Plumbing Info

Patio misting at restaurantWith concerns about energy use, water consumption, and climate change, more and more people are looking for better and more efficient ways of cooling off during hot summer days. One option that’s gaining popularity is the outdoor misting system. If you’ve ever been to an amusement park during the summer or visited warmer climates, you’ve probably encountered a misting system at some point. In parks, open air shopping malls, and other crowded public locations, these usually take the form of large towers that spray mist across passing crowds. Restaurants and lounges with patio seating tend to use overhead misters that can be easily hidden among plants or behind structural elements.

This type of misting system is generally what homeowners choose when looking to install one on their patio or deck or in a greenhouse. While installing a misting system isn’t complicated and most experienced DIY’ers can complete it in a weekend, it does require a significant amount of planning to ensure you’re maximizing the efficiency of your system and getting the most benefit from the cooling effects. First, we really need to look at how evaporative cooling works.

How Misters Cool You Down
When water molecules evaporate into the air, the water changes from a liquid to a gas state. A certain amount of energy or heat is needed to assist this process of changing water from a liquid to a gas, which is automatically drawn from the surrounding air – thus, evaporationlowering the ambient temperature around the misted area.
This is essentially the same way your body cools itself off. You sweat, the sweat evaporates, and your body temperature lowers. When installed and used properly, mist cooling systems can reduce temperatures by as much as 30°F depending on the efficiency of the misting system, relative humidity, and outdoor temperature.

The Pros of Misting Systems
Evaporative cooling is remarkably energy and water efficient. How can that be, you ask, when it is basically just shooting water into the air? Isn’t that wasting water? Well, think of it this way – it takes approximately 25 gallons of water to create 1 kilowatt of electricity using natural gas. A typical central air conditioner uses 3-5 kilowatts of power every hour, so about 75 gallons of water has been used to run the air conditioner for one hour. In contrast, a small water pump uses around 250 WATTS (so only about 1/4 a kilowatt) of electricity per hour. If you have a 10ft x 10ft deck or patio, you’ll typically use around 10 nozzles (1 nozzle every 3 feet for 30ft of tubing around the perimeter of the area). The pump and 1 GPH nozzles will use roughly 16-1/4 gallons of water every hour. Significantly less than running your central air conditioner for an hour.

As previously mentioned, once you’ve got your system all planned out, most misters are easy to install and operate. If you are an experienced DIY’er you may not even need a kit to set up your own mister, and oftentimes the system can be run right from the hose bibb on the side of your house – ideal for those who will only be using the mister three or four months out of the year since you don’t have to invest in an expensive pump. The mister system can be winterized if needed, similarly to a drip irrigation or other garden watering system, and because the actual water lines are generally made from poly tubing or PVC the system can last you a long time with proper maintenance. Sometimes, depending on the types and placement of plants, your misting system can double as a watering system, helping to keep your plants lush and green. Of course, the most obvious and possibly most important benefit of a mister is that it allows you to enjoy your outdoor space regardless of how hot it is.

maxresdefaultThe Cons of Misting Systems
Depending on the size of your space and what kind of system you want, misters can get pricey very quickly. Usually, the most expensive part of the system is the pump. While low pressure mister systems operate off your home’s natural water pressure, most people will need a pump to make their misting system truly effective, as the small, fine water droplets required for quick evaporation cannot be achieved by low water pressure. Additionally, if you are NOT an experienced DIY’er or just aren’t into that kind of thing, installing or maintaining your misting system will need to be done by a professional plumber or contractor which can also be expensive. Some people’s homes aren’t very well suited to adding an outdoor mister, and you may need to have plumbing work done prior to installing your system.

In areas where there is high humidity (consistently over 80%) or where it just doesn’t get very hot, a misting system might not be the best investment since you won’t see as significant temperature drops as drier, hotter areas and the mist won’t evaporate as quickly – meaning you could possibly just get damp, not cool. Also, you may not get much use out of it if you have mild springs and short summers.

So, you see how much goes into choosing whether or not a patio misting system is right for your family, and what you need to take into consideration before purchasing one. There are a number of great tutorials online about installing misters that can be helpful if you decide to DIY it, and if you’re looking for mister nozzles and supplies to build your own misting system, check out!


  1. plumbers in flagstaff

    This is amazing! I can’t stop myself without going through this post. Its nice post and moreover worthy to read and share. You can check website to get good plumbing services too. Keep it up!

  2. Beth

    Thanks for reiterating how wonderful misting systems can be for Arizona businesses and homeowners. Yes, DIY systems can work fine for many folks, however, if you are in need of a larger or custom type of outdoor misting system, we suggest you hire a company like ours for the design and build. Plus, we warranty and service outdoor misters @

  3. Shane

    Another potential issue with these is that in areas with hard water, minerals can build up and clog the emitters, causing dripping and potential leaks. Seasonal cleaning of the emitters with vinegar can help to prolong the life of the system.

    • Charles D Goodman

      While it is true that not all the mineral can be easily removed from tap water, there are things one can do to minimize emitters clogging up. You can add things such as the Orbit 10109W Misting Calcium Inhibitor Filter or the WaterSentinel WS-21 Calcium Inhibitor Filter and Misting System Protector.

    • Bryan

      What if you have a watersoftner?

  4. Tiffany Locke

    I like that this article mentions how most systems are easy to install and use once you’ve planned if out. Doing it correctly could be important to keep cool when you’re outside and keep it at the level that you want. When planning out your misting system, you’d probably want to consult with your installation professional so that they can help you figure out where you want it and how to do it so that it will work and be easy to use.

  5. Peter

    Legionella concerns? no reference here to any issues. Should there not be some reference to cleansing and flushing during ” no use ” periods? Interested to know. Thanks

  6. Hilton Plumbing 24/7

    I like that this article mentions how most systems are easy to install and use once you’ve planned if out. Doing it correctly could be important to keep cool when you’re outside and keep it at the level that you want. Thanks for this, looking forward to see more of your blog, I love your blog by the way!
    If you need help, visit our site:

  7. Mike B

    we live in Arizona and are going to have a misting system installed you mentioned humidity which most of time not much but the monsoon season the humiidy is above 50 % will it still cool?

    • Anthony

      It should still cool, but not as effectively as when the humidity is low. During monsoon season you may be better served simply using fans.

  8. Steve

    Those systems aren’t very popular here in Australia. However we have been installing them moreso in Hotels with open or outdoor entertainment areas. If you’d like more information visit our site

  9. Barbara

    I want to hook it up under a gazebo to water my plants. Is it possible to connect it to the watering system so it comes on automatically?

  10. Daniel DiBona

    Bravo. Well done.

  11. Devon

    What a fantastic way to cool down. plus the wow factor when guests are over. This seems very niche. Do you think this will become very mainstream? Check my site out for some other helpful tips

  12. West Australian Plumbing

    This is something our business at is thinking about starting to carry out. Looks like an amazing way to cool down and I think it could be a really good seller.

    Thanks for the information guys

  13. Nick

    Great article and love the details. In Australia, we use misting systems to cool large crowds down (eg. at music festivals). The Australian summer heat can be extreme so misters work great, but as we don’t have unlimited water resources these kinds of systems are generally reserved for large one-off or annual type events.


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