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Cooling Your Patio This Summer


You have a beautiful patio that you’ve taken the time to decorate. It’s a wonderful outdoor space, but it has only one problem: it’s too hot to use much of the year.

So it’s understandable that you’ll want to find a cooling solution for your patio. Outdoor air conditioning is usually a bad choice. It just doesn’t work well for any area where you can’t keep the cool air contained. This leaves three potential cooling options for your patio:

  • Evaporative coolers (sometimes referred to as swamp coolers)
  • Misting systems
  • Fans

The best solution for your patio depends on how your patio is set up and what you normally use it for.

When a Fan Is Best for Your Patio

Fans don’t actually cool air. They just move air around. This doesn’t mean they can’t be useful, but it does limit the situations where they are helpful.

A fan might be best for your patio if you:

  • Have a reservoir of cool air to draw from
  • Use your patio only in mildly hot conditions
  • Don’t mind sweating

Since outdoor patio fans don’t cool the air, they can only cool your patio if they are drawing air from a place where there’s a lot of cool air. Technically, this could be the air-conditioned house, but that makes your home cooling much less effective and more expensive, so it’s not an ideal situation. Better sources of cool air might be a shaded area, a garden, or a fountain. An ideal source of cool air is a shaded garden nearby. Here, the plants are cooling the air with evaporative cooling, creating a cool air source that you can draw from all day long.

Fans can also work if you’re not using your patio above 90° F. Below this temperature, your body has multiple ways to cool itself, and a fan can help with them.

Once the temperature gets above 90° F or so, your body has only one effective cooling mechanism: sweat. A fan can help make sweating more effective, so if you don’t mind sweating, a fan can be suitable for your patio.

When a Misting System Is Best for Your patio

A misting system can cool your patio off. It is effective mostly through evaporative cooling: the water takes energy from the air to evaporate. This cools the air. The mist can help you feel cool when it evaporates off your skin. It’s like having excess sweat. Another limitation of misting systems is that they only cool a limited area.

A misting system works well for:

  • Helping children at play cool off
  • Keeping plants cool and watered
  • Additional cooling at a pool function

Misting systems are good for children. They don’t mind getting wet, and their clothes are often resilient against moisture. They can run to a misting station, get wet, then return to play.

Another good place to use a misting system is for helping plants stay cool. You not only keep the plants cool, but you keep them watered.

Misting systems also work well to help you keep cool at a pool party. Everyone’s in bathing suits, so no one minds getting wet.

However, if you’re sitting at a table on your patio, you might not want to use a misting system, as the water from the mister will cause you and your guests to get wet as you sit on the patio. This is less than ideal, and it can become a downright dealbreaker if you’re trying to enjoy a meal.

When an Evaporative Cooler Is Best for Your Patio

An evaporative cooler works by running hot air through an evaporative medium (like a giant sponge). This efficiently evaporates water, immediately cooling the air by as much as 30° F. Although the air is more humid after going through the cooler, it doesn’t make you or anything it blows on wet. In fact, it keeps you dry because it’s like the machine is sweating for you.

An evaporative cooler works best if you:

  • Want to cool a large area
  • Don’t want to be wet
  • Want to use your patio in high heat
  • Want efficient cooling

Evaporative coolers, also known as swamp coolers, are very effective at cooling a large area quickly. A midsize evaporative cooler like the Portacool Cyclone 140 delivers about 4,000 cubic feet of cooled air per minute. That’s enough cool air to effectively cool a patio 20 feet wide by 45 feet long. Larger Portacool models can cool an area even larger than this.

Swamp coolers don’t make you or anything on the patio wet. The air is humidified, but it doesn’t make you wet.

Evaporative coolers make your patio comfortable even in extreme heat. Think of it: a 30° F temperature drop turns a sweltering 100° day into a comfortable 70°.

Plus, an evaporative is highly efficient. You can run a Portacool evaporative cooler all day for less than $1 in energy and water.

Choose Portacool for Your Patio

Most of the time, an evaporative cooler is the best cooling choice for your patio. If you’re looking for an evaporative cooler for your patio, Portacool is an excellent choice. With Portacool, there’s essentially no installation cost. You can roll it out where you want it, which means cooling at the grill or at the gazebo or where you set up the cornhole court. You can even take it with you for your kids’ soccer games or Little League baseball. Plus, Portacool has made-in-the-USA quality, and we back it up with best-in-class warranties and customer service.

To get your Portacool, visit a local or online retailer today.

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Portacool 510

Portacool 510 evaporative coolerThe Portacool 510 is the newest addition to our product line. As the smallest and lightest Portacool evaporative cooler, it provides the ease and versatility you need to maintain a comfortable environment in small spaces.

Enjoy the cooling benefits of the 510 in a wide range of applications. It’s excellent for home workshops and backyard patios. Keep your small business workspace, retail shop, or gym cool on hot days. You can also bring the 510 along on RV trips and when you’re tailgating before a sports event on a hot day.

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Portacool Cyclone™ Series

Portacool Portable Evaporative Air Coolers - CycloneThe Portacool Cyclone™ series provides powerful cooling in spaces where air conditioning simply isn’t a viable solution. These compact, lightweight evaporative coolers come on wheels, making them easy to move around your space to achieve cooling benefits in the precise area you need them.

With four distinct coolers in the Cyclone line, you’re guaranteed to find an option that meets your specific needs. The Cyclone is perfect for outdoor patios, home workshops, small businesses, retail shops, events venues, and gyms.

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Portacool Jetstream™ Series

Portacool Jetstream Evaporative Air CoolerLarger work environments need a powerful cooling solution to maintain workers’ health, safety, and productivity when the temperatures get hot. The Portacool Jetstream™ series provides the cooling you need to avoid a work stoppage due to excessive heat.

The Jetstream is the evaporative cooler of choice in factories and industrial settings. It’s also an ideal solution for your auto garage, aviation hangar, farm, prison, or large events venue. With six models in the Jetstream line, you can customize your cooling to ensure optimal results for your unique space.

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Portacool Hazardous Location Series

Portacool Evaporative Air Cooler for Hazardous Locations

Effective cooling is vital in any work environment, but it’s especially crucial when combustible gases are present. These situations create unique challenges when trying to keep the environment cool. Fortunately, Portacool’s Hazardous Location series is specifically designed to meet the needs of petrochemical refineries, oil and gas exploration outfits, chemical production plants, fuel depots, and any other location where combustibles are a concern.

Our Hazardous Location evaporative coolers are ETL Certified for use in Class I, Division 2, Groups C&D hazardous locations. All electrical components are sealed to provide an additional layer of safety.

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