The benefits of an indoor ceiling fan are obvious: ceiling fans circulate the air within a room, helping to cool the air using much less energy than any type of air conditioner. In cooler climates and during wintertime, you can even reverse the direction of your ceiling fan to help pull cool air away from your living space and keep your room comfortably warm. Yet, despite how common it is to install a ceiling fan indoors, many homeowners outright reject the idea of putting a fan above their exterior living spaces.
If you are already investing in the transformation of your outdoor spaces to make them into beautiful, functional living space — like an outdoor kitchen or outdoor living room — you absolutely must consider adding a ceiling fan into your design. Here’s why.
The first and perhaps best reason to install a ceiling fan outdoors is to improve the comfortability of the exterior space. Covered patios offer some relief from the summertime heat thanks to their shade, but because they are open to the Great Outdoors, hot temperatures do seep in, especially in the middle of the day. A ceiling fan or two installed over a covered outdoor space will keep the air under the patio moving, creating a breeze that provides comfort and relief.
In truth, ceiling fans are perhaps your only option for keeping an outdoor living area cooler. No air conditioner has an impact in huge, non-enclosed spaces, so wall-mounted or portable A/Cs are a waste of energy and expense. Meanwhile, floor and table fans might provide more direct airflow, but they tend to be noisier and less attractive than ceiling fans. With outdoor ceiling fans, you get a low-energy, low-cost, low-maintenance solution for keeping a space more comfortable during the time of year when you most want to be outside.
Besides the heat, one of the worst aspects of the outdoors during warmer months is the preponderance of pests — particularly bugs. Flying insects like flies, mosquitoes, and moths can make spending time on a porch nearly unbearable, as the buzzing nuisances land on your skin or in your food and drink if they aren’t bothering you with bites.
Fortunately, ceiling fans can help mitigate your pest problem. Moving air makes it more difficult for flying insects to stay airborne, so most bugs choose not to venture into areas with any amount of wind. Ceiling fans help to keep these pesky pests out of your patio space, so you can enjoy your outside time in peace.
In addition to installing an outdoor ceiling fan, you might consider these further bug mitigation strategies:
- Cleaning regularly. Many bugs live in refuse like leaf litter or garbage. Emptying the trash and keeping your patio cleaner will force bugs to search elsewhere for a home base. While you are at it, you should eliminate sources of standing water, which can be bug breeding grounds.
- Gardening with pest-repellers. There are plenty of plants that are well-known for their pest-repelling abilities. You might keep containers of chamomile, citronella, basil, and other plants on your patio to keep flying insects away.
- Replacing light bulbs. Cool-toned lights, like incandescent lights and fluorescent lights, attract more bugs than warm-toned lights because of insects associate color temperature with daylight. You can learn more about color temperature and install warmer lights to cut down on bugs.
Speaking of lighting, one last benefit of placing a ceiling fan in your outdoor space is the extra illumination fans can provide. Essentially all ceiling fans can be fitted with light kits, which give you the opportunity to install various styles of overhead lighting to enhance your outdoor living space. You might choose a ceiling fan with multiple smaller lights, or you might opt for a single globe light beneath your ceiling fan for greater illumination of your space.
Often, outdoor living spaces lack sufficient lighting to be functional. You might already have wall lighting, but it would be wise to augment your patio with overhead lighting, as well. Because the outdoors tends to get dark quickly as the sun sets, having multiple lighting options will help you craft the right ambiance as you enjoy your outside space.
Indoor-outdoor living isn’t likely to be a passing trend. After a year cooped up indoors, everyone wants to expand their living areas and take advantage of the fresh air in their yards. Installing an outdoor ceiling fan makes your patio more usable, and it increases the value of your home — for you and anyone who might buy it down the road.