What Size Ceiling Fan For An Outdoor Patio?

Nick Durante
by Nick Durante

Outdoor patios add value to a home and are a perfect example of modern leisure. You can make your patio even more comfortable if you include a ceiling fan to help cool off on a hot day. So, what size ceiling fan do you need for an outdoor patio?

You need a ceiling fan with an 18” diameter blade span if you have a 36 square foot outdoor patio. A 29” ceiling fan is ideal for a 64 square foot patio, and 36” can cover a 75 square foot patio. You need a wider diameter for your blade span if you have a larger patio to cover more space.

Put up to 8 feet of space between ceiling fans if you want to install multiple in the same patio. Blade span is important to get right so that you can effectively cool the whole patio. Follow along as we explore what size ceiling for an outdoor patio is right for you.

Does Ceiling Fan Size Matter?

Ceiling fan size is important for an outdoor patio. The size of your ceiling fan is based on the size of the patio and its layout. You won’t be able to circulate air properly if you put a large ceiling fan on a small outdoor patio.

Conversely, your ceiling fan will struggle to cool the space if you install one that is too small. You will put unnecessary stress on the fan’s motor and eventually burn it out. Ceiling fans draw the eyes easily, so you want yours to be proportionate to the space.

It is potentially dangerous to install the wrong size ceiling fan, especially if it is too large for the patio. Height is also important, and you should install it 7’ from the ground or higher. This ensures that even the tallest family members and friends can clear the ceiling fan.

What Size Ceiling Fan Do I Need For My Patio?

The size of the ceiling fan that you needs varies based on the size of your outdoor patio. For example, an outdoor patio that measures 144 square feet requires a ceiling fan that is at least 44”. You may only need a 29” ceiling fan if your patio measures 75 square feet or smaller.

A ceiling fan can typically cool between 4 and 8 feet depending on its diameter. Ceiling fan size refers to the diameter of the blades, also known as blade span. Large porches that measure over 75 square feet often require multiple ceiling fans.

That is because ceiling fans don’t cover large areas and don’t cool the air like an HVAC system. Instead, ceiling fans cool you by circulating air throughout the outdoor patio or interior space.

Outdoor Patio Size

Ceiling Fan Size

36 Square Feet18”
64 Square Feet29”
75 Square Feet36”
144 Square Feet44”
225 Square Feet50”
256 Square Feet60”

How Far Apart Should Outdoor Ceiling Fans Be?

Outdoor ceiling fans should generally be 8 feet apart. However, it varies based on the size of the porch and how much coverage you want. It is ideal to install a ceiling fan 4 feet away from the wall on an outdoor patio.

That provides enough space for the ceiling fan to cool ½ of the area for an average-sized patio. Install another ceiling fan 4 feet away from the wall at the opposite end. The combination of two fans spaced 8 feet apart is enough to cool a 75 square foot patio, or larger.

However, you may want your ceiling fans to be closer together if your outdoor patio is too dark. Some bulbs are dimmer than others and won’t cover enough space, especially for large outdoor patios. Otherwise, upgrade to LED light bulbs to cover more space so you can keep your ceiling fans apart.

How to Choose an Outdoor Ceiling Fan

Factors such as size and lighting can help you choose an outdoor ceiling fan. However, environmental factors like your local climate are just as important. Outdoor ceiling fans each have a unique moisture rating that determines how they can withstand moisture.

Homeowners that live in a humid climate can benefit from a wet-rated or damp-rated outdoor ceiling fan. Wet-rated outdoor ceiling fans are the most waterproof and can even withstand direct water exposure. Damp-rated ceiling fans are durable and can hold up to moisture exposure, but they aren’t waterproof.

Carefully consider how humid your climate is and how much rain you get before you choose an outdoor ceiling fan. Unless an outdoor feeling is wet-rated, it likely has key electrical components that are exposed.

How Do I Protect My Outdoor Ceiling Fan?

The best way to protect your outdoor ceiling fan is to select one with durable materials. Stainless steel is the perfect material because it is rust-resistant and can withstand physical damage. You don’t have to worry about rust with resin ceiling fans, but they aren’t as durable.

Plastic ceiling fans are great for outdoor patios, but only if you get one with thick blades. Choose your ceiling fan location wisely based on its moisture rating. For example, don’t install a damp-rated ceiling fan near the edge of an outdoor where water could hit it.

The location of a wet-rated ceiling fan doesn’t matter as much and they provide the most protection. Give your ceiling fan enough floor-to-ceiling clearance to prevent accidental damage. Try not to run the ceiling fan on your outdoor patio for more than 8 hours to protect it.

Can an Outdoor Ceiling Fan be Too Big?

An outdoor ceiling fan can be too big and effectively ruin its purpose. For example, you won’t be able to cool the space if you install a 44” diameter ceiling fan in a 36 square foot patio. The oversized blades won’t push air in as concentrated of a space.

Blade span affects the size of the area in which a ceiling fan will cool you. You won’t feel the air circulation of a ceiling fan on a patio that isn’t proportionate in size. Oversized ceiling fans are also considered a design and can take away from the rest of the patio.

The disproportionate size can be distracting and won’t suit the rest of the outdoor patio. This is especially true if you have a well-painted ceiling as you won’t be able to see it as much.

Do Patio Ceiling Fans Need to be Oiled?

Yes, you need to oil an outdoor patio ceiling fan at least once per year. It is ideal to oil your outdoor ceiling fans more than once per year if you notice that it operates loudly. Frequent maintenance may be necessary if you live in a humid climate.

The excess moisture can lead to rust and swelling sooner than if it were indoors in some cases. Pay attention to how loud your outdoor patio ceiling fan is while it runs. The bearings can rust easily, and it’s best to lubricate them right away before it gets worse.

However, you may not need to lubricate your patio’s ceiling fans at all depending on how old it is. Modern ceiling fans often have self-lubricating bearings that eliminate the need to apply oil. Check your ceiling fan’s manual or contact the manufacturer to see if it includes sealed bearings.

Summing It Up

You need a 36” diameter ceiling fan for a 36 square foot outdoor patio. A 64 square foot outdoor patio requires a 29” ceiling fan and a 75 square foot patio requires a 36” ceiling fan. You won’t likely need a ceiling fan larger than 50” in diameter unless you have a 225 square foot outdoor patio.

Outdoor patios that measure 256 square feet are rare, but you’ll need a 60” blade span if you have one. Space the ceiling fans on your outdoor patio 8 feet apart if you have multiple. Install one fan 4 feet from the wall and another 4 feet from the wall on the other side for even coverage.

Make sure to get a wet-rated ceiling fan for your patio if you live in a humid, rainy climate. Damp-rated ceiling fans can protect against moisture, but they can break if they get wet directly. Limit how long you run your outdoor ceiling fan to 8 hours or less so that it doesn’t burn out and break.

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Nick Durante
Nick Durante

Nick Durante is a professional writer with a primary focus on home improvement. When he is not writing about home improvement or taking on projects around the house, he likes to read and create art. He is always looking towards the newest trends in home improvement.

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