As we turn our back on what has been a brutal winter for many of us, being out on the patio seems appealing.
Unfortunately, that appeal can diminish quickly once the first blush of spring gives way to the fiery fury of summer. Then the patio might not seem like a nice place to be. This is a shame because you’ve taken time, effort, and money to make it attractive and comfortable. If only you could make it cooler during the hottest days of summer. Here are some of the ways you can cool off your patio this summer.
Shade is one of the simplest solutions for helping your patio stay cool. Without the sun beating down on you and everything around you, your patio will feel a lot cooler.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t protect you when the ambient heat rises. Once the temperature rises all around, your patio will be just as hot as everywhere else. And it doesn’t make any difference on those summer nights when the temperature never drops.
Another way to keep your patio cool is to surround it with plants and water features. These all take advantage of the same natural cooling technology: evaporation. Evaporation requires energy, and when that energy comes from the air, the air gets cooler.
Plants use this method to cool themselves off, and if you surround yourself with them, you can enjoy the cooling effect, too. A water feature like a pool or fountain can also provide cooling benefits in the same way.
Fans can help people stay cool. Although fans don’t reduce the temperature at all, they can help you feel cooler. When the temperature is in the upper 80s to low 90s, a fan can increase your ability to shed heat into the air. It makes sure you constantly have cool air on your body.
Once the temperature reaches the upper 90s, fans can only help you sweat more effectively. If you don’t mind sweating, this might be enough. You won’t feel comfortable, but you won’t have to worry about overheating if you’re just relaxing.
Air conditioning works great to cool your house, so it seems like it might be a good strategy for your patio, too. Outdoor air conditioning can work, but it’s got two significant strikes against it.
First, air conditioning in your house or car relies on the ability to cool the air over multiple passes. It takes the air in, cools it slightly, then takes it in and cools it again. Outdoors, it can’t do this because the cooled air disperses. Second, air conditioners use a lot of energy that turns into waste heat. When you’re cooling your car or house, that waste heat is put outside. But if you’re already outside, you’re effectively heating and cooling the air at the same time. This is both expensive and ineffective.
Patio evaporative coolers make the most sense. They combine several technologies to achieve effective cooling.
First, at the heart of every evaporative cooler is a fan. Even a relatively small evaporative cooler can move a lot of air. Second, an evaporative cooler uses evaporation – the same natural cooling technology that your body and plants use. It has a water-saturated evaporation medium – similar to a specially designed sponge – and when the fan blows air over it, the water evaporates, cooling the air. The effect can be dramatic: the temperature can drop by 30 degrees Fahrenheit in hot, dry conditions, and about half that in hot, humid conditions. Evaporative coolers achieve this level of cooling with a single pass, so they work even if you can’t concentrate or keep the cool air.
Plus, since the cooling energy comes from the air itself, evaporative coolers are very energy efficient. They don’t use much more energy than a fan, even though they provide cooling as well as moving air.
At Portacool, our portable evaporative coolers are ready to use on your patio – there’s no need for installation. Because they’re portable, you can take them with you to any outdoor event. With our highly durable construction, including best-in-class warranties, you might enjoy the coolness at your child’s soccer games now and at their outdoor wedding in a decade or more.
Now with our new Portacool 510, there are even more options for cooling your patio. The 510 is a powerful, compact evaporative cooler perfect for keeping your patio comfortable.