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Best Outdoor Fan For A Pergola

Comfortable outdoor living begins with creating a shaded space to enjoy your deck or patio. Extra comfort can be gained with the addition of certain features, one of which is an outdoor ceiling fan!

Close up photo of an outdoor fan installed on a heartland pergola

Pergolas are fantastic structures to add shade to your space and the louvered slats allow for great ventilation, not trapping in heat like a solid roof may. But if you live in many parts of the country that have extreme heat or humidity during the summers, you know that shade isn’t always enough when the air is hot, heavy and stagnant.

Many people choose to add-on an outdoor ceiling fan to their pergola to create the air flow necessary for those hot humid days. Choosing the right fan for your space is important! So what should you look for when buying an outdoor fan?

white pergola on a deck with outdoor fan

Talking with Michael Lichtenstein of the Lighting Gallery based in New York, he stresses the importance of knowing what you are purchasing for your outdoor space. Not all outdoor fans are created equal!

Many people are unaware of the different types fans and the difference between what’s known as DAMP RATINGS vs WET RATINGS. If you don’t know, you may find yourself with the wrong type of fan. Educating yourself is important as other companies can misrepresent what is best for your space just in order to get a sale.

Properly Rated for Outdoor Use

All ceiling fans will come with a UL rating. UL or Underwriters Laboratories, sets industry-wide safety standards for products. So what are these ratings and what do they mean?

DRY-Rated Outdoor Fans

If a fan is listed as Dry-Rated – that means that is meant for indoor use only. It will not have the features or design needed to protect the fan from outdoor conditions such as moisture, humidity, salty air and extreme temperature changes.

These indoor Dry-Rated fans should never be used for an outdoor space! Dry-Rated fans will lack the protective housing and wiring required to keep you and your family safe from harm should the motor or wires get wet. A Dry Rated fan will also have a significantly shorter life span if used outdoors. It could be a costly and dangerous addition to your outdoor space.

Even in some indoor locations, you will find that a dry-rated fan will not perform well – kitchens or bathrooms where there is high humidity or potential for moisture can see the effects over time as their fans begin to rust or tarnish and fan blades warp.

DAMP-Rated Outdoor Fans

Damp Rated Ceiling Fans are made for outdoor use – BUT – only in certain locations. A Damp-Rated outdoor fan is best used under the cover of a solid roof. So spaces like a 4-season room, screened porch, a garage or under the solid roof of a pavilion.

Damp-Rated fans should only be used outdoors where they are not at risk of being directly rained on or in the presence of heavy salty sea breezes.

white pergola with double outdoor fans and fan mounts

WET-Rated Outdoor Fans

So as the name implies, a Wet Rated fan is going to be your best choice in locations where you expect moisture, rain, snow or the spray from oceans to come into direct contact with your fan. Seaside homes, open decks, cabanas and pergolas are all examples of where you would want to install a Wet Rated Outdoor fan.

These fans are built with the materials, wiring and housing that can protect the motor, parts and electricity flowing to your fan from all of mother nature’s harsh elements.

For your outdoor pergola, it’s not enough to get an ‘outdoor’ fan, you want to specifically look for a UL Wet Rated fan. Not only will this protect you, your pergola, and your home from the threat of burns or fires; but it also decreases how often you will need to replace your fan! Your pergola was an investment made in part for its quality and longevity. You want to look for an outdoor pergola fan that can match the durability and value of your Heartland Pergola!

There are many different types of fans available online and through your local shops that can complement your style. The Lighting Gallery has offered up a few favorites of theirs, perfect for your pergola and all UL Wet Rated! The Lighting Gallery has also kindly offered a discount for our readers/pergola owners of 20% off of any outdoor fan purchase with the code: heartland20! (Heartland Pergolas has no affilation with The Lighting Gallery and receieves nothing back from your purchase.)

All overhead fans (as well as outdoor pendant lighting) can be mounted to your Heartland Pergola via our Fan Mount kit!

Close up photo of the fan mount kit installed on a heartland pergola for outdoor fan

And any wall mounted fan (like the oscillating fan above) or sconce lighting can be attached directly to your pergola posts. Since our posts have aluminum inside, you can securely fasten your accessories as well as conceal the wiring through the posts!

pergola lit up at night with lighting attached to pergola post and outdoor ceiling fans

Make your outdoor space one you will love! Heartland Pergola's versatility makes it easy to adapt to your lifestyle and outdoor design!

Have questions? Our team is standing by to help you! Give us a call!

Where to next?

If you can’t find what you’re looking for please give us a quick call at 563-345-6745 or use our chat box in the bottom left corner of your screen!