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How to Fight Summer Heat in Your Outdoor Living Spaces  

With the official arrival of summer, you can be certain that your outdoor living spaces are about to see plenty of use — as long as you can keep your patio appropriately cool. High summer temperatures can quickly make backyards and gardens uncomfortable, driving your guests indoors and away from your carefully curated outdoor areas. Here are a few ideas to help you maintain a comfortable temperature in your outdoor spaces, so you can fully enjoy the summer season.

Shade Solutions

The difference in temperature between a sunny spot and a shady spot can be as much as 15 degrees Fahrenheit, so covering your outdoor living area during the summer season could make a major difference in your comfort level. Fortunately, there are many different types of shade solutions, which means you should be able to find one that fits your space and budget. Some ideas include:

  • Umbrellas: An umbrella is a good choice for an outdoor living space that is far from any other structure in your yard. There is great range in size, style and quality of umbrella; if you expect to use your umbrella for many years, you might invest in a more robust option that is unlikely to bend, tear, fall over or fly away.
  • Retractable awnings: If you like the temporary nature of an umbrella but want to cover a larger area in shade, you might consider a retractable awning. These shade solutions affix to a wall, from which they can be pulled out to provide shade. You can also find awnings that attach vertically between columns on your patio or deck, which can be useful if your outdoor living space faces west.
  • Patio covers: For a more permanent shade solution, you can build a patio cover out from your home or around your outdoor seating area. You might consider a pergola if you don’t need full shade coverage or are interested in planting climbing greenery around your patio.


It might be time to start thinking about the exterior colors of your home not in terms of aesthetics but rather for functionality. Certain colors amplify heat; dark colors will absorb heat from sunlight and radiate that heat into your living space, so you should try to avoid using them in your outdoor décor. Instead, you might consider repainting your outdoor living space with lighter tones, like whites or bright neutrals, which will reflect heat away and make your yard more comfortable.


outdoor cover to make shade

Outdoor Ceiling Fans

If you already have some sort of structure covering your outdoor living space, like a patio cover or pergola, you might consider installing a ceiling fan. Ceiling fans have been shown to reduce the perceived temperature of a space by up to 4 degrees Fahrenheit, which can mean the difference between an unbearably sweltering outdoor experience and a refreshing time outside. You need to be careful to install outdoor ceiling fans, which are made to withstand outdoor elements like moisture and dust, and you will need to clean your outdoor fan periodically to ensure proper functionality. Still, this is a simple and effective solution for keeping your outdoor living space a little cooler during the hot summer months.


Misters connect to your home’s water line, usually through the irrigation system, and emit a steady stream of mist into the air around your living space. People in humid environments might be loath to add more moisture to the air, but if you live in a dry climate — like anywhere along the West Coast — your outdoor living space could benefit from a misting system. In dry regions, increasing humidity through misters helps to cool the air through evaporation. Though misting solutions can be complex to install, they might be worthwhile if you are struggling to keep your outdoor living space comfortable all summer long.

You put effort into creating an outdoor living space that looks beautiful and inviting, and now that summer is here, you deserve to enjoy it. By taking a few more steps to keep your outdoor living space cool in high temperatures, you will survive and thrive the summer season in the great outdoors.