Cool Down Your Sunny Patio
It’s June, and summer is upon us! Many Austinites are preparing for the heat by making improvements to their outdoor living spaces. Patio shades can create more useable square footage by turning your existing, sun-drenched patio into a cooler, more inviting space for you and your family. On average, patio shades can reduce the temperature on your patio during the direct sun by 10 degrees or more. Plus, the right patio shade can help protect against bugs and even the stray golf ball. Here are some considerations to think about when planning for your patio shade project:
While selecting color, keep this in mind: As with clothing, darker colors absorb the heat while lighter colors reflect it. With screen shades, however, darker colors have a crisper view-through, while lighter colors have a more obscure view, even at the same opacity. This is due to light reflecting off the material.
The opacity you choose will determine the percentage of UV rays allowed to pass through it, as well as the amount of view-through that is remaining. The most common opacity with our largest vendor is a 3 percent screen material, which blocks about 97 percent of UV rays. On bright days, you should be able to still have a clear view through the screen, while knocking down the sun and heat. Opacity and color both come into play, as a 3 percent dark material will have a clearer view-through than a 3 percent light material.
If you have a small space that doesn’t get high gusts of wind, there are several manual control options available. This includes continuous cord loop stainless steel chain or a hand crank. If your space is large and/or more susceptible to high winds, there are options that can be secured on the sides with either guide cables or side tracks. These shades are motorized and typically plug into an exterior outlet or are hard-wired by a licensed electrician.
When deciding what patio shade will be the right choice for your space, many factors come into play: How large is the space you want to cover? How much wind is that space exposed to? How will you be using your space? Are you near the golf course and occasionally catch a flying golf ball on your patio? All of these things come up during the initial consultation to determine the best patio shade for your particular space. And, once you made your choices and installed your exterior screen shades, you’ll find they are a great investment in your outdoor living areas, allowing you to use your patio all year!