Outdoor Living Spaces
Before the advent of electricity to run ceiling fans and air-conditioning, folks sat out on their porches, verandas and patios because even that was cooler than a stifling hot house indoors. Women fluttered fans and men waved newspapers to try to stay cool and sipped on lemonade. Today, we still sit outside to enjoy a view, barbecue and socialize with family and friends, or have a quiet moment to ourselves. It’s as calming now as it was then, but our homes are cooler now too, so its purpose has evolved.
Particularly in the Southwest where temperatures can soar above 90 and 100 degrees in the summer, enjoying a relaxing hour or two on the patio is not always as inviting as it may sound. A patio cover or a retractable awning helps to shield outdoor sitting areas from the sun, but it can still feel too warm sometimes. The most effective method of reducing heat to the patio is to enclose it in screening. One or more screens in a heavy mesh fabric allow air to pass through, but block the sun’s rays and the heat they generate. By lowering outdoor screens first thing in the morning, coolness from the night before stays in much longer and the heat from the day does not easily waft through the screening. Outdoor screening is available in a variety of neutral tones which both shield areas from heat and allow for clear views through the mesh. By keeping the patio cooler and blocking sun from hitting exterior walls, less heat is transferred indoors. So put out the plants, patio furniture, grill and decorations, and enjoy the outdoors with a front row seat.