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​How Far Down Should I Drop a Ceiling Fan for Outdoor Use?

By 1 years ago 4374 Views No comments

Outdoor Fans Should Hang Lower

Minimum distance from the floor to the bottom of ceiling fan blades needs to be 7 feet to pass building codes. If your ceiling is higher and you wish to achieve more headroom than this, that will be fine, but don’t leave your fan too high above the floor if hanging an outdoor ceiling fan from your porch, patio, covered deck, or pergola.

For indoor use we suggest leaving the fan up higher than some of the manufacturer’s downrod sizing charts may suggest. We recommend this because we know that if you drop a fan too low it will become only useful for helping to cool a room during the spring and summer months, but it becomes useless in its reverse mode to help keep warm air from becoming trapped against the ceiling during the winter.

When installing a ceiling fan outdoors, you need to remember there is no lost heat that needs to be brought down from the ceiling outside during the winter. You will find that you will only use the fan during the spring and summer months, and maybe a little during the fall. Therefore, you will want to drop the fan down to the optimal level for cooling purposes when installing a fan above an exterior living area. The optimal level for this is between 8’ to 9’.

Outdoor Ceiling Fan Downrod Sizing Chart

Here is an easy to read chart to help you pick the correct length downrod for your new exterior use ceiling fan. Keep in mind, the longest length downrod is 72 inches, but we do carry downrod couplers which allow more than one downrod to be safely and effectively attached together. These couplers come in a variety of finishes to match most of our downrod finishes, making them practically invisible.

outdoor ceiling fans downrod sizing chart

Feeling Cooler Outside

Now that you know how far to drop your new outdoor ceiling fan for the maximum cooling effect, you should also know this: If you want to make the biggest difference in comfort on your patio, or any other exterior location, buying a ceiling fan that moves a high volume of airflow is key.

Ceiling fans cool by producing what is known as the wind chill effect. Dropping the fan lower by using a longer downrod for outdoor use is necessary to maximize how much of the fan’s airflow you will benefit from. However, outdoor ceiling fans can range in volume of airflow from under 2,000 cubic feet per minute, to as high as more than 14,000 CFM of airflow. The higher the CFM rating, the better the fan will be for cooling your area. Dropping your fan low enough will only maximize the most air possible that your new ceiling fan is capable of producing. If your new ceiling fan doesn’t move enough CFM of airflow, then it will not matter how far you drop it down, you will be sweating during the summer while sitting underneath it.


So that you get the intended effect from your new ceiling fan purchase, and that you’re not disappointed, buy a ceiling fan that moves enough airflow to cool your area. Then, based upon the ceiling height, be sure to order a long enough downrod to drop that fan down to the level of 8 to 9 feet above floor. If you research and do both of these things correctly you will be extremely satisfied with your purchase, and, you’ll be outside almost every night during the spring and summer to enjoy your outdoor living space more than ever before.

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