30 Apr 2021

What’s better than sitting on your porch swing and enjoying a warm autumn evening with a cold glass of iced tea? How about swinging on your porch and sipping cold iced tea under the cool breeze of an outdoor ceiling fan? But before you enjoy the breeze, make sure that you wouldn’t put your indoor ceiling fans outside to face the elements.

While an indoor ceiling fan is perfect for cooling your home inside, the motor and blades are not made for your outside living areas. Instead, you need to consider buying an outdoor ceiling fan.

If you’re searching for the best licensed electrician in the Brisbane area and surrounds (Alderley, Ashgrove, Bardon, Enoggera, Paddington, The Gap), look no further than Allyn White Electrical.

As it turns out, some fans are designed to be installed and operated only in indoor settings (dry-rated), while some can be in both indoor and outdoor (undercover) areas (wet-rated and damp-rated).


Dry-rated ceiling fans are great for indoor uses, including living rooms and bedrooms. As long as these fans aren’t used in damp rooms, like bathrooms or laundry rooms, they’ll have long and healthy service lives.

However, it’s never a good idea to place these fans outdoors. The exposure to the elements will ruin a dry-rated ceiling fan quickly. If you can keep these fans away from all forms of moisture, they will provide long-lasting cooling for your home or office.

Suggested locations for dry-rated fixtures include:
• Bedrooms
• Kitchens
• Dining Rooms
• Foyers


Wet-rated outdoor ceiling fans are specifically designed to withstand rain, wind, and snow. If your outdoor ceiling fan is going to be exposed to any moisture or wet elements, a wet-rated fan is required. This also includes partially covered areas where the fan may be unprotected from the weather.

Wet-rated fans are sealed and their wiring is specifically designed to not short. Most outdoor ceiling fan blades are designed using ABS plastic so they do not get damaged or warped when exposed to the weather. Wet-rated fans can even be washed off with a garden hose.

Suggested locations for wet-rated ceiling fans include:
• Exposed Decks
• Verandas or Lanais outside a seaside home
• Gazebos
• Cabanas


These outdoor ceiling fans are approved for humidity and covered exterior spaces, but they cannot have direct contact with snow or rain. Even a fan under a covered porch may be exposed to rain—especially with the wind. Therefore, these must be in enclosed, exterior spaces—such as an enclosed patio or garage. The interior wiring for a damp-rated fan is protected and a non-corrosive cover is used over the motor.

Damp-rated fans can also be used effectively in highly humid indoor spaces such as laundry rooms and bathrooms with showers.

Suggested locations for damp-rated ceiling fans include:
• Bathrooms
• Garages
• Covered Patios
• Screened Porches

What Happens If You Use Dry-rated Fans Outdoors?

Indoor fans aren’t built to withstand the elements, and even a little water can damage the motor, causing the fan to break down. Even worse, it can create a short and cause an electrical fire and other electrical problems.

Additionally, the blades may melt, warp, or become uneven as a result of the outdoor heat, leading to reduced airflow, wobbling, or extra noise. Finally, the finish will rust and fade, resulting in a lacklustre fan.

Can You Use Outdoor Fans Indoors?

A common mistake people make when shopping for a fan for their living room or bedroom is to limit their search to indoor fans only. By doing so, they will miss out on some of the best fans. The truth is, many of the best fans on the market are specifically made as wet-rated so they can be installed anywhere.

Wet-rated fans are more durable and easier to maintain. The finishes last longer, the blades don’t warp or split, and you don’t have to worry about getting water inside the motor when you clean them.

Furthermore, fans that are installed in outdoor (undercover) and coastal areas often require regular maintenance such as cleaning in order to prevent rusting, predominantly stainless steel.

Call a Licensed Electrician in Brisbane

Whether you want to install exterior ceiling fans for your patio, deck, and outdoor areas, talk to us today.

For a free quote by a licensed electrician call 0416 235 641 or simply complete the online enquiry form and we will call and arrange to quote your switchboard and electrical requirements. Our charge out rate remains the same during the week, weekends and after hours, so don’t hesitate to contact us today!

sources: delmarfans.com, blog.ceilingfan.com, fanshop.com.au, hansenwholesale.com

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