How to Keep Your Patio Cool in Summer

The joyful Australian summer can be one of the best places in the world to celebrate occasions like Christmas and New Year's Eve, but there is no doubting the fact that it gets hot from time-to-time. If you like to enjoy your back garden with a family get-together and a barbecue—as many Australians do—then how do you keep cool in the heat of the day?

Patio areas often soak up the heat of the sun's rays and act like miniature radiators which keep you overheated even once the sun has gone down. Here's how to enjoy your patio but keep cool even in the height of midsummer.

Keep the Air Flowing

Many people like a bit of privacy in their gardens and rightly so. However, if you box off your patio area with a trellis or fence on either side so that neighbours cannot overlook you, then it can have the undesirable effect that air no longer flows freely. Open patios offer a good deal more aeration and this will, in turn, help to keep your family cool.

However, there is no need to compromise on privacy. Use planters on either side of your patio with creeping plants, such as clematis, growing up through them. Although such planting creates a visual barrier for privacy, it still allows any breezes that might be felt to pass through.

Augment Your Shading

Patios without any shade can become stifling. In particular, north-facing patios tend to have no shadow cast from a home's walls, so you need to add further shading in order to keep cool. Awnings and moveable parasols are both obvious choices. However, external blinds can also be useful for keeping your home cool, especially if your patio connects to the building via a conservatory with patio doors. Exterior blinds can be pulled down in summer but rolled up during winter, when they can remain outside perfectly happy until they are needed again next spring.

Buy a Misting Fan

On very hot days, there is nothing like the feel of a little cooling moisture in the air to bring your body temperature down. One of the best gadgets around these days which help you to stay relaxed in the hottest part of the day is a misting fan. As the name suggest, these devices blow air over a patio but do so with fine droplets of water so that your body remains comfortable and cool. Misting fans come in all shapes and sizes, but they need to be connected to both the mains power and a reservoir of water.