Four Backyard Ideas To Beat the Heat This Summer

Summer is coming, bringing with it the sweltering heat those of us in the south know all too well. For us Southerners, we know that summer temperatures can start in spring and extend well through the fall. Even so, we love our outdoor spaces and being able to enjoy them with family and friends. It’s why outdoor kitchens and living spaces have become such staples in Southern home design. If you’re looking for a few ways to make your outdoor entertaining spaces more inviting, here are a few backyard ideas that will help you beat the heat.

1. Add an InSinkErator pre-chilled water dispenser.

Having running potable water is a must-have for today’s outdoor kitchens, but the extended summer heat has a way of penetrating so that even water from the cold tap tastes warmer than we’d like. Instead, enjoy water chilled to a perfect 40 degrees fresh from a dedicated tap on demand right outside.

  • The InSinkErator Water Chiller slips easily beneath the sink. It measures just 10.3″ x 8.7″ x 14.6″ and weighs about 30 pounds.
  • It features a sleek white powder-coated stainless steel tank with a refrigeration system, an adjustable thermostat and welded water lines.
  • It works with compatible filtration systems so that water is always clean as well as cold.
  • You can install the dispenser with a matching InSinkErator faucet.
  • The InSinkErator refrigeration system uses R-134a.
  • It carries a “We Come to You” three-year in-home limited warranty covering parts and labor.

With the InSinkErator supplying tasty cold water outside, you can eliminate all those trips in and out of the house—the drips and spills, the tracked dirt and debris, the constant opening and closing of doors, and the problems of keeping your home’s air-conditioning to temperature. Who knew one little tank could solve so many problems? In fact, you might decide you want one inside as well.

2. Install outdoor fans on your porch or entertaining areas.

Ceiling fans are more than a Southern aesthetic. They can keep a breeze moving on even the stillest, most humid days. They give us comfort and help to keep bothersome bugs like gnats and mosquitoes away. To find the fan that’s perfect for your space, make sure candidates fit your home’s custom criteria.

  • Consider fan size. Fans work differently outside because air flows away without bouncing off of walls. Most of the air current benefit comes from being directly beneath the fan, so fans that might be too large for inside spaces are often just right for areas outside. For long rectangular or wrap-around porches, you’ll probably want to install multiple fans to ensure sufficient coverage.
  • Look for fans designed to be outside. Not every fan is wet-rated or manufactured for outdoor use. Make sure the one you choose will be able to stand up to the environment and remain safe and beautiful year after year.
  • Choose the right mount-type fan. The type of mount you choose depends on how close you want the fan to be to the ceiling and to the area beneath that you want to cool. Flush-mount styles work well for lower ceilings—those eight feet or less. For higher ceilings, fans that work with a drop rod can bring the cooling benefits to the needed level.

Don’t forget a stylish light kit to match and remote-control options that will let you enjoy your space at any time in any season.

3. Tend shaded spots throughout the yard.

You may think that shade makes the air cooler. After all, it feels cooler. The truth is, direct sunlight actually makes the air temperature feel about 10 to 15 degrees warmer than it is. The temperature in the shade is actually the real air temperature. This is why a thermometer placed in the sun will read warmer than one placed in the shade. This is also why having some shade is so important. Human beings need protective places to take a break from the additional heat that the sun creates.

Shady spots can be anything from a spreading live oak to a porch, pavilion or veranda roof. Other popular options are cabanas, tents and fancy canopies as well as large arbors with coverings of canvas or mature vining greenery. Shade is a way to beat the heat index so that everyone can enjoy being outside.

4. Create a water feature.

The right water features can actually add an evaporative cooling effect to an area. That’s right. Water can transfer heat away from you. The fine mist of water droplets can also help landscaping and flowers thrive despite high temperatures by adding moisture to the air.

Garden fountains are perennial favorites, but they can take many forms—from cascades and falls to tall, lighted water curtains that are free-standing or protrude only a few inches from a patio wall. Plumbed and electrified, a patio barrier wall can become a cooling delight of flowing water, colored light and flowering plants. Carefully arranged patio pavers can allow for an elegant yet small pool, a channel of water, a splash pad, misters or sprinklers.

For fish enthusiasts, adding a water feature can translate into a patio koi pond where you can share a meal and enjoy the calming effect of gurgling water and brilliant color. Of course, if you want to go big, everyone loves a pool and all of the accompanying features. Wherever water flows, you can add it.

Just a few simple choices can make outdoor living enjoyable—even in the summertime heat. If you’d like more backyard ideas, outdoor kitchen inspiration, or a helping hand to make your outdoor living areas more beautiful and livable, Coburn’s is here for you. Stop by your nearest Coburn’s Kitchen & Bath Showroom. We carry all of the latest and best home innovations as well as all of your favorite brands and appliances.