While hanging out on a backyard patio is a favorite summer pastime for many Americans, it can be less inviting if you live in an area that doesn't get much shade or a summer breeze. Some residents might consider enclosing the area and adding an air conditioning unit, but this has two distinct disadvantages. One is that it takes away the pleasure of enjoying the fresh air, and the second is that AC is energy intensive and wasteful.
To keep your patio cool without using any electricity or closing it off, consider taking these steps:
- Cover the area, but not with a solid surface. Instead, use slats of wood or a mesh cloth that can limit sunlight but still allow for airflow.
- Lay down an all-weather rug to keep the surface extra comfortable and cool to walk on.
- Paint the ground surface white or a similarly light color, whether it is concrete, wood or tile. White reflects sunlight, and won't absorb heat the way that a dark surface would. This will keep your patio area from turning into a toaster oven, especially if it features an open roof.
- Purchase a misting system. These devices can lightly spray and blow water, serving as a more environmentally friendly alternative to air conditioning by using less energy.
Going green doesn't have to mean being uncomfortable in hot weather. You can still enjoy some quality time on your porch or patio by using these clever tips to avoid the heat. Check back with LifeIsGreen.com often for more green living ideas.