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If you’re looking for an outdoor ceiling fan that won’t break the bank, we’re here to help! Due to the extra work that has to be put in to make fans waterproof, they aren’t always cheap, but there are a few options which are budget friendly. We’ll show you our top picks further down the page, but first, we will run you through some things you need to consider. The biggest of which is deciding whether you need a damp rated or wet rated ceiling fan.
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Things to Consider
Before we take a look at the best cheap outdoor ceiling fans, there are a few things to consider. Primarily, you need to decide whether you need a damp rated or wet rated ceiling fan, and there are a couple of other things too.
Damp Rated vs. Wet Rated
When you’re looking for budget-friendly outdoor ceiling fans, there are two types you are going to come across: damp rated and wet rated.
Wet rated ceiling fans are designed to be used where they will be completely exposed like under a pergola. All of the electronic components are sealed off to prevent any water getting inside. Wet rated ceiling fans are generally more expensive than damp rated ceiling fans because they have that extra level of protection.
Damp rated ceiling fans are designed to be used outdoors under a roof. They can withstand heat and humidity but not direct rainfall. If you’re able to place the fan under a roof then a damp rated ceiling fan is a great choice if you’re looking for the cheapest possible option because they are generally cheaper than wet rated models.
Fans with larger blades will move more air and keep a larger area cool. See below for a rough idea of what size fan you will need.
- Small outdoor ceiling fans (around 32″): These are ideal for areas like small sheds and porches.
- Medium outdoor ceiling fans (around 44″): These are ideal for areas like patios and large gazebos.
- Large outdoor ceiling fans (around 58″): These are ideal for areas like courtyards and event tents.
This is only a rough guide, but it should be enough to give you an idea of what size fan will be most suitable for you.
For larger areas, it is often a good idea to use multiple smaller fans over one large fan because they will be able to cool a larger area more effectively. With a large fan, you will have to put it on the highest setting to cool a large area. This can mean those directly under the fan will feel a heavy breeze and those further away won’t feel much at all.
It seems that most outdoor ceiling fans (particularly the more budget-friendly ones) are limited in size and are usually around 52″. However, for most situations, this is a reasonable size and not too big or small.
Although ceiling fans may seem like very simple devices, there are a few features to consider which you may or may not find useful.
- Reversible blades: (This feature is unlikely to have much of an effect outdoors.) Some fans have an option to reverse the direction of the motor. This is useful in the winter because it draws the cold air up and forces the warmer air down and can help keep the room warmer. Obviously if you’re using the fan outdoors it won’t have much of an effect. But it might if it’s located in a very enclosed area, and it’s a useful feature to have if you plan on ever using the fan indoors.
- Lights: A light can be a useful feature for outdoors, especially if the area will be used a lot in the evenings or at night.
- Remote control: Some fans can only be controlled from the fan itself, but some include (or are compatible with) remote controls which might come in useful.
- Mounting options: Some ceiling fans have dynamic mounting options. They can be mounted with a low profile to give you more space underneath, using a downrod, or on angled ceilings.
Another thing to consider is the style. This is probably an obvious one but I thought I would quickly mention it. Have a think about where the ceiling fan will be located and what kind of design will work well. If the fan will be located in an area with a traditional feel, a modern fan might not work too well, and vice versa.
Best Budget-Friendly Damp Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fans
If you’re looking for an outdoor ceiling fan for a covered area, there are some great choices here. Damp rated ceiling fans are more common than wet rated ceiling fans so there are more great options to choose from. They are generally cheaper too.
Simple Modern Design
For an Exotic Feel
- 52″ blades
- ETL damp rated blades
- 4-speed reversible motor
- Operated via pull chain
- Compatible with Honeywell ceiling fan remotes
Includes a Light
Multiple Mounting Options
- 48″ blades
- ETL damp rated blades
- 3-speed reversible motor
- Operated via pull chain
Best Budget-Friendly Wet Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fans
If you want to install a ceiling fan in an uncovered area like a pergola, you will need a wet rated fan. You do need to be careful when choosing a wet rated ceiling fan because some descriptions can be a bit misleading. They will mention the blades being wet rated, but if the whole unit isn’t completely sealed then it isn’t really a wet rated fan. There aren’t many truly wet rated ceiling fans that are cheap, however, the fans below are definitely worth checking out (and are truly wet rated).
Last update on 2022-10-05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API