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Using Water Misters to Keep Cool Outdoors in Summer

By: Danny Lipford
Water misting system mounted on shade arbor.

Water misting system mounted on a shade arbor.

Installing a misting system on your deck or patio is a great way to keep cool on a hot summer day.

A misting system works on the simple principle of evaporative cooling. When water evaporates from a liquid to a gas, it uses up energy (or heat) which leaves the area around it cooler. If you combine the cooling of a misting system with a little shade, you can really get comfortable outdoors on a hot day.

Shade umbrella with built-in water mister.

Shade umbrella with built-in water mister.

The simplest do-it-yourself misting systems cost less than a $100, use standard household water pressure, and can be installed in under an hour. You can also find patio umbrellas and portable fans ready-made with misting nozzles so the only work involved is connecting a garden hose and turning it on.

Portable fan with built-in water misting system.

Portable fan with built-in water misting system.

Keep in mind that misting systems only cool the area they cover and use water, though not as much as you might think. They also tend to be most effective when the humidity is low. But even when the humidity is as high as 80%, misting systems can offer some relief from the heat of summer.

Watch this video to find out more.

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Print   Video Transcript

Danny Lipford: Sometimes when the heat of summer really starts to kick in, it becomes so difficult to stay cool that it’s hardly worth the effort to be outside. And unless you have a way to cool off, that kind of heat can make a backyard barbecue a pretty miserable place to be.

So how do stay cool? Well, a swimming pool is not a bad solution, but not everybody has the space or budget for one. But a misting system takes up no space at all and can be very inexpensive.

Now, these things work on the simple principle of evaporative cooling. When water evaporates it uses up energy, or heat, which leaves the area around it much cooler. So if you spray a fine mist of water into the air on a hot day you can create a little comfy spot that’s up to 20 degrees cooler than the surrounding area.

The most simple of these do-it-yourself systems work on ordinary household water pressure, cost less than a hundred bucks, and can be installed in just under an hour. Now, there are even umbrellas and fans that come ready-made with misting nozzles, so that all you have to do is connect to a garden hose and turn it on.

Now, those things only cool a small area and they do use some water, but not as much as you might think. They also tend to be most effective when the humidity is low. But even when the humidity is as high as 80 percent, they do offer some relief from the heat of summer.



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