Beat the Heat With These Outdoor Ways to Keep Cool as Temps Rise
Categories: Outdoor Furniture
Ah, summer! There are so many reasons to love the season of shorts and swimsuits. Of course, blistering heat isn’t necessarily one of them. In fact, as the temperature rises outside during the most sweltering months of the year, you’re going to look for some cool relief. Fortunately, there are a few features you can add to your home to ensure that the only thing sizzling this summer is on the grill.
You Can Stand Under My Umbrella
One of the easiest ways to create some shade on your patio or deck is to add an umbrella. But to make the most of this feature, you need to think beyond the standard crank-lift umbrella placed at the center of your patio table.
“Cantilever umbrellas offer so much flexibility,” says Kristen Pollock of AuthenTEAK. The offset umbrella is designed to provide ample shade without having to deal with a pole getting in the way. There are a variety of colors, styles and sizes, allowing you to choose the perfect option for your coverage needs. What’s more, a cantilever umbrella is not a permanent structure and easily can be moved around your yard, making it practical for both relaxation and entertaining purposes.
“A lot of times, the umbrella is an afterthought. You get one after you’ve already bought your patio furniture,” Pollock notes. “But it really is key. It’s an integral part of your outdoor space, and it can be a good investment that allows you to get the maximum use out of all of your outdoor spaces.”
If you want your outdoor space to feel like a true extension of your interior, consider a retractable awning. Not only will the feature help protect your family from harmful UV rays and help provide a cool spot in which to enjoy the summer warmth, but it also can impact the inside of your home. According to the American Society of Heating, Refrigerating and Air-Conditioning Engineers, a fabric awning can reduce heat gain within a home by between 55 and 77 percent, depending on the direction in which the windows face. Additionally, the shade created by an awning will help protect indoor and outdoor furniture, flooring and drapery from sun-exposure damage.
Choosing a retractable awning gives you options, as the structure is installed on the side of your home, but can be pulled in when not needed. And, depending on how much you want to spend, you can choose to have the awning deploy manually or automatically (using an electric motor).
Blades of Glory
These days, ceiling fans can be found in every room in the house. Why not have one adorning your outdoor space as well? “As outdoor living spaces become more and more popular, people are spending time in outdoor kitchens and patios,” says Jesse Gibson of Progressive Lighting. “Fans can make these spaces more comfortable and usable for more of the year, especially in a warmer climate like [metro Atlanta].”
The key to choosing the right outdoor fan is to understand which one will function properly in your particular space. “All ceiling fans can be used inside of the home, but not all fans can be used outdoors,” reveals Caroline Kim Humphries of Dan’s Fan City of Roswell. “Outdoor ceiling fans have sealed motors and electrical parts, outdoor-rated blades and are protected from exposure to the elements.”
Gibson explains that outdoor fans are either UL wet-rated or UL damp-rated; the former can be used in all outdoor environments, while the latter should be installed under a covered roof (such as in a covered porch or a three-season room). “Both wet- and damp-location fans have all-weather blades that will not droop when exposed to humid Atlanta summers,” he says.
And outdoor fans are even getting the high-tech treatment of their indoor counterparts. Haiku fans, which feature electronically controlled DC motors and the innovative SenseME technology, which reacts automatically after detecting motion and slight changes in temperature and humidity, are available for outdoor use. “All aluminum, composite and hybrid-resin Haiku fans (H, I and L Series) are damp-rated and can be used in covered outdoor spaces,” says Rachel Sawyer of Big Ass Solutions, the company behind Haiku fans. The finishes of the fans are protected in a variety of ways to protect them from the elements, like using automotive-grade paint to add protection from UV discoloration.
Get a Little Misty
You don’t necessarily have to take a dip in the pool to really cool off this summer. An evaporative mist cooling system can cool your outdoor space dramatically by atomizing water into a fog-like mist. The mist is sprayed from nozzles installed on your home and can be directed toward any area in your yard, from a deck or patio, to the pool area. In many cases, the cooling effect can be as much as 30 degrees and allow you and your family to enjoy your outdoor space even during the hottest hours of the day. Even better, because the droplets created are so small, you won’t feel like you’re getting drenched (unless you stand directly near a nozzle).
Both low-pressure and high-pressure misting systems are available. Some systems allow for DIY installation; high-pressure systems typically require pumps and tubing kits and, in some cases, professional installation. You should consult with a misting-system company to decide what will work best for you.
An Outdoor Deck or Patio Umbrella to try:
Treasure Garden AKZ Cantilever Umbrella in a variety of sizes (from 10’ to 13’).
A range of canopy fabrics is available, as are replacement parts. Prices range from $700 to $4000.
Awnings to try:
Solair® Shade Solutions – A variety of fabric options are available, as is a wind sensor option that closes the awning in windy conditions.
Prices range from $2100 to $2800.
Outdoor Fans to try:
1. Savoy House Trudy 52” Five-Blade Fan. $358. ProgressiveLighting.com
2. Savoy House Senegal Outdoor Air Ionizing Ceiling Fan D’lier. $558. ProgressiveLighting.com
3. TroposAir Titan Brushed Nickel Large Industrial Ceiling Fan. $599.99. DansCeilingFans.com
4. Haiku H Series Fan, available in 52”, 60” or 84” diameters and a variety of finishes. Prices vary. HaikuHome.com
A Misting System to Consider:
Rapid Cool Misting Systems (Pooler, GA) offers DIY misting systems and includes a free consultation with an expert to discuss your needs.
Prices will vary.
Did You Know?
Getting the interior of your home to feel nice and cool is just as important as beating the heat outside. However, an indoor ceiling fan is only one element of what you need to achieve your goal. “Have you ever left a fan running in an empty room to keep the area cool? Sorry to say, it doesn’t work,” says Rachel Sawyer of Big Ass Solutions, the company behind Haiku fans. “It’s important to note that fans don’t cool rooms—they cool you. Airflow from a fan can make you feel up to 10 degrees cooler than the temperature in a space, and the breeze improves your ability to regulate your body heat.”