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Damp Rated vs Wet Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fans Damp Rated vs Wet Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Damp Rated vs Wet Rated Outdoor Ceiling Fans

Spring is here which means longer and warmer days for you to enjoy outside. The right outdoor ceiling fan can enhance comfort, add style to the space, and improve your entire outdoor experience. Hunter offers three different types of outdoor ceiling fans to suit different locations, from covered patios to pergolas, even in areas that see harsh weather. 

Why Ceiling Fan Location Matters 

Some fans are designed for direct exposure to water while others aren’t. Along with operational errors, aesthetic concerns such as rust and drooping can occur if you don’t choose the right outdoor fan for your space. Our outdoor ceiling fans go through tests to make sure the fan finish, blade finishes, and all the electrical components can withstand the environmental elements it will experience in its proper outdoor state fans to ensure maximum safety and performance.  

There are two general categories for outdoor ceiling fans: damp-rated and wet-rated. We took it a step further and innovated WeatherMax® technology to withstand tough weather elements like salt air and thunderstorms. 

So, when you want to update your outdoor oasis with a new outdoor fan, be sure to reference the rating as you shop for the right model.  

Wet-Rated vs. Damp-Rated: What’s the Difference?

The key difference between these two types of fans is how much moisture they can withstand. Both types are engineered to offer corrosion protection, but only wet-rated ceiling fans can handle direct exposure to the elements. For that reason, they must pass more rigorous water spray testing. Damp-rated fans should only be placed in areas that are covered and do not get direct exposure to the elements.  
Let’s walk through what to look for in  damp-rated, wet-rated, and WeatherMax, ceiling fans so you can choose the best option for your outdoor space.   
Two Matte Silver - Roasted Maple Cassius Outdoor ceiling fans over outdoor kitchen

What is a Damp Rated Ceiling Fan?

Damp-rated fans are ideal for covered outdoor spaces like patios and porches. Their ability to withstand exposure to moisture and humidity also makes them ideal for indoor spaces like bathrooms and laundry rooms. Some of our favorite damp-rated outdoor fans are Cassius modern fan, Mill Valley farmhouse fan, and the classic yet famous Hunter Original fan.  
Ideal for areas that have no direct contact with rain, snow, or ice, damp-rated fans can handle moisture like a pro, but they're not designed to receive immediate exposure to water. Consider installing a damp-rated fan in spaces such as: 
  • Covered patios 
  • Garages 
  • Bathrooms 
  • Covered or screened-in porches
  • Laundry rooms
White Sea Air Outdoor ceiling fan over patio

What is a Wet-Rated Ceiling Fan?

For outdoor spaces exposed to snow or rain, a wet-rated fan is the way to go. Some of our favorite wet-rated outdoor fans for pergolas are the Rainsford and Sea Wind casual fans. Wet-rated outdoor ceiling fans are designed and engineered to withstand direct contact with water and moisture, which makes them ideal for gazebos and pergolas 
To certify that our fans are wet rated they must go through several tests to verify the safety of the components. One of the tests our engineers perform, the rain test, uses high-powered hoses to simulate the fan being rained on. During this test, the ceiling fan has nearly six bathtubs full of water rained on it!  
Wet-rated outdoor ceiling fans can handle just about anything Mother Nature dishes out. At Hunter, wet-rated fans are built with moisture-resistant motors and durable blades for long-lasting and safe performance. Use our wet-rated fan in these spaces that are exposed to rain, snow, or ice including: 
  • Gazebos 
  • Pergolas  
  • Exposed decks 
  • Uncovered patios 
  • Cabanas 
  • Verandas 
Quartz Grey Anorak on a pergola

What is a WeatherMax Fan?

Hunter WeatherMax ceiling fansare built for the outdoors with features and technologies that go beyond the average wet-rated fans. WeatherMax designs are wet-rated as well as corrosion- and salt air-resistant, perfect for beach properties or lakeside homes. They feature premium materials to keep their style and performance as well as durable materials to maintain proper blade shape and pitch. Just as much thought goes into the technology as the design, so it’s comforting to know stylish models like the Anorak and Havoc outdoor fans will hold up throughout the weather.  
Most WeatherMax fans also feature our SureSpeed® Guarantee for optimized, high-speed performance. Engineered for the elements, WeatherMax fans deliver reliable performance, season after season. They're specifically designed to maintain a look that lasts while offering maximum airflow that keeps you cool and comfortable coast-to-coast.

Check out the latest WeatherMax fans making a splash.


Outdoor Fan FAQs

Can wet-rated or damp-rated outdoor fans be used inside?

Yes! Outdoor fans can be used inside but indoor fans cannot be used outside. For indoor spaces that are prone to moisture like laundry rooms or bathrooms, we suggest using a damp-rated fan, so you won't have to worry about corrosion or moisture damage.  

Can an indoor fan be used in carports or covered porches?

Nope – even if your outdoor space is partially enclosed or screened, an indoor ceiling fan won't be rated or approved to handle even the slightest amount of moisture. In fact, using an indoor fan outdoors can be downright dangerous – if damaged from the elements, the fan can short and cause an electrical fire. 

Do I need an outdoor-rated ceiling fan downrod?

If your ceiling is more than 8-feet high - No, you should use a low-profile outdoor ceiling fan that doesn’t require a downrod.
If your ceiling is higher than 9-feet or higher - Yes, you’re going to use an outdoor-rated downrod. Your Hunter outdoor ceiling fan includes the downrod with the appropriate rating. We carry a variety of downrods in multiple sizes to ensure the right fit for the height of your ceiling. 

Where can I find the best wet-rated outdoor ceiling fans?  

We have a variety of quality damp- and wet-rated fans to bring comfort and style to every outdoor area. Choose from options with or without lights in multiple sizes and finishes to complement your design scheme. No matter which style you prefer, all our outdoor ceiling fans are made for long-lasting use and unrivaled performance.
The key to upgrading the look and feel of your home is to treat your outdoor space with the same love and attention you give your indoor spaces. Get the high-end style you're craving by shopping the collection of quality-designed Hunter outdoor fans now.  
For more help on how to choose a ceiling fan, check out our product selector.