OUTDOOR CEILING FAN BUYING GUIDE
Looking for an outdoor ceiling fan but not too sure where to start? Here at Universal Fans we have a wide range to select from and the expertise to help you make the best choice for your application. Whether it be a pool area, verandah or patio we’ll find your ideal fan to keep you cool whilst entertaining in the summer months.
It may be a little overwhelming at first, but to make it a whole lot simpler we’ve outlined the key considerations when trying to figure out a perfect balance between what you need for your space feature wise and what you want in terms of aesthetics.
What environmental conditions will the fan be exposed to?
If it is being installed completely undercover, and perhaps enclosed on more than one side then all you will need is a damp rated fan. That is, any of the fans in our Outdoor Ceiling Fans category. Having this coverage means you will have a lot more options available to you.
On the other hand, if the fan will be exposed to relatively light splashes of water you will need a Wet Rated fan. These will often come with an IP rating and have varying levels of protection against both solids and liquids in an outdoor setting.
Maybe you live in a coastal area close by the ocean and are afraid your fans might rust. In this situation look for ceiling fans with a coastal rating which can be found in our Coastal Ceiling fans category. Keep in mind that whether you will be installing indoors or in an outdoor, undercover setting you will still need to purchase a coastal rated ceiling fan to ensure longevity and avoid rust for as long as possible due to the salty air.
There are a few materials to look out for that are generally more rust resistant. This includes fans with a 316 Marine Grade Stainless Steel body and blades as well as those with a plastic motor housing and blades. These materials are less susceptible to the elements and if following the provided care instructions, it means they will maintain their cosmetic condition for a lot longer than your standard fan.
How much air does it need to move?
This is another key specification that you will need to consider, that is the level of airflow you would prefer. Would you like the fan to create a gentle breeze or be very powerful while remaining incredibly efficient? The good news is that with the various speed variations you could even have both! The standard AC fan has three speed levels but opting for a DC means you have 5 or 6 speeds to choose from. This gives you the added flexibility of control over the airflow on any given day.
In saying this the speed on the highest level will differ for each model. On our listings we provide the airflow maximum in cubic metres per hour (m3/hr). When comparing this to other fans you will be able to see which ones are the higher air movers. Anything with an airflow of 9,000 to 10,000 m3/hr is considered standard, but we have models that reach over 16,000 m3/hr! Keep in mind that size isn’t necessarily a factor, a smaller fan may have a higher airflow it just means that it won’t cover a wider space like a larger fan would considering the differing blade spans.
Another aspect to consider is that some fans are designed to move slower to create a gentle breeze particularly on lower speeds. This can be determined by comparing the Revolutions per minute (RPMS).
What size fan would be suitable?
There is often a degree of flexibility when it comes to selecting an appropriate size. To give you an indication a standard ceiling fan is often 52” (132cm) in diameter. There are many that are smaller or larger than this average. The smaller the fan the less space it will cover as a result of the shortened blade span, vice versa. Therefore, try not to select a fan that is too small unless your space requires that you do so. The main determinants to work out which size would be best include:
- Where will the fan will be positioned?
If the fan will be directly above the area that is most in use, then most sizes including a standard 52” will mostly likely suffice. If the ceiling fan can only be installed off to the side, then perhaps consider a fan that is slightly larger to ensure the airflow will reach. Alternatively, if your space is divided with more than the one section in use there are two options depending on the size of the total area. You may wish to consider a larger blade span to ensure coverage of the overall space or install two smaller fans that will be placed directly above each designated area.
- How large will the fan need to be to ensure it is proportionate to the area?
Of course, the fan selected will have to physically fit into the space it is operating in to ensure the blades are not too close to the edges to avoid air bouncing back from the walls. However, apart from this, it mostly becomes an aesthetic issue which is based purely on personal preference and how you would like your space to look. Do you want you fan to blend into your space without standing out? Then consider looking at a minimalist style fan and perhaps a standard 52” size or slightly smaller. Or on the other hand do you want your fan to become an eye-catching feature? In this case a larger fan may be a great option or if this isn’t possible perhaps, a tropical style fan with leaf style blades if it suits your décor.
What style décor will it need to match?
It would be super simple if your decor was based on the fan selected however, realistically this isn’t always the case. Regardless, these days you are spoilt for choice especially if needing a damp rated fan that will be completely covered. Our range includes modern and minimalist styles to a tropical or even traditional design. Between this and our assortment of colour variations we’re positive you’ll find a fan that will suit your space.
How much am I able to spend?
If looking for a damp rated fan you will see that we have a range of budget options that you may wish to take a look it, some well under $200. However, outdoor fans especially when needing one with an IP rating can be dearer in comparison to a standard indoor ceiling fan. This is due to the use of weather resistant materials and the enclosure protecting the motor. But in this instance, think of it as an investment towards a long-lasting ceiling fan that will be able to withstand environmental conditions for a considerable amount of time.
If you need any assistance or have any questions regarding our range feel free to give us a call on 03 9095 6933 or if you’re located in Melbourne, visit our showroom today where we have a wide range of these fans on display!