The 10 Best Outdoor Fans

Updated April 03, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

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We spent 42 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. You don't have to get hot and bothered in the summer, even when far from air conditioning. Whether you're throwing an event or just looking for a little relief on your deck or patio, one of these outdoor fans will keep you comfortable and cool. We've included a range of models suitable for home and industrial use, so you're sure to find one that's right for you. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best outdoor fan on Amazon.

10. NewAir AF-520B

The NewAir AF-520B oscillates and produces a fine mist for cooling up to 500 square feet of your yard, patio, or deck, and does so with a whisper-quiet operation. It's great for use by the pool or for beating the heat at a worksite.
  • easy to adjust the height
  • simple push-button controls
  • mist has a short range
Brand NewAir
Model AF-520B
Weight 22.8 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

9. Home Decorators Collection Brette

The Home Decorators Collection Brette is a unique option. The fan is enclosed within an LED ring that gives it a bladeless appearance. While many find this an aesthetically appealing concept, be aware that the amount of air moved suffers because of it.
  • fifty-thousand-hour led life
  • doesn't wobble at all
  • overly focused airflow
Brand Home Decorators Collect
Model AM382A-ORB
Weight 32.7 pounds
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

8. Emerson Tilo

With its modern, triple bladed, rounded design available in three colors, the Emerson Tilo is a versatile choice safe for damp and humid areas. It will cool and complement your home deck just as well as it would a covered open-air seating area at a restaurant.
  • can add your choice of light fixture
  • controlled via a wall panel
  • doesn't push out a lot of air
Brand Emerson
Model CF130WW
Weight 11.6 pounds
Rating 4.9 / 5.0

7. DecoBreeze 18-Inch

If you don't want to deal with any installation hassles, yet still want something more attractive than a traditional pedestal model, the DecoBreeze 18-Inch might be what you are looking for. You can choose from four different styles, including Victorian and scrolls.
  • uv-resistant painted exterior
  • height-adjustable pole
  • looks more expensive than it is
Brand Designer Aire
Model pending
Weight 28 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

6. Home Decorators Collection Kensgrove

At 72 inches wide and with eight blades, the Home Decorators Collection Kensgrove is well-suited to large spaces that need a lot of airflow. It comes with a handheld remote that can be used to adjust the speed and illumination levels.
  • impressive nine speed settings
  • energy efficient operation
  • no exposed screws
Brand Home Decorators Collect
Model YG493OD-EB
Weight 31.3 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Hunter Key Biscayne

The classy Hunter Key Biscayne features a weathered zinc housing with burnished pinewood blades and a reversible motor for producing an up or downdraft as needed. Its hardware resists rust, and its lighting is enclosed by a protective housing.
  • pull chain for speed adjustments
  • has a nice rustic appeal
  • lifetime warranty on the motor
Brand Hunter Fan
Model 59135
Weight 30.9 pounds
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

4. Emerson Batalie Breeze

The Emerson Batalie Breeze is available in satin white or Venetian bronze and is sure to bring a Polynesian flair to any location you install it. The five-blade construction allows it to move a decent amount of air, giving it a lot of cooling power.
  • good choice for beach homes
  • doesn't create too much noise
  • can last many seasons outdoors
Brand Emerson
Model CF621VNB
Weight 29.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

3. Lasko 4890

The Lasko 4890 is an elegant, enclosed tower unit that can not only keep your deck or poolside cooler, but actually adds to the area's aesthetic appeal, rather than detracting from it, as some models do. This makes it a great choice for restaurant and bar patios.
  • integrated timer
  • oscillating airflow
  • attractive nighttime accent light
Brand Lasko
Model 4890
Weight 43.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

2. Lasko 7050 Misto

If you are trying to cool an outdoor work area in the summer, you can't go wrong with the high-powered Lasko 7050 Misto. If you hadn't already guessed by the name, it sends out a pleasant fine mist that makes for a very refreshing experience.
  • compact size is easy to transport
  • integrated carrying handle
  • three speed settings
Brand Lasko
Model 7050
Weight 16 pounds
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

1. Harbor Breeze Twin Breeze

The Harbor Breeze Twin Breeze is sure to be a talking point when you entertain company on your patio, with its unique and stylish dual-fan design. The broad wicker blades give off a very tropical vibe, making your outdoor area feel like a Hawaiian retreat.
  • sleek oil-rubbed bronze finish
  • frosted lamp shade
  • ideal for large and long spaces
Brand Harbor Breeze
Model L0982
Weight 29.2 pounds
Rating 4.8 / 5.0

What Do I Need to Consider Before Purchasing an Outdoor Fan?

The first thing you need to consider before purchasing an outdoor fan is where you plan on placing that fan. You need to measure the clearance, assuming you're in the market for a standing fan. Beyond that, you need to consider whether the fan will be exposed to rain, or other elements. Is the fan waterproof or weather-resistant? Do you need to keep it under a canopy? Is it durable enough to withstand an extreme climate? These are just a few of the aspects that you'll want to take into account.

Once you've squared away some basics, you'll want to look into how much noise any operating fan makes. Noise may not be an issue if you're buying a fan for your patio, but noise could definitely come into play if you're buying a fan for the outer-deck of a restaurant, or any other public setting. Assuming that's the case, you'll want to confirm how loud a fan is, how many settings it has, and what type of range it has. A heavy-duty fan with one setting could wind up causing an issue for tables cloths, paper plates, newspapers, or even hairdos that fall directly in its path.

Do you plan on leaving the fan in one place or do you need it to be portable? There are a lot of portable fans on the market, and some of the handheld models are ideal for doing work in a cramped area. If you're purchasing a stand-up fan that you need to transport, make sure to find a model that is lightweight (i.e., 10-30 lbs), and that features a collapsible base, or stem.

Finally, you'll want to conduct a bit of research to determine whether a portable fan can run on anything other than outlet power. This is especially relevant for any handheld fans in that batteries could save you the trouble of having to carry along a lengthy cord, or find an outlet in a remote location.

A Variety of Uses For Any Outdoor Fan

Most people purchase an outdoor fan to provide cooling and ventilation for a consolidated area. But outdoor fans can be used for a variety of purposes, many of which may not be apparent.

Keeping an outdoor fan on your patio can allow you to divert smoke from a charcoal grill so that it doesn't enter the house. If you own a pool, you can hang bathing suits and any other wet clothes on a railing in front of a fan to get them to dry faster. A high-powered fan can keep the mosquitoes away (assuming you don't mind having a constant stream of air blowing on you). An outdoor fan can also be used to circulate the scent of a Citronella candle. Just place that candle, or any other scent, directly behind the fan so that it rises into the circulating stream.

Along those lines, you can place an outdoor fan near the kitchen of any coffee shop or restaurant, thereby spreading an aroma out onto a deck, or any adjoining sidewalk. Outdoor fans can provide white noise so dining patrons don't feel self-conscious about their conversations. An outdoor fan can keep patrons from becoming impatient while seated in a sun-drenched waiting area, and can can also be used to remove the smell of disinfectants after you've mopped a restaurant's floor at the end of every night.

If you work in construction, an outdoor fan can be used to help concrete - or other settings - dry quicker. A handheld fan can be used to blow away sawdust, dirt, or any other powdered film. If you're working underground, or in an area where there's little ventilation, an outdoor fan could prove essential to your comfort. If you're working in an area where there's noxious chemicals, an efficient fan could prove essential to your health.

A Brief History of The Fan

Fans date back to 500 BCE, at which point they were called punkahs, a Hindi variation on the word pankh, which refers to the wind stream that is created when a bird flaps its wings. The first punkahs were made out of palmyra reeds. The loose materials were woven together, and then operated by hand.

During the Colonial Age the term punkah came to describe a new type of fan. This fan resembled a giant board, usually designed out of rattan, which swung overhead, circulating air whenever prompted by a lever. Punkahs were the expressed province of the rich throughout the Colonial Era. More often than not, these devices were hung in the houses of aristocrats, where Indian servants, or punkah wallahs, were relegated to operate the levers by hand.

Over the next few centuries scientists conducted experiments based on funneling airflow, and then recirculating it to cool an environment. During the mid-1800s steam fans were invented, constituting a major breakthrough for the industry. During 1882, the first electrical fans came along. Over the ensuing 30 years, companies throughout Europe and America began mass producing electrical fans for the home.

Fans have evolved throughout the past half-century, most notably in response to the widespread use of air conditioning and central air. Fans remain a cost-effective alternative to air conditioning, especially when it comes to outdoor use, where air conditioning isn't nearly as effective. Today, fans come in a variety of styles. Consumers have their choice of anything from a battery-operated handheld fan to a stand-up fan that features air filtration and thermostat control.

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Last updated on April 03, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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