Wet-rated Versus damp-rated Outdoor Ceiling Fans

We’re taking advantage of the time at home and warmer weather to do a quick refresh on our outdoor living spaces – laying mulch, updating patio furniture, adding an outdoor ceiling fan.

A new outdoor fan is an easy update to enhance the style and comfort of your outdoor oasis, but there’s one technical factor you need to pay attention to when choosing an outdoor fan: the rating.

We have three different types of outdoor ceiling fans depending on where your space is located, from covered patios to pergolas in areas that see harsh weather.

Why ceiling fan location matters

You wouldn’t place your TV outside in the open. The electrical components aren’t designed to get wet!

It’s a similar concept with the various types of outdoor ceiling fans. Along with aesthetic issues like rust, operation errors and technical difficulties can occur if you don’t choose the right outdoor fan for your space. Some fans are designed for direct exposure to water; others aren’t.

There are two national agencies that provide independent safety and quality certifications on products, including ceiling fans: Underwriters Laboratories (UL) and Electrical Testing Laboratories (ETL). That’s why you might see on the fan’s box or online information the “UL rating” or “ETL rating.”

These ratings are broken down into two general categories for outdoor ceiling fans: damp rated and wet rated. We took it a step further and innovated WeatherMax® technology that is designed for tough weather elements like salt air and thunderstorms.

Damp-rated outdoor ceiling fan

Damp-rated fans are ideal for covered outdoor spaces like patios and porches. Their ability to withstand exposure to moisture and humidity also makes them ideal for indoor spaces like bathrooms and laundry rooms. Some of our favorite damp-rated outdoor fans are the Kennicott modern fan, the Mill Valley farmhouse fan, and Port Royale rustic fan.

Image from JessicaOakes

Our outdoor ceiling fans, including our damp-rated fans, go through tests to make sure the fan finish, blade finishes, and all of the fan electrical components can withstand environmental elements it will experience in a covered outdoor structure.

Wet-rated outdoor ceiling fan

For outdoor spaces exposed to snow or rain, a wet-rated fan is the way to go. Some of our favorite wet-rated outdoor ceiling fans for pergolas are the Rainsford and Sea Wind casual fans.

Wet-rated fans are designed and engineered to withstand direct contact with water and moisture, which makes them ideal for gazebos and pergolas. These fans are built with moisture-resistant motors and all-weather blades for long-lasting and safe performance.

One of the tests our wet-rated ceiling fans specifically undergo is the rain test. Our engineers use high powered hoses to simulate the fan being rained on. During this test, the ceiling fan has nearly six bathtubs full of water rained on it!

WeatherMax (AKA: Salt-Resistant + Wet-Rated)

Hunter WeatherMax ceiling fans are built for the outdoors with features and technologies that go beyond the average wet-rated fans. WeatherMax designs are corrosion- and salt air-resistant, perfect for beach properties or homes that get a lot of salt from snow trucks, while also featuring our SureSpeed® Guarantee for high-airflow-velocity performance.

They feature premium materials to keep their form and durable materials to maintain proper blade shape and pitch. Just as much thought goes into the technology as the design, so it’s comforting to know fans like the Trimaran and Havoc outdoor fans will hold up throughout the weather.

If you like the look of an outdoor ceiling fan, you can use it in indoor spaces as well! However, you cannot use an indoor ceiling fan in your outdoor spaces. For more help on how to choose a ceiling fan, check out our ceiling fan buying guide.