan is simple with the pull-chain design. Beyond the contemporary look, the quiet motor has three speed settings and reversible operation. For optimal positioning, two downrod options are included: one is 5 inches, and the other is 3 inches.

The simple, clean lines of the three-blade Hunter Cassius ceiling fan would look great in a multifan installation, such as a large covered porch or patio. At least that was our impression. The lack of lights and pull-chain operation kept assembly and installation time at a minimum: just 45 minutes. However, awkward screw placement made the blades a little difficult to tighten. The threaded downrod assembly made a secure connection from the mounting bracket to the motor housing.

In testing, we found that this fan moved a surprising volume of air given its minimal construction, and the motor made almost no noise at all. The blades were well balanced to avoid wobble. The pull-chain controls worked smoothly without sticking. With its simple design and easy installation, this fan works great and would be a welcome addition to almost any outdoor space.

Product Specs

  • Sweep width: 52 inches
  • Number of blades: 3
  • Lights: No

Pros

  • Whisper-quiet 3-speed motor moves maximum air with minimal noise
  • Fast and easy installation with no light fixture to wire
  • Budget-friendly price point

Cons

  • Blades are somewhat difficult to tighten, adding to assembly time
  • Lights not included

Get the Hunter Cassius outdoor ceiling fan at Amazon, Ace Hardware, or The Home Depot.

Best Rustic

The Best Outdoor Ceiling Fan Option: Prominence Home Abner 52" Outdoor Ceiling Fan
Photo: amazon.com

Elevate a rustic covered porch with this vintage-style ceiling fan from Prominence Home. The 52-inch fan features a traditional design with a molded, espresso-color body and five dual-finish fan blades. Each side of the reversible blades has a wood-grain finish with a dark maple side and a lighter, silver oak side.

Covered with a clear shade, a visible Edison LED light bulb gives this rustic fan a vintage flair. The light is dimmable and has a wide beam angle to light up the space. Pull chains control the light and the reversible three-speed fan.

This fan is damp rated for covered outdoor spaces like patios, garages, or breezeways. It is tri-mount compatible, meaning it can be mounted with or without (closemount) the included 4-inch downrod or mounted on angled ceilings with the included downrod.

Like the other Prominence Home model on this list, the fan arrived with labeling that didn’t match the online product listing. Our Prominence Home Abner ceiling fan arrived labeled “HKC model 80091,” which again was a bit confusing, but it looked exactly like the Amazon images, so we concluded that it was the right model.

The vintage look of the clear-glass light cover and Edison-style 4.5-watt LED bulb added a farmhouse-style element, but we felt compelled to use extra caution when handling the fragile cover. We easily assembled and installed the fan and light kit in an hour. The pull chains felt slightly stiff but worked fine. The five fan blades moved plenty of air, but the light didn’t illuminate our space as much as some of the other models. Buy this one for its stylish rustic appearance and generous airflow, but don’t plan on reading by the light at night.

Product Specs

  • Sweep width: 52 inches
  • Number of blades: 5
  • Lights: Yes

Pros

  • Includes stylish, rustic, clear globe light fixture with Edison-style LED bulb
  • Compatible with standard rod mount, angled ceiling mount, or low-profile mount
  • Forward and reverse 3-speed motor with pull chain and wall switch controls

Cons

  • Glass light cover is fragile and may break if dropped

Get the Prominence Home Abner outdoor ceiling fan at Amazon, Lowe’s, or Prominence Home.

Best Tropical

The Best Outdoor Ceiling Fan Option: Honeywell Duval 52 Outdoor Ceiling Fan
Photo: amazon.com

With palm-leaf–patterned fan blades, this ceiling fan from Honeywell has an eye-catching design to elevate tropical home decor. The five plastic blades have a dual-sided design: one side with a palm-leaf pattern and the other side with a wicker pattern. Either blade side coupled with the bronze-finish base give this fan a striking tropical-inspired look.

This ceiling fan is 52 inches across and does not include a light kit. Designed for covered spaces, this fan is damp rated. It can be installed with the included 4-inch downrod, close mounted, or angled mounted. A pull chain operates the reversible three-speed motor to cool down large spaces up to 450 square feet.

The Duval outdoor ceiling fan was easy to assemble and install. We did it in less than 45 minutes. The simple pull-chain operation and the lack of a lighting kit made things go quickly. Blade assembly also progressed more smoothly than some of the other models we tested thanks to a unique twist-and-lock attachment system between the blade mounting brackets and easy-to-access blade-mount screw holes on the motor assembly.

The blades balanced well enough on the motor to minimize wobble, and motor noise was minimal. However, the oval blade shape seemed to diffuse the feeling of the air movement. Although the fan circulated plenty of air, it didn’t feel “windy” as with some of the other fans, even at high speed. This fan looked great, was easy to install, and produced a peaceful breeze that would be great for relaxing beneath a pergola near a backyard tiki hut.

Product Specs

  • Sweep width: 52 inches
  • Number of blades: 5
  • Lights: No

Pros

  • Fast installation with easy wall-switch and pull-chain operation
  • Reversible plastic blades for choice of palm frond or wicker texture
  • Wet rated for outdoor installation in exposed areas
  • Tri-mount system for flush mounting, downrod mounting, or angled-ceiling mounting

Cons

  • Light kit is not included
  • Seems to move less air than other 5-blade ceiling fans

Get the Honeywell Duval outdoor ceiling fan at Amazon, Lowe’s, or LightingDirect.

Best for Easy Installation

The Best Outdoor Ceiling Fan Option: Hampton Bay Mena 54 Indoor Outdoor Ceiling Fan
Photo: homedepot.com

The clean, modern design and low-profile structure of the Hampton Bay Mena complement most design aesthetics. The dome of the light fixture reaches just 16.8 inches below the ceiling while the blades sweep a 54-inch diameter. Plus, this fan offers numerous upgrades, like quick-install fan blades, a magnetic light fixture with shatterproof cover, color-select LED lighting, and a remote control.

The Mena ceiling fan offered an excellent balance of fast and easy installation along with premium operational conveniences. We completed assembly and installation in just 35 minutes thanks to several smart design elements. Snap-in fan blades eliminated the need to assemble and fasten each blade with screws and separate mounting brackets like most other models we tested.

Similarly, the light fixture on this model attached to the motor housing magnetically, eliminating the need for more screws. A retention clip and wire provided easy drop-down access to replace the integrated LED light when necessary without the risk of dropping the light cover. We did not like the inconvenience of wiring in the remote-control receiver above the motor housing, but that process didn’t significantly affect the installation time.

As for operation, the Mena was extremely quiet while moving lots of air. The remote control was preprogrammed to connect with the fan, so start-up only meant installing the included battery. The only manual control located on the fan housing is the motor reverse switch. The remote control changes the fan speed (off, low, medium, or high) and customizes the light setting (on/off, warm, soft, or daylight). The light was bright enough to read at night. Overall, the Mena was a high-performing fan that would work well in any covered outdoor setting.

Product Specs

  • Sweep width: 54 inches
  • Number of blades: 5
  • Lights: Yes

Pros

  • Available in 6 finishes
  • Quick-install ABS plastic fan blades
  • Includes a color-changing LED light fixture
  • Select on/off, fan speed and direction, and lighting modes via remote control

Cons

  • Full adjustability is only possible with the remote control
  • Remote-control receiver is not integrated inside the motor housing

Get the Hampton Bay Mena outdoor ceiling fan at The Home Depot.

Best for Large Patios

The Best Outdoor Ceiling Fan Option: Minka-Aire Xtreme H2O 65 Outdoor Ceiling Fan
Photo: amazon.com

If the goal is to cool a large entertaining area, the Minka-Aire outdoor ceiling fan might be the perfect pick. With eight blades and a 65-inch diameter, it moves a lot of air on large covered patios and screened porches up to 400 square feet (20 feet long by 20 feet wide).

The Minka-Aire fan has clean lines and comes in several finishes that can complement many design styles. This powerful fan is designed to be installed on porch and patio ceilings that are at least 8 feet high, and it comes with a remote control and a wall-mount control. It also features voice-activation capability for hands-free operation. The Minka Group offers numerous customization options for this fan, including eight downrod lengths, a light kit, and a smart controller, all sold separately.

In our tests, the Minka-Aire Xtreme H2O ceiling fan was extremely easy to install and moved air very well. We really appreciated that the manufacturer preinstalls the remote-control receiver inside the motor housing and preprograms the handheld remote control. As the largest fan we tested, assembling this model took a bit longer than some of the others. Still, with eight blades to assemble, the total installation time was only 1 hour and 15 minutes.

The fan motor worked smoothly and quietly. Air movement felt diffused rather than intense, but it was abundant throughout our porch area. The remote control worked from inside the house with the door closed and included a switch to control lighting should a buyer choose to add that upgrade feature. Consider installing one of these fans instead of two smaller ones in a large outdoor living area.

Product Specs

  • Sweep width: 65 inches
  • Number of blades: 8
  • Lights: No

Pros

  • Sleek design with plastic all-weather blades compliments any decor
  • Available in 5 different finishes to match many rooms
  • 6 speeds forward and reverse with remote control
  • Remote control receiver is preinstalled for faster installation
  • Wet rated for outdoor installations with exposure to the elements

Cons

  • Light kit is not included
  • Premium price point

Get the Minka-Aire outdoor ceiling fan at Amazon, The Home Depot, or Lowe’s.

Best for Small Porches

The Best Outdoor Ceiling Fan Option: Hampton Bay Gazebo II 42 Indoor Outdoor Ceiling Fan
Photo: homedepot.com

The Hampton Bay Gazebo II ceiling fan optimizes cooling airflow in smaller outdoor spaces. The 42-inch fan fits into small indoor or outdoor spaces up to 100 square feet and is wet rated for safe installation in exposed installations. This fan kit is compatible with downrod, close-to-ceiling, or angled-ceiling applications. It features five plastic blades and a reversible three-speed motor. Choose from three different finish options. Although the Gazebo II does not include lights, a light kit and remote controller are sold separately.

Our Gazebo II assembly and installation went smoothly, and the fan worked great. This was the smallest fan we installed, so it was lighter, less bulky, and easier to handle. With no light kit or remote-control receiver to install, it was ready to use in about 45 minutes.

At 15 feet long by 15 feet wide, our testing location was definitely larger than this fan could effectively cool—it even looked undersized for the space. So we marked out a 10-foot by 10-foot area beneath the fan, and this smaller area was blanketed with a steady breeze. This fan is perfect for small areas or multiple-fan installations where the space is irregularly shaped.

Product Specs

  • Sweep width: 42 inches
  • Number of blades: 5
  • Lights: No

Pros

  • Wet rated for exposed outdoor installations
  • Pull-chain and wall-switch controls for 3 speeds, forward and reverse
  • Compact fan moves lots of air in small spaces
  • Available in 3 color finishes to suit a variety of tastes

Cons

  • Light kit is not included

Get the Hampton Bay Gazebo II outdoor ceiling fan at The Home Depot.

Also Consider

The Best Outdoor Ceiling Fan Option: Hunter Dempsey 52 Outdoor Ceiling Fan
Photo: homedepot.com

The Hunter Dempsey outdoor ceiling fan’s beautiful clean finish and high-contrast angles fit seamlessly into contemporary designs. The fan features four plastic blades, a whisper-quiet three-speed reversible motor, and a fully dimmable LED light fixture. A handheld remote control is included. It is damp rated for covered outdoor installation and compatible with flat-ceiling mounting (3- and 2-inch downrods are included). This fan is available in three different finish options.

The Hunter Dempsey ceiling fan was one of the most stylish fans we tested. We loved the warm brown and bronze dual tones of the black-willow finish, but it also comes in matte nickel or fresh white. Assembly and installation were more demanding than many of the others we tested. The fan-blade assemblies had to be attached with a screw and washer through an access hole in the lower housing—a magnetic-tip screwdriver really helped in this case.

Like most of the other remote-control fans, the Dempsey’s remote receiver is not integrated inside the motor housing and must be tucked into the small space between the installation bracket and the electrical box. The light assembly was easy to install. Once installed, it looked great and offered smooth, powerful operation. The motor was extremely quiet and airflow was plentiful.

Product Specs

  • Sweep width: 52 inches
  • Number of blades: 4
  • Lights: Yes

Pros

  • Available in 3 different color finishes to suit different decor
  • LED light fixture with 2 LED bulbs included
  • Whisper-quiet motor with 3 speeds, forward and reverse; remote controlled

Cons

  • Remote-control receiver is not built into the motor housing

Get the Hunter Dempsey outdoor ceiling fan at The Home Depot or Build.com.

Jump to Our Top Picks



Our Verdict

Choosing the right ceiling fan is a matter of sorting through design preference; sizing; convenience features; and suitability for dry, damp, or wet locations. We selected the Honeywell Belmar outdoor ceiling fan as best overall because of its goes-with-anything styling, ease of installation, and compatibility with most outdoor locations. But for the most demanding exposed installations, the Hunter Oceana outdoor ceiling fan is also an excellent choice thanks to its wet-rated construction, corrosion-resistant finish, and convenient remote control.

How We Tested the Best Outdoor Ceiling Fans

We searched the top-rated brands in our quest for the best outdoor ceiling fan. During the product vetting process, we honed in on models with the highest customer ratings and critical features like damp or wet ratings for outdoor installation, easy-hang mounting systems, and upgrades such as remote control or LED lighting. From an initial list of more than 35 models, we identified the 10 in this guide for hands-on testing.

We used the same porch-light circuit on a 225-square-foot covered porch to test each fan, one at a time, on the flat 9-foot ceiling. For each fan model, we noted any unique features that made assembly and installation easier or more difficult than average and the total time required from unboxing to completed installation.

Our tests for basic fan functionality involved an objective component, observing the movement of paper flags on the floor beneath the fan, as well as noting the feel of the fan’s airflow. Styling and other features, such as lighting and remote control, were also noted.

The test we used for lighting, when available, was purely subjective. Our tester sat on a chair at night and attempted to read a book. We noted how easy or difficult it was to read by the light provided.

FAQs

Warm summer days are more pleasant with a good outdoor ceiling fan that makes hanging out on the deck or porch more comfortable. If you are still considering the best ceiling fans for your space, then read on for the answers to some frequently asked questions about outdoor ceiling fans.

Q. What should I look for when buying an outdoor ceiling fan?

There are a number of features to consider that help narrow down the best outdoor ceiling fans for a space. Consider the fan design, size, efficiency (cfm), control features, and energy use. High-quality options are stylish, functional, and easy to use.

Q. How many blades are best for an outdoor ceiling fan?

The ideal number of blades depends on personal preference. Generally, the more blades, the quieter a fan performs. With modern fans, the blade number only has a slight effect on overall performance. The cfm and energy efficiency are more accurate indications of cooling power, so choose a blade number that suits your decor. Most ceiling fans come with four to six blades.

Q. What is a good cfm for an outdoor ceiling fan?

A cfm that’s more than 4,000 is considered a good airflow. However, it is best to aim higher for outdoor ceiling fans. Since outdoor ceiling fans work in open spaces, they need a little more oomph to create a tangible breeze. Better fan options have a cfm that’s more than 5,000, and excellent options have a cfm that exceeds 6,000.

Q. Who makes the best outdoor ceiling fan?

Reputable, well-established brands like Honeywell and Minka-Aire have years of experience designing and manufacturing high-quality outdoor ceiling fans.

Why Trust Bob Vila

Bob Vila has been America’s Handyman since 1979. As the host of beloved and groundbreaking TV series including “This Old House” and “Bob Vila’s Home Again,” he popularized and became synonymous with “do-it-yourself” home improvement.

Over the course of his decades-long career, Bob Vila has helped millions of people build, renovate, repair, and live better each day—a tradition that continues today with expert yet accessible home advice. The Bob Vila team distills need-to-know information into project tutorials, maintenance guides, tool 101s, and more. These home and garden experts then thoroughly research, vet, and recommend products that support homeowners, renters, DIYers, and professionals in their to-do lists.