Is there a difference between indoor and outdoor ceiling fans?

Most of us see a ceiling fan we like and don’t even notice if it’s for indoor or outdoor use. We may even ignore the sticker on the box altogether and not consider it a big deal — as long as our space looks great! But it is a big deal. An indoor fan that’s installed outside won’t work for long. At a minimum, it will rust, begin to warp, and look like an eyesore. Knowing the difference between indoor and outdoor ceiling fans will save you a ton of time, energy, money, and frustration. 

When shopping for ceiling fans, pay attention to the three rating types to know for sure that you have the right ceiling fan.

Dry-Rated fans

Dry-rated fans are meant to stay in dry areas such as a living room, bedroom, dining room, den, foyer, office, etc. They can’t be exposed to moisture because they are not created with waterproof materials. Even a little moisture can melt or warp the blades to reduce airflow, create extra noise, damage the motor, and cause an electrical fire. These are the most common ceiling fans on the market, and they come in various designs, sizes, colors, and components. 

Most are made of high-grade wood, plastic, metals, and medium-density fiberboard.

Damp-rated fans

Damp-rated ceiling fans can be mounted in areas with no direct exposure to water, rain, or snow but can handle their fair share of moisture in damp areas and still keep the air circulating in that area for years to come. Additional locations for a damp-rated ceiling fan include: 

  • Covered patio
  • Screened porch
  • Bathroom
  • Outdoor or indoor kitchen
  • Carports
  • Garages

The good news is that all fans at The Original Windmill Ceiling Fan Company are damp-rated! Not only do they withstand indirect moisture, but they also stand up well against humidity and in rooms with poor ventilation. See our selection here.

Wet-rated fans

If you need a fan for an exposed deck, gazebo, or pergola, it must be wet-rated. These fans are highly durable and can handle anything that Mother Nature throws at them, including snow, rain, and water. Essentially, you could hit it with a water hose, and it’d be perfectly fine since the fan is sealed and weatherproofed to protect against leaks. 

With this said, wet-rated fans come in the fewest styles and designs.

The Original Windmill Ceiling Fan Company has your damp-rated fans

Just because you’re buying a fan for the living room or office doesn’t mean you have to limit yourself to an indoor-only fan.  You could find exactly what you need in a damp-rated or wet-rated fan, and each works just as well inside. A perfect example is our windmill ceiling fans from The Original Windmill Ceiling Fan Company. All of them are damp-rated, which means they can be installed anywhere.

Barn Metal Custom Finish

At The Original Windmill Ceiling Fan Company, we pride ourselves on bringing authentic, historically-designed windmill ceiling fans to a wide variety & style of homes and outdoor living spaces across America at a price worth every penny. We are the only windmill ceiling fan supplier that provides custom handcrafted fans to match your personality and style.

  1. Match the finish of your fan to the rest of your home
  2. A one-of-a-kind look and feel (no two are alike)
  3. Not mass-produced
  4. Made in America
  5. Unrivaled strength and craftsmanship

Rather than sitting on a shelf in a factory warehouse, our fans are built to order, and our craftsmanship is catered to your every need. Call today at 972-834-5555 or visit We are here to help you!

Matte Black Custom Finish

If you enjoyed this article, check out Is Your Ceiling Fan Damp-Rated? If Not, it Needs to Be! And Aluminum Windmill Fans for Outdoor Spaces