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Outdoor living is part of the magic of living in the Southwest. No matter where you live in Arizona sunshine is plentiful and we don’t have to share our outdoor space with a lot of creepy crawlies. In the summertime the issue for enjoying the fresh air is the long hours of hot temps and relentless sunshine. The good news is that the low humidity, dry air we have is easily cooled with moisture.

Pour it on!

Misting Systems | This is the most permanent of our suggestions. You will want to take a good look at the quality of misting systems before purchasing. Cheaper residential systems are generally made of cheaper products like PVC and the water is not atomized resulting in water soaking all nearby surfaces. A commercial quality system will leave your porch cooled evenly, with no wet surfaces.

When shopping for a misting system:

  • Look for a pump that will push the water through the tubes at 1,250 pounds per square inch (PSI). The high pressure produces the finest mist and the finer the mist the cooler the air. Lower pressure will not atomize the water and result in wet surfaces.
  • Choose industrial grade pumps and motors with low revolutions per minute (RPM) as they are cheaper to run.
  • Make sure the distribution lines are made of stainless-steel and nozzles are made of ceramic. PVC and copper are not good choices.
  • Check out the warranty and guaranty carefully. A good system well maintained should last many years.
  • Remember to perform regular maintenance such as cleaning nozzles by them soaking in vinegar regularly. Professional maintenance on the motorized part of the system will increase the life of the system. Note: your system will also last longer if you use softened water for misting.
  • The cost of the pumping plus the water for one hour of use on a medium-size patio should be much less than running your central air conditioner for one hour in your house.
  • Overhead misting fans can be added to the system as well. They should deliver mist in a 360-degree pattern.

Be creative! Mist doesn’t have to be limited to the porch. Misting systems can work from any angle. Install them in the ground to cool a favorite sitting spot, around the pool to help keep sunbathers cool, in the kids’ favorite play area to keep play equipment cool or to keep the dust down in your badminton or bocce ball court.

Portable Swamp Coolers

You can’t get cool air any easier way than with a portable swamp cooler. Bring one home, plug it into any 120-volt outlet, attach it to the garden hose and you have instant cool. Portable swamp coolers are super versatile as they are on wheels and easily moved.

There are many brands available. We have heard good things about the Master Blaster made locally at Phoenix Manufacturing. Another brand, the Porta Cool Cyclone, carried by local hardware stores, comes in several models. A significant difference between various models is the strength in air flow. Air flow is measured in cubic feet per minute (CFM). A unit with a CFM rating of 1000 is available for about 400 hundred dollars with the top of the line having a CFM rating of 8000 for right at 2000 dollars.

Note: These coolers require some minor maintenance as the cooling pads and water tank must be cleaned on a regular basis to prevent bacteria growth and odors.

Stand Alone Misting Fans

These fans are very popular. They work like a regular fan but send out a nice mist. Some of the fans have their own reservoir while some are attached to a hose in the same way as a portable swamp cooler. Some plug in and some are even more versatile as they operate on a rechargeable battery. Several popular models:

  • Geek Aire Battery Operated Model Sits low to the floor and plugs into a hose. Available for under $200
  • NewAir Oscillating Misting Fan that sends the mist out to 500 feet. Also available for under $200
  • Wilton Cold Front Fan by Wilton Tools is a granddaddy of a fan. Made in America, this fan can be purchased for about 3500 dollars and will atomize the water cooling a space for hours with its giant reservoir. This would be a great fan for the garage while you work out or work on your favorite hobby. It tends to be on the loud side but, it is a nice way to keep a big space cool.

Personal Cooling Products

Don’t forget to consider products you can wear or take with you to afford a couple more degrees of cool while working in the yard or laying by the pool. Check these out!

  • ColdRush Cooling Towel by Hexarmor: Made of fast drying microfibers; no melting no dripping – a comfortable cool! Available on the Rosie eStore.
  • Frogg Toggs Towel: durable and organic this towel’s unique systems will keep you cool for hours.


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