How to Keep Your Patio Cool In the Heat: 8 Different Ideas

Keeping your patio cool in the summer is a great way to make your space more comfortable and extend your time outside. Idaho is known for its extreme swings in weather- with cold winters and scorching summers! Whether you’re a homeowner wanting to maximize your outdoor space or a renter who’d like to make small changes on a budget, we’re here to help.

How To Keep Your Patio Cool

We’d like you to get the most out of your patio during the warmer months, so we’ve put together a list of 8 different patio additions that can help you beat the heat!

You can keep your patio cool and comfortable by:

  1. Adding a patio cover or pergola
  2. Purchasing patio umbrellas
  3. Installing retractable screens and awnings
  4. Installing misters
  5. Installing outdoor ceiling fans
  6. Considering evaporative coolers
  7. Using rugs
  8. Painting your patio

1. Add a Patio Cover or Pergola


Patio covers and pergolas can provide shade and shelter for your patio. One of the easiest ways to protect yourself from harmful UV rays and excess heat during the summer months is to have a permanent structure to provide shade. It’s your most durable option to have a covered space that withstands the elements.

comparing images of both a patio cover and a pergola

2. Purchase Patio Umbrellas


If you’re waiting to purchase a patio cover or pergola, patio umbrellas can be a temporary substitute. They can also add additional shade to other areas of your backyard besides just your patio. You can choose many different styles, including cantilever umbrellas, market umbrellas, or a table/umbrella duo that can be multi-functional.

comparing a market umbrella and a cantilever umbrella
Products and images from LLBean and Wayfair.


3. Install Retractable Screens or Awnings


Retractable screens are a two-in-one deal for keeping out pests and protecting against UV rays while not fully enclosing the space. Phantom has a variety of motorized screens that keep out bugs, increase privacy, or help control the climate of your patio. Retractable awnings provide charm and shade to your patio. If a pergola, patio cover, or umbrella aren’t your top choices, an awning can provide a similar cover.

showing awnings and shadescreens side by side
Products and images from Overstock and Phantom.

4. Install Misters


Misters are an excellent way to keep your patio cool. In fact, it can drop the temperature in the surrounding area by 20 degrees! Your body cools off when sweat evaporates, and mist evaporating off of your body can have the same effect. A misting system usually consists of brass/stainless steel nozzles, flexible tubing, slip-lock fittings, and tube mounts that form a single system that can be connected to a standard garden hose or water faucet. Idaho summers can be extremely dry and hot, and misters can add much-needed moisture to keep you cool. We recommend Aeromist’s customizable cooling kits.

showing a misting system installed on a patio cover
Products and images from Aeromist and Astfon.

5. Install Outdoor Ceiling Fans


Outdoor ceiling fans work to cool down your body through windchill. They don’t actually lower the temperature of your space, but they do provide a much-needed break from stagnant, hot air. Paired with misters, you’re set up for the ultimate “cool” experience!

showing two examples of outdoor ceiling fans
Images from LampsPlus.

6. Consider Evaporative Coolers


According to, “In low-humidity areas, evaporating water into the air provides a natural and energy-efficient means of cooling. Evaporative coolers, also called swamp coolers, rely on this principle. By passing outdoor air over water-saturated pads, the water in the pads evaporates, reducing the air temperature by 15°- to 40°F-before it is directed into the home.” Or, in this case, the air would be directed towards you in your outdoor space. We recommend the quiet, modern, and eco-friendly personal cooler called evaLIGHT!

showing a black and white evaLIGHT evaporative cooler
Products and images from evaLIGHT.

7. Use Rugs


Adding rugs can protect bare, vulnerable feet from scorching cement. Rugs can insulate your feet from the heat of the ground. We think that some of the best outdoor rugs are made from polypropylene. They are waterproof, mildew/mold-resistant, and can be easily cleaned in the event of a spill. Bamboo, jute, sisal, seagrass, and hemp rugs are good natural options.

showing two different types of orange and hemp outdoor rugs
Products and images from and LiveOuter.

8. Paint Your Patio


According to, “It’s a general rule that the lighter the color of concrete, the less heat it absorbs. Lighter colors reflect more heat, making the surface cooler, and darker colors absorb more heat, making the surface hotter. Beiges and light grays will allow surfaces to meet or surpass the SRI requirement of 29, while dark browns and charcoals may not.” To learn more about how concrete colors, you can visit their article. Still, we recommend taking on the DIY project of painting your patio with unique designs and/or light colors! This may not be the “coolest” tip on our list, but you could have fun with your designs.

showing two different colorful painted patios
Painted patio images from The Spruce.

In conclusion, we’ve shared eight tips for keeping your patio cool during the summer. We hope that you can keep your outdoor space cool this summer. If you’re looking to purchase a new patio cover or pergola, contact ShadeWorks today!

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