A common problem that people have with certain outdoor ceiling fans is that the blades will break during windy conditions. Because of this, we have lots visitors come to our site asking us if we can supply them with replacement blades or to recommend ceiling fans that can better handle the torrents of mother nature.
Below is a recent email conversation that I had with someone who was kind enough to send us some pictures and allow me to post this information here so that others can learn from their experience. NOTE: If anyone else would like to share comments and pictures of ceiling fans with broken blades due to high winds, please email them to me at: Gregt@hansenwholesale.com and I will be happy to add them to this page.
OK...The conversation began with this original question:
Question: We have 3 outdoor ceiling fans on our covered porch. When the wind is blowing harder than normal, the blades on the ceiling fans break. We have replaced the blades and the same thing has happened again. What can we do to prevent this from happening? The porch is longer than it is wide and has the affect of a breezeway when the wind is blowing. We would appreciate any suggestions.
Response: Having blades break off an outdoor ceiling fan in windy conditions is quite common with some models (particularly those sold at home centers) because they use poorly designed blades and thin pot-metal blade holders. There are higher quality ceiling fans that are better designed to handle wind. They either have very heavy duty blades and blade holders, or no blade holders at all (unibody fans). Please read the information I have published on our oudoor ceiling fans page regarding "High Wind Locations". You will find it about half way down the page. There you will find a more detailed answer to your question as well as some links to fans that I would highly recommend for you.
If you do not buy new fans, you are just going to continue to have the same problem...
Can you please email me some pictures of your fans? Hopefully I can see one with broken blades. I'd love to publish it on our website to help better answer this question to other visitors. I'd really appreciate it.
Ceiling Fan Expert at Hansen Wholesale
Email Followup: Good morning Greg. I wanted to get you these pictures of our broken outdoor ceiling fan blades due to wind. I hope this will help your customers not make the same mistake we did. The contractor that built our covered porch bought these fans at Lowes and they are made by Harbor breeze. We would like to hear what you have to offer as a durable replacement. We are hoping that somehow we can work with you to replace the blades and not have to replace the entire fans. We have 3 fans and it seems the ones on both ends of the porch took the most hit of the wind. We also found out the hard way that replacing blades due to the alignment of the brackets is not easy. We continue to hope you can help us.
Ceiling fan with broken blades from wind #1
Ceiling fan with broken blades from wind #2
Ceiling fan with broken blades from wind #3
Email Response Thanks for sending the pictures...they will be a great help with our visitors.
Regarding getting new blades for your fan:
The blade holders that came with your Harbor Breeze ceiling fans fans have their own specific hole pattern, so blades from other brands will not likely fit. This why you are having a hard time finding replacement blade alternatives. Manufacturers do not supply us with the exact specifications for the hole patterns used with each of the many blades they make, so even if there was a slight chance that any of the blades we can supply would fit your fan, there is no way for us to know. Even more, a heavier, thicker blade may weigh more than the blades that came with your fans and could cause undo stress on the generic motor that Lowe's uses in their Harbor Breeze fans (Harbor Breeze is their own brand). Although I know you do not want to spend the money to replace your fans (I feel for you), I still recommend that you do so, otherwise you are most likely going to continue replaceing blades every time the winds blow by.
I would suggest that you consider the Minka Aire Concept II wet ceiling fans. They are flush mount fans with heavy duty blades and no blade holders. We have had the most success with these fans for outdoor windy and rainy conditions. The Concept II fans are sleeker and less tropical in design than your current fans, so I recommend that you buy them in a white finish so that they will blend in with the ceiling and trim of your home. They will look great!
Here's the GOOD NEWS: If you buy these fans from us and the blades do break, we will replace them FREE based on our 5 year replacement parts plan (see website or call us for details). This is our own exclusive plan automatically provided to our customers. It is not provided by the ceiling fan manufacturers, so you will not find this offer at any other website.
Here are links to the above resources:
Let me know if this helps...