I’ve been getting questions about our outdoor fan. It is a puzzling piece of the backyard design that is difficult to wrap one’s brain around. How does it hold up in the weather? Why would you want a fan under a pergola? Does it actually work? How does it work? How is mounted? These are all valid questions and I’m really obsessed with that fan, so I thought a blog post was in order! Click through for all the details, as well as tips for installing your own…
Basically we wanted the entertaining space to be as cool as possible during the HOT Utah summer. This is our first summer living in Utah. If there’s anything we learned while building and installing our new & improved backyard, it’s that summers here are no joke. It’s a dry heat with lots of full sun and high temps here in the valley. We also discovered that if it’s windy or breezy out- it’s actually super tolerable. Unlike the Midwest or South where you get lots of humidity (definitely don’t miss that!), summers here are totally comfortable with a little wind and shade.
We solved the shade portion of the equation by installing sun shield fabric on top of the pergola (see more on that post here), but we wanted to be even more comfortable hanging outside. I brainstormed ways to add an overhead fan to the pergola, but we struggled to find a good solution.
Emmett thought it couldn’t be done since it would be exposed to all sorts of inclement weather, but luckily I found this fan from Haiku and proved him wrong. It’s 100% wet rated and durable… basically that means it can live outside year round in snow, sun, humidity, wind, and rain without being damaged. Obviously I also loved the look of this fan… it’s pretty modern and streamlined. I showed Emmett this image on their website of the wet-rated fan under a pergola, and once I sold Emmett on the product specs the plan was a go!
He trenched in electrical from our house to the pergola at the back of the yard and install only took an hour after the electrical was completed and wired. He built a special little mounting box to make the fan look like it belonged (not necessary for install, but a good design decision), and then it was up and running. Easy peasy! Trenching the electrical also made it easier to install string lights. They plug right into the pergola and we don’t have to worry about bulky extension cords running across the yard back to the house.
All of this to say, the trenching work was 100% worth it to hardwire the fan. You honestly wouldn’t believe the difference it makes in cooling the space. Emmett always says if you don’t have a pool or if you aren’t in water, you shouldn’t hangout outside if it’s over a certain temperature (he’s complains A LOT when he gets hot), and even he admitted the fan was the best idea, despite his skepticism early on. I didn’t want to say ‘I was right and you were wrong’, buuut…. it’s true. Ha! It actually makes it tolerable and comfortable sitting outside during the hottest part of the day. Trust me, we’ve done it.
As far as air volume goes (for you techy and engineer minded people), the CFM is 7778- that means it effectively cools a 20 x 20 outdoor area. We got a fancy digital temperature gage as a wedding gift years ago and did a little experiment just to see the difference the shade and fan combo made. Clearly we have too much time on our hands now that the backyard is complete. The space varied from 15 – 20 (!) degrees cooler than without. That is bonkers! Emmett being the math guy got such a kick out of our little test. He likes to justify everything we do and that totally confirmed our decisions for him.
All in all, we’ve been using this space A TON. We’ve had people show up to hangout outside the last few weekends and Emmett and I had a conversation about why we took on this giant project in the first place. That’s the reason… to enjoy it and use it. We hardly ever had people over to our home in Ohio. We were sort of out of the way, in a weird location, and we finished our outdoor space just weeks before moving. It was a bummer because we really enjoy the outdoors and entertaining.
Luckily by making modifications like the fan and shade fabric, we’ll be able to maximize the use for a larger portion of the year. Whether it’s mild spring weather, a super hot summer, or a chilly fall, it’s going to be a great, comfortable place to entertain and relax! We’re already talking about buying a couple outdoor heaters for fall. I’ll keep you updated!
Questions? I’m happy to answer anything in the comments below! I promise the backyard posts are almost over… I’m sharing the budget tomorrow to conclude the entire series. I really appreciate your kind words and everyone following along throughout this long process!
*This post is brought to you in collaboration with Haiku by Big Ass Solutions. To learn more about Haiku fans, visit their website at www.haikufan.com. All content, ideas, and words are my own. Thank you for supporting the sponsors that allow us to create unique content while featuring products we truly use and enjoy!