Difference Between Indoor and Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Ceiling fans are a popular addition to any room or outdoor space as they provide a comfortable and cost-effective way to circulate air and regulate temperature. However, not all ceiling fans are created equal, and there are some key differences between indoor and outdoor ones.

Indoor ceiling fans are designed for interior spaces like bedrooms, living rooms, and dining rooms. They are typically smaller and have a more decorative design to complement the room’s aesthetics. These fans are not exposed to the elements and are usually made of materials that are not weather-resistant.

On the other hand, outdoor ceiling fans are specifically designed to withstand the elements. They are meant to be used in exterior spaces, such as patios, decks, and gazebos. They are typically larger and have a more utilitarian design, with features such as weather-resistant blades, sealed motors, and rust-resistant finishes. These fans are built to withstand the elements, including rain, wind, and extreme temperatures.

This blog will delve deeper into the differences between indoor and outdoor ceiling fans, including their design, features, and functionality. We will also discuss the factors you should consider when choosing the right ceiling fan for your home or outdoor space, such as size, style, and durability.

So, whether you’re considering upgrading your indoor or outdoor space, read on to discover everything you need to know about indoor and outdoor ceiling fans.

Difference between indoor and outdoor ceiling fans

While both types of fans serve the same purpose of providing a comfortable and cool environment, several distinctions set them apart. So, let’s dive into the details and find out what makes these fans unique and suitable for different environments.

  • Design and Style: Designed for indoor use, with various styles and designs to fit in with different interior decor styles. In contrast, other fans are designed with various styles and designs to fit in with different outdoor environments and architectural styles.
  • Materials Used: Typically made of lighter materials such as plastic or metal, suitable for indoor use. In contrast, outdoor fans are typically made of heavier and more durable materials, such as stainless steel or aluminum, suitable for outdoor use.
  • Water Resistance: Not designed for water exposure. It must be protected from moisture. Outdoor fans are designed to expose the elements, including rain and moisture.
  • Lighting Option: Many indoor ceiling fans have lighting options, such as integrated lighting or a light kit that can be added later. Outdoor ceiling fans typically do not come with lighting options.
  • Energy Efficiency: Energy-efficient options are available for indoor ceiling fans, but outdoor fans could be more efficient. Energy-efficient options are available for outdoor ceiling fans but may not be as efficient as indoor fans.
  • Installation: Installed in indoor spaces, such as bedrooms, living rooms, and kitchens. Installed outside, such as on porches, patios, and gazebos.
  • Cost:  Higher cost than indoor ceiling fans, as they are designed for outdoor use and require more materials.

difference between indoor and outdoor ceiling fans

Indoor Vs. Outdoor Ceiling fans

Ceiling fans are an essential part of any household; they not only enhance the aesthetics of a room but also provide effective air circulation. With so many options available in the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. So, let’s look at why you should use an outdoor fan for an outdoor area:

Feature Indoor Ceiling Fans Outdoor Ceiling Fans
Purpose To circulate air inside a room To circulate air outside on patios, porches, or gazebos
Design Sleek and stylish, designed to blend with indoor decor Durable and weather-resistant, designed to withstand outdoor elements
Material Usually made of metal or wood Made of weather-resistant materials such as aluminum or steel
Blade Size Smaller blades to fit in low-ceiling spaces Larger blades move more air and accommodate outdoor spaces
Weather Resistance Not designed to withstand extreme weather conditions Waterproof and weather-resistant for protection against rain, wind, and other elements
Damp/Wet Location Suitable for damp locations Suitable for damp or wet locations
Speed and Power Less powerful, designed for indoor use More powerful, designed for outdoor use
Price Less expensive than outdoor ceiling fans More expensive than indoor ceiling fans

Can indoor ceiling fans be used outdoors?

No, indoor ceiling fans are not designed for outdoor use and are unsuitable for outdoor environments. Outdoor ceiling fans are designed for outdoor use and are built to withstand elements like rain, wind, and extreme temperatures.

They are also constructed with rust-resistant materials and have sealed motors to prevent water damage. Using an indoor ceiling fan outdoors can lead to safety hazards and damage to the fan, so it’s important to use the correct type of fan for the specific environment.

Indoor ceiling fans are not designed for outdoor use and should not be used outdoors. Outdoor ceiling fans are specifically designed for outdoor environments and are constructed with materials that can withstand the elements such as moisture, wind, and extreme temperatures.

Outdoor ceiling fans are designed with weather-resistant materials and corrosion-resistant finishes to prevent rust and corrosion. They also have sealed motors designed to keep water out, which helps protect the fan from damage due to rain, snow, and other forms of precipitation.

On the other hand, indoor ceiling fans are designed for indoor use only and are not constructed to withstand the harsh outdoor environment. They may not have sealed motors, which could result in water damage and failure of the fan. Additionally, indoor ceiling fans are not designed to handle high winds, which can cause the blades to break or become damaged.

difference between indoor and outdoor ceiling fans

Do outdoor fans make a difference?

Outdoor fans are designed differently from indoor fans to withstand outdoor elements such as rain, wind, and extreme temperatures. Outdoor fans are built with weather-resistant materials, while indoor fans are not.

These fans usually have features such as damp-rated motors, corrosion-resistant blades, and UV-resistant finishes.

They also have different airflow patterns and speeds to deal with outdoor conditions. So, outdoor fans are different from indoor fans in terms of construction, features, and performance.

Outdoor and indoor fans have significant differences that make them ideal for their respective environments. Outdoor fans are designed specifically for outdoor use. They are built to withstand harsh weather conditions like rain, wind, and extreme temperatures.

On the other hand, indoor fans are designed for indoor use and are not built to withstand outdoor elements. To prevent corrosion and deterioration, outdoor fans are constructed with weather-resistant materials, such as rust-resistant steel and UV-resistant plastics. This ensures that outdoor fans can be used for years without any issues.

Additionally, some outdoor fans often come equipped with advanced features, such as the ability to operate during a power outage, adjustable speed controls, and damp-rated or wet-rated motors, making them ideal for outdoor use.

Another significant difference between indoor and outdoor fans is their size. Outdoor fans are generally larger and have a higher CFM (cubic feet per minute) rating, which means they can circulate air more efficiently, even in large outdoor spaces.

Can you convert the indoor ceiling fan to outdoor

Some indoor fans are designed to be used only inside the house. They may not be suitable for outdoor use due to the different conditions they face, such as humidity, temperature fluctuations, and exposure to sunlight and rain.

On the other hand, some indoor fans are built to withstand outdoor environments and can be converted to outdoor use with a few modifications. These fans have specific features, such as moisture-resistant blades, rust-proof motors, and sealed electrical components that can withstand exposure to the elements.

Suppose you want to convert your indoor ceiling fan to an outdoor one. In that case, you should first consult the manufacturer’s specifications to see if it’s suitable for outdoor use. If it’s not, you may need to purchase a new fan designed for outdoor use to ensure safe and efficient operation.

However, with some steps and special considerations, you can convert your indoor fan to an outdoor fan. First and foremost, the fan blades need to be replaced with materials such as ABS plastic, polypropylene, or bamboo, as these materials are resistant to warping and cracking due to moisture.

The fan’s motor housing should also be replaced with one rated for outdoor use. It will be better equipped to handle exposure to the elements.

Additionally, the wiring and electrical components of the fan need to be rated for outdoor use. Outdoor fans require special wiring that is waterproof and resistant to corrosion.

It is recommended to seek professional help from an electrician or HVAC technician for such modifications as they require technical skills and knowledge to carry out safely.

So, it is possible to convert an indoor ceiling fan to an outdoor one. Still, it requires careful consideration and proper planning to ensure that the fan performs efficiently and safely outdoors.

What kind of fan is best for outdoors?

When it comes to outdoor spaces, having a fan can make a huge difference in the area’s comfort level. But with so many types of fans available, knowing which one to choose can take time and effort.

The right fan for your outdoor space will depend on various factors, such as the size of the area, the climate, and the intended use of the space. Below are some of the best fans for your outdoor space.

Monte Carlo 3MAVR60BS Maverick Energy Star 60” Outdoor Ceiling Fan

The Monte Carlo Maverick Energy Star 60” Outdoor ceiling fan with Remote Control is among today’s best outdoor fans. This fan boasts a sleek, stylish design with a brushed steel finish that looks great on any patio or outdoor living space.

With a 60-inch blade span, the Maverick fan is perfect for larger outdoor areas, providing efficient cooling and circulation of fresh air.

The Maverick fan is Energy Star rated, meaning it is highly efficient and will save you money on your energy bills. It is also wet-rated, making it safe for use in outdoor locations, even during wet weather conditions. The fan is constructed with high-quality materials that are durable and designed to withstand the elements, ensuring it will last for years to come.

One of the most convenient features of the Monte Carlo Maverick fan is its remote control. With the touch of a button, you can easily adjust the fan speed, turn it on or off, and even control the light (if you choose to add a light kit). This makes it easy to operate the fan from the comfort of your chair or sofa without getting up and manually adjusting the settings.

YOUKAIN 52 Inch Indoor/Outdoor Modern Ceiling Fan with Lights and Remote Control

The YOUKAIN Indoor/Outdoor Modern Ceiling Fan with Lights and Remote Control is a top-of-the-line fan perfect for indoor and outdoor spaces. With its sleek and modern design, this fan is a stylish addition to any room or patio.

The 52-inch size is perfect for medium to large spaces, making it a great option for larger living areas, bedrooms, and outdoor entertainment spaces.

One of the standout features of this fan is its powerful motor, which provides excellent airflow and circulation. Whether you need to cool down a room or create a refreshing breeze on your patio, this fan is up to the task. The fan is also equipped with built-in lights, making it a convenient two-in-one option that saves space and provides lighting and cooling.

The remote control that comes with the fan makes it easy to adjust the fan’s speed, direction, and lighting from the comfort of your seat. This feature is particularly handy for outdoor spaces, where getting up to adjust the fan can be inconvenient.

Minka-Aire Xtreme H2O 65 Inch Outdoor Ceiling Fan

The Minka-Aire F896-65-CL Xtreme H2O 65 Inch outdoor ceiling fan is an exceptional outdoor fan that has gained its place among the best in the market. It is designed with a sleek and modern look, perfect for contemporary outdoor spaces.

The fan is equipped with a powerful DC motor that operates quietly and efficiently, making it energy-saving and cost-effective. It has an impressive 65-inch blade span provides maximum air circulation, ensuring that every corner of your outdoor space is evenly cooled.

The Minka-Aire F896-65-CL Xtreme H2O is built to withstand all outdoor elements with its durable and weather-resistant construction. It is made of high-quality materials that endure harsh conditions like rain, wind, and saltwater.

How do you tell if a ceiling fan is rated outdoors?

You should check for certain features and certifications to tell if a ceiling fan is rated outdoors. Here are the steps you can follow:

  1. Look for certifications: Ceiling fans rated for outdoor use typically have certifications from organizations like Underwriters Laboratories (UL) or National Electric Code (NEC). The certification will state that the fan has been tested and is suitable for use in damp environments.
  2. Check the material: Outdoor ceiling fans are made from weather-resistant and durable materials. Look for fans that have blades made from materials like aluminum or plastic and housing made from stainless steel or other corrosion-resistant materials.
  3. Look for a damp or wet rating: Depending on their intended use, many outdoor ceiling fans will be rated as either damp or wet. A fan rated as “damp” can be used in covered outdoor areas, such as patios or porches. A fan rated as “wet” can be used in uncovered outdoor areas, such as patios or decks.
  4. Check the warranty: Many outdoor ceiling fans will come with a warranty that covers damage from outdoor elements, such as rain, snow, or wind. Check the warranty to ensure it covers outdoor use.

When looking for an outdoor ceiling fan, look for certifications, materials, ratings, and a warranty that covers outdoor use. By doing so, you can be sure that the fan is safe and durable for use in an outdoor environment.

Do outdoor ceiling fans keep flies away?

Outdoor ceiling fans are not designed to keep flies away. However, they can help reduce the presence of flies and other flying insects in the surrounding area. The airflow created by a ceiling fan can disrupt the flight pattern of insects, making it difficult for them to fly around and land on surfaces.

Additionally, the fan’s movement can help disperse the scents and odors that attract flies, making it less likely for them to be attracted to the area.

While outdoor ceiling fans may not eliminate the presence of flies, they can be a useful tool in minimizing their presence. It’s important to note that other factors, such as cleanliness and food, can also attract flies. Keeping your outdoor area clean and free of food debris can help further reduce the presence of flies.

Can outdoor ceiling fans be exposed to rain?

Depending on their water resistance level, outdoor ceiling fans can be exposed to rain. Some outdoor fans are specifically designed to withstand rain and other outdoor elements. In contrast, others may not be suitable for such conditions.

It’s important to check the product specifications and features before purchasing an outdoor ceiling fan and to ensure it is installed properly to avoid potential hazards. It’s also recommended to regularly inspect and maintain the fan to ensure it continues to function safely and efficiently.

difference between indoor and outdoor ceiling fans

How do you clean outdoor fans?

Cleaning outdoor fans can be a challenging task. Still, keeping them in good condition is essential to ensure their proper functioning. First, turn off the fan and unplug it from the power source to avoid mishaps. Other steps include;

  1. Remove the blades: Outdoor fans are typically designed with removable blades, making it easier to clean them thoroughly. To remove the blades, locate the screws that hold them in place, and remove them using a screwdriver.
  2. Clean the blades: Use a damp cloth to wipe down each blade, removing any dust, debris, or cobwebs that may have accumulated. You can also use a mild soap solution to clean the blades if they are especially dirty.
  3. Clean the motor: Wipe down the motor with a dry cloth to remove any dust or cobwebs that may have accumulated on it. Do not use water on the motor, as this could damage it.
  4. Reinstall the blades: Once clean and dry, put them back in place and secure them with the screws.
  5. Clean the casing: Use a damp cloth to wipe down the fan’s casing, removing any dirt or grime that may have accumulated. Use a mild soap solution if the casing is seriously dirty.
  6. Check for loose screws or parts: Inspect the fan before turning the power supply back on to ensure all screws and parts are securely in place.
  7. Turn the power back on: Once you have completed the cleaning, turn the power supply back on to the fan and test it to ensure it works properly.

Cleaning your outdoor fan regularly ensures it runs smoothly and efficiently, providing optimal performance for your outdoor living space.


Both indoor and outdoor ceiling fans serve the common purpose of providing air circulation and cooling in their respective environments. However, there are significant differences between the two. Indoor ceiling fans are designed to be used in enclosed spaces, with little exposure to moisture and weather elements. On the other hand, outdoor ceiling fans are built to withstand harsh weather conditions, humidity, and temperature fluctuations.

Additionally, outdoor ceiling fans usually have features such as rust-resistant materials, damp ratings, and UV-resistant blades, making them suitable for use in patios, gazebos, and other outdoor areas. Indoor ceiling fans, on the other hand, come in various styles, designs, and sizes, catering to different aesthetic preferences and room sizes.

Choosing between an indoor or outdoor ceiling fan depends on the intended use, environmental conditions, and personal preferences. While indoor ceiling fans are ideal for use in indoor spaces, outdoor ceiling fans are a practical solution to keep outdoor areas cool and comfortable.