When the sweltering summer heat makes outdoor living spaces unbearable, misting system installation is a viable way to make them comfortable. There are a number of different options available for residential applications, however, and knowing the benefits and drawbacks of each is important if you want the most effective system for your situation.
1.Inexpensive Residential Misting Systems
No matter what kind of misting system you decide on, once the installation is finished, they are generally very easy to maintain
Far and away the cheapest misting systems are low-pressure varieties designed for residential use. Often sold in kits, these inexpensive set-ups are extremely user-friendly and are made to run on the amount of water pressure that typically flows out of the tap (which can vary depending on your location from 20-120 psi). In some cases, a "booster" pump is used in low-pressure systems to supplement your home's average water pressure. These low-pressure systems can do an adequate job of making your porch a cooler place to be during the summer, but they do not cool as effectively as their more advanced relatives. Additionally, they may not be as energy-efficient or operate as dryly as more expensive units.
Misting fans are another inexpensive option for residential applications. These self-contained devices can operate continuously for hours (depending on their water capacity) and do a very good job of cooling small areas. One of the nice things about misting fans is their portability; they can be an excellent addition to your own patio, but they can also be brought on camping trips, outdoor sporting events, and gatherings at the homes of friends and family.
2.Mid-Range Misting Systems
Also available in DIY-friendly kits, mid-level misting systems use a separate motor/pump to push water through misting nozzles at a higher pressure. What this means for consumers: Greater cooling effect without as much of a "wet" feeling left behind. The water forced out of medium-range systems is finer and lighter than that of low-pressure systems, which allows it to evaporate more effectively. The finer water droplets are created by increasing the pressure through the nozzles to the 120-250 psi range.
3.Fogging or High-Pressure Misting Systems
High pressure systems often run at 800-1200 psi, and the nozzles compatible with these systems create a mist that is fine enough to float, which is why high-pressure misters are sometimes referred to as foggers. High-pressure misting systems--unlike medium or low-pressure ones--create a mist so fine that it can effectively cool outdoor spaces in times of high humidity.
These systems are not designed for do-it-yourselfers and are often custom made to fit the exact specifications of the setting they are installed in. Very expensive (and often quite loud), these systems do the most effective job of cooling outdoor areas, but are not the best choice for many residential settings.
4.Maintaining Your Misting System
No matter what kind of misting system you decide on, once the installation is finished, they are generally very easy to maintain. Since most systems contain only three main elements, there are basically only three things you need to make sure are operating properly: The delivery channels (the rigid pipes or flexible tubing that carries the water), the nozzles that spray the water, and--if your system uses one--the pump/motor that creates water pressure. As long as there are no leaks in the delivery lines, no blockages on or inside the nozzles, and your pump is working well, your system will operate efficiently and effectively.
5.Purchasing a System
If you are planning on installing your own misting system, many kits are available online that will not only provide you with excellent outdoor cooling, but are designed for easy installation. It is important, however, to do a little comparison shopping before you purchase a kit, as some companies offer systems of very high quality at affordable prices. Also, make sure to check the product specs to ensure that you'll have the right level of water pressure for your needs.