No longer just at theme parks, misting systems and fog effects are being installed on residential patios and in landscaping.
A misting system -- or evaporative cooling -- is the most efficient way to cool outdoor areas. The principle behind it involves moving air past water particles, evaporating the water. The heat required to cause evaporation is drawn out of the air, cooling the area, like a cool breeze on a hot day.
“By atomizing high-pressure water with specialized nozzles a fine mist is produced,” explained Bryan Roe, President of Koolfog. “Flash evaporation cools the air, reducing temperatures by up to 30° F (17° C) in seconds.”
Martin Chesler has mist and fog systems at his 8,000 square foot home in Rancho Mirage, California. Having lived in the desert area for 26 years, he has seen temperatures reach 128° F. Between June and September it seldom drops below 100° F.
“The misting system on our back patio instantly cools the area by 20 - 30 degrees, making it very comfortable,” said Chesler. “It allows us to spend time outside in the summer.”
Chesler’s system is on the overhang of the patio, creating a barrier of mist around the perimeter. As the mist flash-evaporates it draws out the hot air, cooling the patio and keeping hot air from coming into the cool area.
“We also have a fog system in the pool area,” said Chesler. ”A Jacuzzi sits above our swimming pool, with planters and a firepit beside it. Fog rolls out of the Jacuzzi, planters and firepit into the pool, creating a beautiful effect.”
A Koolfog high-pressure misting system for a patio starts at around $2,750. Extra effects, such as fog rolling over a waterfall, increase the costs.
Whether creating a fog effect or a cool and comfortable patio environment, many factors must be considered. Most important are environmental factors such as temperature, humidity, air exchange and wind direction.
“You want a system that cools the air without wetting the surrounding area,” explained Roe. “A properly designed and installed system is just as important as the quality of the product purchased. All three factors are critical to the success and efficiency of the system.”