The easiest way to cool off your backyard is to create some shade from the sun. However, keeping your yard cooler when you live in the southwest, in the summer heat, is a whole new challenge. Daytime highs commonly exceed 100 degrees Fahrenheit and the lows at night barely sink below 90. When temperatures are this high for days on end, the walls of your home and heat absorbent materials in your back yard such as rock and concrete barely have time to release their daytime heat gain before the sun rises to heat it up again. Summer sure is hot in the desert, but it doesn’t have to be unbearable. Here are a few tips to help keep your backyard cool, despite the heat all summer long!
Identify where the heat is the most extreme
A very useful tool to identify where your home and yard absorb the most heat is to invest in an infrared laser thermometer. This device allows you to take temperature on the various exterior surfaces of your home. When you have identified where your home and yard are the hottest, you can take steps to shield those areas from the sun. This won’t only help cool down your back yard but save your interior cooling bill as well.
Misters may seem decadents because they are. It is so relaxing to have cool water gently misted over you on a hot dry day. They can help cool your body down by 20 degrees. A mister which expels no more than 5 microns of pressure, will keep you cool, without getting you completely soaked in the process. If you have a pool, you can try to install irrigation heads next to the decking. This can reduce the surface temperature by 30-40 degrees.
Install an overhead fan
Adding a ceiling fan to your porch can increase your comfort level by providing a cooling breeze and while keeping bugs away as well. With so many different styles of outdoor fans to choose from, this is another way to make a fashion statement and stay cool at the same time.
Try a water feature
A pond, fountain, pool and ornamental waterfall are more than just beautiful and relaxing. They have the potential to cool down an area by 10 degrees.
Who wants to spend the summer working outside to keep your yard cleaned up and free of weeds in the heat? Try selecting plants that can sustain themselves. Investigate what plants grow naturally in the area. They are acclimated to the heat and can survive with less water, and less maintenance than many imported ornamental plants. There are several native trees that can provide low maintenance care while still providing shade to your yard and helping to keep your home cool as well. Some of the most popular native trees providing shade include, desert willow, acacia, mesquite and palo verde. These trees are beautiful and will keep you cool all summer long.
Install an outdoor shower
Similar to a mister, there is a particular luxury to taking an outdoor shower. You can most likely achieve this by tapping into the existing pipes in your home and is particularly handy if you also have a pool, so you can wash off the chlorine after a midday swim.
Create Shade with Sunscreens
A west facing wall in full exposure to the sun can reach up to 150 degrees. When shade is present that same wall may drop by nearly 50 degrees. Similarly, the temperature of a concrete outdoor patio or yard can be dropped nearly 20 degrees when shade is introduced. Creating shade can be as simple as strategically planting a tree on the south or west side of the home. Another viable option is to invest in patio sunscreens. Installing sunscreens around your patio or yard will not only block the sun, but protect your house from up to 50% of heat that could potentially enter your home through the windows.
Sunscreens help prevent sun damage to your skin when you are outside and protect the exterior of your home as well. In addition, you can keep your home cool and save on your summertime air conditioning bill. To find out more about how sunscreens can keep your backyard cool, contact us at CC Sunscreens and learn how we can increase the value of your home.