There’s nothing as relaxing as kicking it back and unwinding in your backyard after a tiring day, or simply just to de-stress. But when the hot weather comes around, you might be forced to stay indoors. While staying in an air-conditioned home is nice, it’s not as rewarding as being able to relax with a beautiful view of nature or to stargaze at night.
Thankfully there are ways to battle the summer heat and be able to spend time in your backyard without getting sunburnt or being uncomfortably sweaty. Below are a few ways, ranging from simple to complex solutions that will let you and your family enjoy your yard during the summer without getting burnt, enduring the heat, or even suffering from heatstroke.
9 Ways to Cool Down Your Backyard During Summer Heat
1. Create Shade and Block Out The Sun
Setting up shades in selected spots in your backyard is one of the easiest and simplest ways to protect yourself from the scorching effects of the sun. Shades come in handy when you want to take a nap or sit down and enjoy the fresh summer breeze. Shades may come in different forms, and here are just a few of them:
A gazebo provides full coverage from the sun. Gazebos can serve as the focal point for any backyard setting. You may place it to protect your seating area. And if you’re handy with tools and you’re feeling that itch to build, why not indulge that creative side of yours? Start tapping into that artistic mind and build yourself a gazebo that you can proudly show around and enjoy.
Awnings are usually made out of sheets of canvas or other materials. Installing awnings is a great way of protecting your outdoor furniture and yourself from the sun or rain.
Pergolas offer a variety of selections and functions. Usually, pergolas are placed to provide partial sheltering for a garden and a pathway. They’re perfect for keeping your backyard cool and adding charm to it. A pergola, however, still allows a little bit of sunlight to shine through its slatted roof.
Shade sails are made of fabric and cloth that shade a specific area in your backyard. Shade sails come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. They can be personalized and customized. Keep in mind that the sun changes positions throughout the day, so make sure you place your shade in the perfect spot.
Patio umbrellas provide stylish shade and sunlight protection. These big umbrellas can come in styles that can be complementary to your outdoor furniture. You may also build your own patio umbrella if you have time. Building a DIY patio umbrella is a great way of saving money.
Some of these types of shading solutions can be expensive, but you are sure to find an option that fits your budget and perfectly suits your needs. These shading solutions will prove to be a great investment, as they can last for years to come. But, sometimes creating a shade may not be sufficient enough to protect you from scorching temperatures. So, read on for more ways to beat the heat.
2. Misting Kit or Misting Fans
A misting kit is a system of mist nozzles placed around the backyard area. Simply put, A misting kit is a little hose connected to your hose system that sprays mists of water. They work like sprinklers. Misting kits feature nozzles that run water through its tubes, spraying it out in billions of tiny droplets. These droplets make the air more humid, providing a cool environment in your backyard. Each nozzle of a standard misting kit consumes about 0.5 to 1.5 gallons of water hourly. The water consumption depends on the type of misting kit used. Misting kits are such a fun way of staying cool throughout the warm summer days. You and your family will surely enjoy having one in your backyard!
The Deyard misting kit is a good example of what to get as a misting setup. This cooling system is highly customizable and also features economically friendly water-saving features. It can be placed on patios, greenhouses, and even trampolines!
If you don’t want to have hoses all around your backyard, then a mist fan is a useful alternative. Mist fans are a more affordable option when it comes to cooling down an area. Mist fans come in the form of floor fans that can be placed around your deck or patio. These fans have mist jets that sprinkle mist water along with the airflow. Mist fans can be connected to your garden hose, but some types have a water tank for portability. These fans add moisture to the air, leaving your backyard feeling cooler and much more well suited for relaxation. Because a mist fan cools using evaporation, it works better during dry days, but it can be very useful for any climate.
The Lasko Misto machine in the link below is an ideal option for keeping your backyard cool. This misting fan is capable of reducing the air temperature by up to 25 degrees. This fan is also built to withstand most weather conditions and possible UV exposure.
3. Keep Your Floor Cool
Under the effects of the blazing sun, your paver stone, deck, and other outdoor floorings can get quite hot. A hot floor can be annoying for you, your family, guests, and even pets. Scorching hot floors can also possibly cause injuries and burns. So, keeping your floor cool is essential in keeping your backyard conveniently cool.
Getting a Rug
Rugs can add style to your outdoor setting and even keep the floor safe for you to walk on. Rugs with light colors reflect the sun’s rays, preventing your flooring from heating up. Here is a guide of the best outdoor rugs for the backyard.
Installing Cool Outdoor Flooring
There are several other ways you can protect your feet from the scalding hot floor. You can replace your flooring with a material that keeps it cool and even use cooling paint. Read this detailed guide to see what types of outdoor flooring will stay cool outdoors in the yard.
4. Powerful Outdoor Fans
Outdoor fans are great for preventing the heat from affecting you. Durable outdoor fans are built for weather, heat, and rust resistance, and they can easily cool your body down during those unbearably hot days. The wind chill effect helps lower your body’s overall temperature, making you feel cooler. Depending on the size of the area you want to cover, you might need multiple fans.
Here are three types of outdoor fans you can get:
Umbrella fans can be attached around the pole of a big patio umbrella, which helps you save space. These fans give you a fresh cool breeze while you relax under the shade.
Ceiling fans can be placed in a gazebo, pergola, or patio. Make sure you get a wet-rated or a damp-rated outdoor ceiling fan, depending on where you plan to install it.
The Hunter Key Biscayne ceiling fan is great for an outdoor setting. This fan features a beautiful farmhouse finish. It also has efficient LED bulbs that let you fully control its lighting operation.
Heavy Duty Patio/Deck Fans
There are several options for outdoor fans. These fans come in various shapes and sizes to suit your backyard setting. Aside from keeping you comfortably cool, deck fans are great for keeping pests such as flies, mosquitos, and bugs from annoying you.
The Lasko High-Velocity Pro-Performance Pivoting Utility Fan in the following link is a good option for a deck/patio fan. This fan is powered by three fan speeds and features a ten-foot power cord, making it easy to move around.
5. Get a Pool!
Having a pool is one of the best ways to keep yourself cool and refreshed during the hot season. There’s nothing quite as refreshing as going in for a quick dip in your own pool. And it’s definitely a sure way of keeping you and your family happier and healthier. Plus, a pool also increases the overall value of your property.
There are two main ways to install a pool, depending on your budget and the available space you have.
An in-ground swimming pool is a standard pool that is built in a dug-up section of the ground. This usually involves much work. You will have to hire professionals to dig up a section in your yard and construct the pool. Though it is quite expensive, most people prefer this type of pool because of the value and beauty it adds to a home. In-ground pools can be personalized and given an appealing appearance and a more natural look. Overall this type of pool costs more but offers a lot of benefits.
Above Ground Pools
Pools don’t always have to be too big or expensive. If your outdoor area is too small or if you’re looking for a cheaper option, then an above ground pool would be an excellent alternative. Some inflatable pools and plastic pools are suitable for adult use as well. These pools are easy to maintain and are great for a very cheap way to cool down. Inflatable pools make for a great much cheaper investment for the summer.
You may also invest a little bit more for a full-sized above ground pool. These pools are like huge durable tubs. One cheap trend that’s been spreading on social media is the use of galvanized stock tanks for an above ground pool. These tanks make for a great instant pool option. An above-ground pool doesn’t have to lack in style either. Remember, what you can do for design is only limited by your creative imagination.
6. Install an Outdoor Shower
Outdoor showers are an awesome, luxurious, and practical addition to your backyard. Outdoor showers are great for rinsing off chlorine and other chemicals from the pool. These showers also provide a conveniently refreshing way of cooling off after mowing and doing some garden work. Showering also helps you prevent any garden dirt from entering your home, so its not a bad idea to have an outdoor shower if you live in the appropriate place.
The best places to install an outdoor shower would be against a wall in between your garden to give you some privacy. But if you don’t mind people seeing you shower, you can just simply install one near the pool area. Make sure your shower has sufficient drainage because it will be using a lot of water. Getting the proper shower materials is also important. Make sure the shower-head and tap are designed for outdoor conditions!
Outdoor showers are growing more and more popular in modern and coastal homes. It’s certainly a feature that’s well worth consideration.
7. Plant Large Shade Trees
Don’t just add gazebos and umbrellas to your backyard! Plant some natural shading as well for a greener and fresher look. Trees can reduce the temperature around it by up to 6 degrees Fahrenheit. Trees are also able to reduce the temperature under it by around 25 degrees Fahrenheit. This is why most people love to lie down under a tree. The best thing would be to tie a hammock under your trees. The only downside to this solution is you’ll have to wait years, probably a decade, to be able to fully enjoy its benefits. Although there is the quicker alternative of just simply replanting a full-grown tree, it will definitely cost you a lot. But if you do have the budget for it, why not try it?
Here are some large trees that can provide ample shading:
Oak trees are majestic trees that look beautiful on any property. Wood from oak trees is known for being very durable. You can use the branches of an oak tree to create furniture as another benefit. The average lifespan of an oak tree is between 100 to 300 years.
White Birch Trees
Birch trees are popular for their beauty. These trees have light-shaded leaves that turn yellow in the fall. A well-maintained and healthy white birch tree can live up to 40 to 50 years long.
Evergreen trees are ideal because they do not shed their leaves during the seasons. Evergreen trees stay green and can provide you cool shade all year long. These quick-growing trees can grow up to 30 feet tall in 8 to 15 years.
These trees grow quickly and are loved because of the color of their lush foliage. Some types of maple trees can grow between 40 to 60 feet tall.
There are around 35 species of poplar trees. A poplar tree would be ideal in a backyard. These trees can grow up to 8 feet within a year. A full-grown poplar tree can reach up to 50 feet tall.
Elm trees are well known for the stunning foliage it provides, and the sufficient shading it provides. Elm trees can live up to 150 years and grow to a height of 50 feet.
8. Have a Hydration Station
A simple and practical way of keeping you and your family cool during the summer is having a hydration station in your backyard. You can get a cooler or an outdoor fridge to have water and other refreshing drinks ready anytime.
Having frozen treats such as popsicles and ice cream is another fun addition to your hydration station. You can also buy a snow cone machine or an ice cream machine for your backyard. These machines would be great for the kids and any of your guests.
Staying hydrated is very important when you’re out and under the sun. Dehydration can affect our physical and mental performance significantly in a negative way. Research shows that our brain tissues dry out quickly like a sponge during hot summer days. Having a hydration station not only helps you stay cool during the summer, but it also helps keep you and your family healthy.
9. Water Features
Installing water features is another great way of keeping the temperature cool in your backyard. With enough creativity, the possibilities are endless when it comes to water features. Flowing water gives a soothing view and sound. Water naturally attracts people, most especially during hot summer days, and it creates a relaxing atmosphere. Water features can keep your backyard cool by adding moisture into the air around you. Water features also add a sense of beauty and elegance to your backyard setting, especially the garden area.
Adding water features to your backyard also increases your property’s value and curb appeal. You have quite a number of choices when it comes to backyard water features. You can opt for simple and small things such as a birdbath or go for something larger and more complex like a pond. You also have the option of going for a natural environment look or installing futuristic and modern water features. The range of possibilities is simply limitless. Below are a few of the many types of water features you should consider for your backyard:
Ponds create a natural and relaxed look in any backyard. Ponds won’t need much maintenance because they aren’t for swimming, and they are made completely for a more natural setting. With a pond, you can add a variety of fishes and beautiful flowers like water lilies and lotuses. There are also types of fish that can help keep your pond clean. Plus, you can put your feet into the pond for a good at home fish spa experience.
Ponds offer a wide range of designs and layouts, depending on your budget and preferred style. You can get a cheap PVC pond or invest in a bigger natural pond that surrounds your garden. You can also invest a little more and add other features to the pond like a waterfall or water fountain.
Installing a waterfall in your backyard enhances its overall look and serves as a classic focal point. Waterfalls can be integrated with your pond or to flow over a modern ledge structure. The number of options for waterfall designs and heights is numerous. You would surely have more than enough to choose from.
Fountains come in many choices. They can be simple in design or intricately constructed. Fountains can be as small as tabletops for your outdoor dining table or as large as multi-tiered fountain systems that serve as your backyard’s main attraction.
Birdbaths are one of the most common and cheaper water features you can get. It can serve as a standalone design or as an added feature integrated into a larger water feature. Birdbaths attract birds to your backyard. You can sit and relax on your deck while watching the birds playing in your birdbath.
Bubblers are a water feature that wells up from an underground structure, displaying a hot spring look. Bubbler designs are highly customizable, making them suitable for any property. Bubblers come in small or large designs that add style and pleasant sounds to your backyard’s atmosphere. This water feature is generally more affordable than most options.
Rain curtains are very modern in design and function. This water feature is visually striking and appealing. Rain curtains also offer several flexible design options. This water feature also requires low maintenance, as it only uses a pump that recycles water for use. It can serve as a feature for your swimming pool or as a standalone structure anywhere in your backyard.
Related Backyard Cooling Tips
Reduce Yard Work!
One of the main ways you can keep yourself cool during the hot summer season is by taking measures to reduce your required yard work. You can do this by replacing some of your yard area with artificial turf. Artificial turf frees you from spending lots of time mowing and doing yard care tasks. Having a backyard that requires almost no maintenance keeps you safe from the risks of overheating under the sun.
Laying artificial turf is generally an easy and simple project. There are numerous available DIY instructions on this that you can choose from and are quite easy to follow.
Just Avoid Hot Days Outside
If it gets too hot and you don’t have anything in place outside sufficient to help cool you down, then just stay indoors to avoid any harmful effects on you and your family. High temperatures can have dangerous effects on people, especially little children and the elderly. So, remember to stay safe by just spending time in your home and putting the AC on during very hot days.
Wearing Proper Clothing
Once summer comes, you will want to wear heat-resistant and breathable clothing. Getting clothes specifically made for keeping your body temperature cool helps prevent you from getting baked under the scorching effects of the excessive summer heat.
Cotton is a great example of a very breathable fabric that helps keep you cool. Lightweight shirts, pants, and boots are also wise investments for you if you need to do work in your backyard under the sun.
Upgrading Your Furniture
There’s nothing as worse as sitting down on scalding hot furniture that’s absorbed all the sun’s heat. Select backyard furniture that is less susceptible to absorbing heat. Purchase outdoor furniture with light colors and more heat resistance.
Getting a Slip & Slide
Slip and slides are another super fun way of keeping your backyard cool and fun, particularly for the kids. Slip and slides are made of thick plastic sheets that run over a portion of your backyard. Water is sprayed continually to run through the slide. You also add a substance to the slide that makes it slippery such as detergent. Detergent makes it slippy and easier for people to slide along the length of the slip and slide.
Slip and slides provide heaps of fun and entertainment to you and your family. Though they are mostly used by children, slip and slides are also fun and great for adults.
Summer seasons can sometimes be extremely hot, but they are usually the best and most eventful seasons. Summer is a time for making memories and relaxing. Don’t let the summer heat prevent you and your family from enjoying your own backyard. Take a look at these tips and see which one suits your yard and preference. I hope this guide will help you and your family enjoy your summer to the fullest.
Jamie is the founder of The Backyard Pros. When he was 15 years old he started working at a garden centre helping people buy plants, gardening products, and lawn care products. He has real estate experience and he is a home owner. Jamie loves backyard projects, refinishing furniture, and enjoys sharing his knowledge online.