Misting Systems – How They Work and What They Are Good For

If you live in the southwestern part of the United States, then you have likely experienced the joy that misting systems can create on those hot summer days.  Whether you have a pre-fabricated or piece-your-own-together type of mist system, you’ll reap the rewards.  The first thing you need to decide upon is the style or type of system that you think will work best for your needs.

In this regard, there are basically two – three depending on how you count – to choose from.  Two fall into the same category and those are the fixed line type systems.  These are the more common ones you see at local restaurants that have patio seating or outdoor bar areas.  If you are looking to cool down your outdoor patio, you will be happy

This misting system has the potential to cool this patio area by up to 30 degrees.

This misting system has the potential to cool this patio area by up to 30 degrees.

to know that these types of patio misting systems can be mounted to nearly any material.  While wood is the best and most durable place to secure the lines, you can also mount them to cement or brick if necessary.  The perfect complement is to mount them to some type of patio cover like a pergola or arbor-like structure.  Not only will you enjoy the benefits of a cooler space, but your plants and vines growing on your patio structure will be getting watered as well.

Styles of Misting Systems

These fixed-line styles come in a few different versions as well.  There are types that can be run off of an existing water line and then controlled by a switch and pump.  Then, there are styles that can be mounted to a simple hose bib and be disconnected rather easily.  These are typically a little bit less rigorous and might not give you as great performance, but they are quite simple to install and allow you to enjoy a misted patio in an afternoon’s worth of work – perfect project for the do-it-your-selfer.

What you will need to get if you buy the parts separately (or what will be included if you get a water misting system kit – recommended for the average homeowner) are the misting system lines, the nozzle heads and some way to attach the lines to a water source.  For much better performance, you can also think about adding in a pump.  These will cost you an additional $250-600 USD for a good performing pump.  Why would you need a pump?  In most misting systems, the lines are pressurized by having the large water volume (at the source) being channeled through to a smaller opening (the nozzle).  This causes the droplets to vaporize.  With more pressure by way of a pump, the lines can be pressurized much higher, causing the droplets to be much smaller.  Smaller droplets are more easily evaporated in the air.  This evaporation of water droplets from your skin is what makes you feel cool.  With patio misters, the thing is to get the smallest droplet possible.  These pumps can create droplets that are 5 microns in diameter.

We mentioned that there are other misting systems available as well.  These were referring to the stand alone or free standing misters and the fan-mounted systems.  The free standing styles are typically inflatable ‘rooms’ in which a misting system has been installed.  These are great for trade shows, outdoor events, concerts, etc.  They can be quickly set up and taken down with little need but for a water line and, in most cases, electrical for the pump.  The fan-mounted styles you’ve likely seen at large outdoor concerts or even on the sidelines at sporting events.  They are mounted around the fans and blow in the direction of the players or the guests at the particular venue as they walk by.

Maintaining Your Misting System

Maintenance for a patio mist system is quite simple.   They really just require cleaning from time to time to keep the nozzles clean and free of debris.  The dirt and other particles and mineral build-up that get into your water lines will eventually plug them up and decrease performance.  When not in use for extended periods, the lines should be drained to avoid any problems with pooling.  One last thing to note, if you live in a climate that can freeze, you’ll need to flush the lines like you would in any outdoor plumbing situation to avoid freezing the water in your lines and cracking your misting systems hoses.

photo credit – visit www.austinmistingcompany.com

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