With an increasing number of homeowners searching for effective, energy-efficient, and affordable ways to stay cool amidst the record-breaking heat experienced by many regions, outdoor mist cooling systems, also known as deck misting systems, have become a popular solution. This is especially significant as more people gather outside to limit the spread of COVID-19.
Outdoor mist cooling systems work by emitting a fine mist of water from spray nozzles that cools individuals as the water makes contact with their skin. The system is installed around the perimeter of the area to be cooled, whether it's inside a gazebo, under a patio canopy, or in any other area where the system can be positioned overhead.
These systems consist of water supply tubing, which can be either rigid or flexible, with spray nozzles spaced evenly along its length. The supply tubing connects to an outdoor water source such as a garden hose or faucet. Some simpler systems utilize the existing water pressure from a home's main water supply, while others require special misting pumps that can generate greater water pressure.
Misting systems that rely on a home's existing water pressure do not require electricity, while those that use a misting pump require electricity and must be connected to an outdoor power outlet.
How Do They Work?
Open-air mist cooling systems utilize evaporative cooling, whereby water absorbs heat during the process of evaporation from a liquid to a gaseous state. This can reduce the surrounding temperature by as much as 30 degrees Fahrenheit.
Generally, a finer mist with smaller water droplets will evaporate more quickly and cool the area more efficiently. A finer mist also leaves behind less residual moisture. The level of relative humidity can affect both of these factors, as higher humidity levels can slow down the mist's evaporation process. Therefore, outdoor misting systems work best when the relative humidity is between 40% and 80%.
What Are the Different Types of Outdoor Mist Cooling Systems?
Low-pressure misting systems rely solely on a home's primary water supply, which typically ranges from 40 to 60 pounds per square inch (psi). They are the most affordable and easiest to install, making them a popular choice among homeowners. However, they produce a less fine mist compared to mid or high-pressure systems, which means they are not as effective at cooling the surrounding area quickly or efficiently. They also leave behind a higher amount of residual moisture and are less effective in humid environments.
Mid-pressure misting systems use a pump to increase the home's water pressure to between 160 and 250 psi. They produce a finer mist that cools the surrounding area more quickly and effectively, and they also leave behind less residual moisture. They are generally just as easy to install as low-pressure systems, only requiring the pump to be connected to an electric source and the supply tubing. However, they are more expensive to purchase and operate compared to low-pressure systems.
High-pressure misting systems use large and powerful misting pumps to boost water pressure to between 750 and 1,500 psi. These systems cool the surrounding area quickly and intensely, leaving behind minimal residual moisture. However, high-pressure systems are very expensive to purchase and consume considerably more energy than mid-pressure misting pumps. They may also require professional installation, which is why they are typically found in commercial settings.
Outdoor misting systems provide a number of advantages:
Affordable outdoor cooling: Compared to other outdoor cooling systems, such as evaporative coolers, an outdoor misting system can be more affordable to purchase and operate. Additionally, there may be little or no installation costs.
Energy efficiency: Low-pressure misting systems operate without requiring electricity. Misting pumps for mid-pressure systems can use as little as 60 watts of power, equivalent to a standard light bulb. High-pressure misting pumps are less energy efficient as they require several hundred watts of power to operate.
Watering plants: If there are plants in the vicinity, the misting system can serve as a landscape irrigation system. In fact, misting systems can use around 70% less water than traditional irrigation systems.
Purifying air: The water droplets in the mist can capture airborne dust, allergens, and pollutants, thereby cleaning the air.
Repelling insects: The mist may deter insects such as mosquitoes, flies, bees, and wasps. While there is no scientific evidence to support this claim, it is commonly observed that flying insects avoid the mist, possibly because it impairs their ability to fly.
How much do they cost?
The cost of an outdoor misting system can vary depending on factors such as the size of the area to be cooled, the type of pressure system required, and the number of nozzles needed. To determine the exact cost for your specific needs, it's best to have one of our experts come to your property to take measurements and provide a personalized quote. Contact us today to schedule a consultation.