4 Great Ways to Cool Your Outdoor Space (Beginner’s Guide)

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Patios and well, really any outdoor living space is the prime location for everything from family get-togethers to hosted dinners, to simply enjoying the outdoor air while working on a paper. But I’m from the Southern United States, and summer days can get hot and steamy. 

Before you let the hot temperatures drive you inside, try different methods to cool off your outdoor space. Create shade or covered space, design the space for cooling comfort, or invest in an outdoor cooling system.  Any or all of these suggestions can keep your outdoor space from getting too hot.  

These are a bit vague, so let’s touch on some of these methods in more detail and give you some examples of how to keep the summer from sizzling your soul! 

A Covered Outdoor Living Space Can Protect You from the Heat

Covered Outdoor Space
Get a Covered Space

Beat the Heat with a Patio Umbrella

Patio umbrellas give you a break from the UV without costing you an arm and a leg. They are also conveniently portable. They either move with your table or you can purchase the free-standing version that can be adjusted however you need it and just roll it around. Both can be closed up and put away when they aren’t needed. 

Can Shade Sails Cool Your Patio?

It’s possible that when other shading solutions fail, installing a shade sail or multiple shade sails is precisely what is needed. These things cover large areas, they’re sturdy, and they’re relatively easy to install. They come in several shapes, sizes, and colors, too. 

Whether you get professional design and installation help or you DIY, so long as things are done right, these fabrics are sturdy and can shade you to keep you, your patio, and even portions of your house or pool cooler than the average sun-lit space. There are also other benefits to choosing this method of keeping cool. 

Do Awnings Keep You Cool?

Installing awnings is an excellent way to keep your home as well as your outdoor living space cooler. It’ll cool that radiant heat coming from your patio down a bit, but more importantly, it can act at the very same time to make your air conditioning in the house more energy efficient by blocking the sun’s energy. All you need to do to get this dual benefit is have the awning attached to the house and then it can be held on frames outward over your patio area. 

Depending upon the material it’s made from, Awnings can be from medium to high on the cost range and they really should be installed by professionals that are better equipped to handle them, especially the retractable ones that can have intricate parts. 

Can Pergolas and Gazebos Protect You from the Weather?

Pergolas and Gazebos are unattached structures that can provide cover for your outdoor living space. So if you are willing to spend a bit more and add some value to your backyard setup, these are things that can help with that goal. These structures allow for shade, protection from rain, and it’s a place you can hang lights and misters if you want to double your chill factor. 

Invest in an Outdoor Cooling System

Outdoor Cooling System
Outdoor Cooling System

How Does a Patio Mist Kit Help Lower the Temperature on Your Patio?

What are they? Patio mist kits are a system that can be anything from a fan or installed spray nozzles that emit a fine mist of water that lands on people’s skin and works to cool them off. I’ve seen them often in public places like the zoo or the park during the summer. 

A lot of these systems are actually very affordable and a misting kit can cool your patio down by at least 20° if not 30° on a hot summer day. These systems are especially helpful when you come from a place where there is very little wind but a lot of humidity. 

Keep Cool in Your Outdoor Living Space with a Ceiling Fan

Although they are not as efficient as high-velocity fans, outdoor ceiling fans are perfect for an outdoor living space with a roof because they are made of durable materials specific to their use, can keep a large area cool by circulating the air, & can be a decorative addition to any aesthetic. 

Are High-Velocity Fans Better for Outdoor Use Than Regular Ceiling Fans?

High-velocity ceiling fans run at higher RPMs (rotations per minute) than ceiling fans. That means they can cool an area more efficiently. However, it means they cannot be hung from the ceiling as decorative pieces like ceiling fans. 

What makes them a good investment is that high-velocity fans are normally portable. You can move the high-velocity fans wherever they are needed in your yard, on your patio, or elsewhere. You can even take them to special events or sporting events.  

What Are Evaporative Coolers and How Can They Keep My Outdoor Living Space Cool?

Evaporative Coolers operate by passing air over water-saturated material, evaporating the water. The act of evaporation reduces the air temperature by 15° – 30° before it is directed to an area you need to be cooled. 

Swamp coolers, as they are often called, are most often used in place of air conditioners in climate zones that aren’t very humid. But for outdoor spaces, you can pick up a portable unit that can be effective for cooling the air temperature quickly and efficiently for hundreds of feet depending on the unit size.  

What Exactly Is the Turbo Cool Patio Cooling System?

A turbo cool system is almost the same as a misting system, but it is more powerful. Why? It uses high-pressure pumps to push water through jet nozzles that only allow 5-micron particles to escape. These particles are so tiny that they evaporate in the air around whatever you place them near. And evaporation cools the air. They may be expensive, but they are definitely efficient systems for cooling outdoor living spaces.  

Design Your Outdoor Living Space by Keeping Cool in Mind

Shaded Landscaping
Landscape for Cool

How Landscaping Can Be Used for Keeping Cool in the Summer Heat.

Trees & shrubs can be used to shade roofs & walls. Trellises can be placed and plants can be trained to climb them with the goal of providing protection from the hot summer sun. 

Trimming your foliage properly to allow breezes to flow properly while the rest of the canopy provides shade can help make your outdoor living space more tolerable during the hot season. You just need to know where to put what plant and how to design your landscape to work with your space. 

Simply Setting Up Your Outdoor Living Space Appropriately Can Keep You Cool.

You can use all of your extra money to make sure you have a good amount of shade and even extra cooling systems in your outdoor living space. But there are always things you can do that don’t cost a lot of extra money that can still make staying outdoors more bearable during the hotter months. 

Use breathable patio furniture covers to keep those hot butts comfortable. Maybe you can afford to have a bar set up in your outdoor living space? Nothing’s cooler than cold beverages, right? And speaking of placement, keep the grilling and cooking where it belongs – away from hot guests! Add some perfectly tall plants to help with shade – they’ll block the sunlight while allowing a breeze to blow through. 

Have your relaxation space set over a light outdoor rug. It helps keep the patio cool and also lends it some style. Even painting your patio can help get rid of some of that radiant heat. And if you’re suffering from late afternoon or early morning sun shock, find a good spot to hang curtains or blinds up on your outdoor structure to shade yourself. 

See? There are lots of things that can be done, just in the design of your space that can cool the areas down. 

If All Else Fails, Keep Cool with a Pool

Cooling with a Pool
Keep Cool with a Pool

I’m not joking. If you’ve been scorched by cooking outside, playing outside, or doing yard work outside, there’s nothing quite as refreshing as going from that to jumping into the cool clean water of your own pool. It doesn’t keep you cool constantly unless you’re in it. However, once you’ve splashed down, you’ll feel great! 

There are pros and cons to having a pool in the backyard. For one thing, the value added to the property may not outweigh the cost of installing and maintaining a swimming pool. Also, pools are costly and difficult to maintain. The trade-off is a cool entertainment feature for your outdoor living space. 

In Conclusion

How you decide to keep cool this summer is up to you. We all have different budgets and different backyard spaces, and therefore need different backyard boosts for chilling out in the hottest parts of the year. I’ve personally used a variety of these methods in the past and present to keep comfortable in our outdoor living space. I hope that all of my suggestions can help you out.

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"Growing up a country-girl means you enjoy the outdoors as much as possible, and no matter where you go in life, the outdoors is always part of you. I began doing research on things I wanted to do to make my outdoor space my own, no matter where we moved. And that research led me to write this blog to share with you!"