Installing an Outdoor Ceiling Fan on a Covered Patio

covered patio with beach themed decor.

No one would dare take a cool breeze for granted, especially in the dog days of summer! What if you could harness this feeling anytime you wanted? If you have a covered patio, you can! All you have to do is add a ceiling fan to your covered patio.

A ceiling fan is a perfect complement to your rocking chair, a cold glass of iced tea, and your current summer read. This outdoor appliance will keep you cool and comfortable all day long, even when it’s sweltering outside.

Want to add a fan to your outdoor space? Take a quick look through our tips on how to do it and explore some reasons why you should.

Before Installing a Ceiling Fan

Here’s what you’ll need to consider before calling someone to install your outdoor fan:

  • Choosing a fan — You’ve found the perfect ceiling fan, but it’s designed to be used indoors. Even if your porch is well covered, there are several reasons why you should reconsider this choice. Outdoor fans are made to withstand the elements, typically featuring ABS (all-weather) blades. The motor will also have a waterproof seal. Look for fans that display a “damp” or “wet” rating – a “dry” rating will not weather the elements found outdoors.
  • Electrical work — Handling the electrical wiring behind your ceiling fan can seem like a daunting task. You will need to mount the electrical box and run wiring from a power source such as an outlet or the main breaker. Be sure to turn off the power before handling electrical wiring. Need help with this part? A friendly technician at Mr. Electric would be more than happy to help!

How to Install a Ceiling Fan on Your Covered Patio

Once you’ve readied the space and chosen the correct fan, it’s time to start the installation. Here’s how to install a ceiling fan on your covered patio:

  1. Situate the wiring. As previously stated, you may want to enlist an electrician for help if you’re hesitant about the electrical aspects of the installation. Be sure to have the power shut off throughout the entire installation process.
  2. Mount bracket to the junction box. Choose a bracket labeled “old work,” which indicates that you’re adding the fan to an existing ceiling.
  3. Connect the body of the ceiling fan to the bracket. This is when you’ll connect the wiring from the junction box to the machine.
  4. Attach blades to the motor. Make sure to tighten the screws so the blades fit snugly.
  5. Once the fan is completely assembled, turn on the power. Switch your fan on the highest setting and watch for any unwanted “wobbling.” This is how you can ensure your fan is safely fastened to the ceiling.

Additional Tips for Outdoor Ceiling Fan Installation

With almost every DIY project, there’s the chance to miss something. Here are some extra tips that will ensure your installation and operation go off without a hitch:

  • Check the direction — Be sure that your fan blades turn counterclockwise. When this direction is utilized, the air will be pushed down, which increases efficiency and the amount of air that reaches you.
  • Go long — Contrary to what one might expect, long, skinny blades cool better than larger, wider blades. While you’re at it, choose a system with fewer than five blades for optimal cooling power. When there’s more space between blades, there’s more space for air to be drawn through.
  • Use a down rod — If your covered patio has high ceilings, consider adding a down rod to your ceiling fan system. Air flow is less restricted when the ceiling fan is positioned a little farther from the ceiling.

Looking for more expert advice for your home? Check out more helpful expert home tips from Neighborly!

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