Are Window Fans Safe in the Rain? (Answered)

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Window fans have been used for decades as an affordable way to help cool down your home on warm days—without having to turn on your air conditioner full time.

Are window fans safe in the rain?

This Is Why Window Fans Are Safe in the Rain

Window fans are safe in light rain but not heavy downpours, storms, or other extreme weather. Window fans are designed to withstand outdoor conditions and will continue to operate safely as long as they do not get extremely wet. The safest window fans are wet-rated fans with storm guards.

Rainy window—Are Window Fans Safe In the Rain
Image by author via Canva—Are Window Fans Safe In the Rain?

Are Window Fans Safe in Light Rain?

Window fans are safe in a light drizzle.

The motors on window fans are often sealed so that they are protected from moisture. The fan blades are also designed to be weather-resistant.

Most window fans will continue to run safely as long as they are not drenched or submerged in water.

Read: Can Fans Get Wet? (13 Things You Need To Know)

Are Window Fans Safe in Heavy Rain?

Window fans are not safe in heavy downpours or stormy weather.

Window fans are not designed to withstand the level of moisture they may face in very heavy rain.

Strong winds might even dislodge window fans from your window. This can cause the fan to fall and potentially injure someone below. They may even short circuit and spark a fire.

I recommend that you unplug your window fan during heavy rainfall.

You may even want to remove your window fan and close your window to stop rain from getting into your room or house.

Read: Can Fans Hurt You? (17 Things You Need To Know)

Are Window Fans Safe in Freezing Rain and Snow?

Window fans are not safe in freezing rain and snow.

If you use a window fan in cold temperatures, the fan will either suck cold air into your house or blow hot air out of your house.

You probably don’t want either circumstance.

In winter, it’s better to unplug and remove your window fan from your window and use your heater.

How To Make a Window Fan Safe in the Rain (4 Good Ways)

There are at least four ways to make your window fan safe to use in the rain.

  1. You can use a window fan that is water-resistant.
  2. Wrap the front of your window fan with plastic to keep it dry when you use it in wet weather.
  3. Use a timer so that your fan is not running during the rain.
  4. You can use a window fan rain gaurd.

Use a Water-Resistant Window Fan

In fan lingo, we say “wet-rated.” That is, the window fan is designed to be used in wet weather.

Window fans that are wet-rated have motors that are completely sealed so they can’t be damaged by moisture. The fan blades are also made of materials that won’t rust or corrode when exposed to rain.

Even if you live in a dry climate, it’s always possible for a rainstorm to come through.

If you have a wet-rated window fan, you can be sure that it will continue to run safely no matter what the weather throws at it (especially when you follow the other guidelines in this article).

Wrap Your Window Fan in Plastic

You can also keep your window fan dry by wrapping it in plastic when you’re not using it (in rainy or colder weather).

This is DIY method that I would only use if you have no other viable options. Options such as taking the fan out of the window during the rain.

Again, you don’t need to remove the fan in fine or misty rain.

But if it is pouring or there is a storm, you’ll want to protect the fan blades and motor from excess moisture.

You can wrap your window fan in plastic by using zip ties or duct tape to secure a heavy-duty garbage bag around the fan.

You only need to protect the side of the fan facing outside of your house.

Another option is to purchase a window fan cover.

Use a Timer Plug

If you’re not comfortable using your window fan in the rain, you can always use a timer to turn it off.

Window fans typically come with a built-in timer. This timer will allow you to set how long you want the fan to run.

You can also use a timer plug.

A timer plug is just like an ordinary power strip with two key variations:

  1. It comes with its own AC adapter.
  2. It has multiple timer settings for automatically turning your fan ON and OFF.

Smart timer plugs connect to your phone, mobile device, or smart speaker.

What Is a Window Fan Rain Guard?

Lastly, you can get a window fan with a rain guard feature.

With this feature, you can actually shut the window behind your fan during the rain, all without needing to take the fan away from the window.

Besides removing your fan from the window, I consider this the second-best option.

The only reason it is not the first option is that it may require you to buy a new window fan. Not everyone can afford to drop cash on a new fan (at least not right away).

What To Do If Your Window Fan Gets Wet

If your window fan gets wet, unplug it and let it dry completely before using it again.

This gives you the best chance to avoid any potential damage to the motor or other electrical parts of the fan.

Here are my best tips:

  • Let your fan dry out for 24 hours
  • Place your window fan in a warm, dry place
  • Use a separate small fan or space heater to blow hot, dry air on your fan
  • Do the “towel test”

The towel test is where you leave your window fan on top of a dry towel for 4-6 hours. If the towel gets wet, then you need to let the fan dry out for longer.

If you’re still not sure if your fan is safe to use, consult the manufacturer’s instructions.

Here is a good video about how to dry out electronics:

YouTube video by Techquickie—Are Window Fans Safe in the Rain

Which Window Fans Works Best in the Rain?

Most window fans that are water-resistant or have a rain guard feature should work just fine in the rain.

But if you’re looking for a window fan that can handle wet weather, I recommend Air King’s line of window fans. They are all built to be “wet-rated.”

Air King makes the Air King 9166F 20″ Whole House Window Fan, which comes with the storm guard feature.

This fan is also one of the biggest and strongest fans on the market.

Final Thoughts: Are Window Fans Safe in the Rain?

The bottom line: Window fans are a great way to keep cool during the warm months of the year. If you have one, make sure it’s dry-rated and protected in wet weather.

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Sources

Advanced Functional Materials
Bob Villa