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Keeping cool is actually one of the primary motivating factors when homeowners decide to build a Screened-In Porch, but in some ridiculously hot parts of the world, you can still find yourself forking out a pretty penny just to keep your outdoor spaces cool.
Buy a Portable Air Conditioner
For those of us who don’t really want to put too much thought into this enterprise, the easiest solution is to lie in your bed, with a laptop on your chest, and search for a portable air conditioner at an online vendor.
Depending on your needs, the price of a portable air conditioner for your Screened-In Porch can vary considerably. The more powerful the portable air conditioner, the more likely you are to keep your Screened-In Porch cool. However, you are also likely to pay considerably more to keep it cool.
Then there is also the small matter of the energy that you are likely to consume with a portable – or any air conditioner for that matter. If you are conscious about the environment, the impact of a portable air conditioner will also need to be a consideration before you adopt this cooling method for your Screened-In Porch.
While this is probably the most convenient cooling option for your Screened-In Porch, there are caveats, and you should note them.
Use a Ceiling Fan
Most old people will tell you that the old ways are always the best. For them – and some younger people – using a ceiling fan remains the most appealing method to keep a living space cool. While a Screened-In Porch is built to enhance the outdoor experience or feeling, it does remain a closed-in living space that is attached to the house.
Installing a ceiling fan in your Screened-In Porch can prove to be an enormous undertaking for the uninitiated, though, and there is also some consideration to be given on energy use and efficiency before you actually make the purchase. You need to consider whether the output of that fan will be as good as the air conditioner (for example) and whether the expenditure can be justified when weighed against what you are getting in return.
Use a Floor Fan
If you really want to take a trip back in time, there is also the option of cooling your Screened-In Porch with a floor fan. Among the options we have mentioned thus far, it is perhaps the most cost-effective, but the jury might be out on efficiency. The latter will ultimately be determined by your cooling needs too. A floor fan probably won’t cut it in Las Vegas.
There will also be energy consumption considerations to be taken into account before you purchase one of these to help cool your Screened-In Porch.
Have a Window That Opens
If you want to take a further step back in time, there is also the option to actually install a window that opens in your Screened-In Porch. This is an underrated option, often overlooked by younger generations. Technology can do that to the human brain – makes it overlook the obvious.
Windows, depending on where they are stationed in the house, will assist with air circulation to varying degrees. The most appealing factor about this option is that windows are more of a long-term solution to your cooling problems. They also don’t consume as much energy as some of the more modern and “sophisticated” methods. They don’t consume any energy either.
Yes, we know that keeping out insects and debris are among the primary objectives when building a Screened-In Porch. Installing a window might prove counterproductive in that regard but, with a little effort, you can limit the inconvenience here too.
Install Blinds or Curtains
People take for granted what affordable options blinds and window shades actually are. The primary source of heat in any living space is always sunlight. Sometimes, the only remedy required is to shut that sunlight out.
Curtains and blinds have been fulfilling that basic function, probably since windows were invented. This option might feel like a step backward, but it is, in fact, very efficient and solves your problem in the long-term.
Cool Your Screened-In Porch Naturally
At some stage during your primary schooling, your geography teacher would have explained to you that trees can be planted for various reasons – among other things as windbreakers. What doesn’t get mentioned too often is that those very trees can also be used to help shield your Screened-In Porch from sunlight.
They really can be a win-win too. Having trees around is good for air quality on your property. They are more aesthetically appealing than curtains, air conditioners, fans, and even windows.
Yes, trees can become a problem when you no longer want them around – even planting them can come with serious bureaucratic baggage – but they also provide a long-term and environmentally friendly solution to your cooling problems.
Insulate Your Screened-In Porch
The Screened-In Porch is by its very definition, an informal – and even temporary – structure. For that reason, some of the more formal aspects of house building tend to be ignored, sometimes purely as a cost-saving measure.
However, we must not forget that among the primary reasons for building a Screened-In Porch is the desire to keep all undesirable elements out. That would include hot or warm air. If you do not insulate your Screened-In Porch, hot air will find a way into that specific living area of your home.
So, instead of looking for a series of elaborate and expensive options, something as simple and cost-effective as air-sealing your Screened-In Porch can prove to be just the tonic for your cooling problems. The beauty of insulation is that it is also a long-term option.
Use a Misting System
Purchasing a standard misting system is just as simple as purchasing an air conditioner or a fan online. Using a misting system is also as easy as any of the other options available on the market.
It is also a cost-effective and largely efficient way to cool your Screened-In Porch.
There is one caveat, though – the small matter of the water you will end up using to operate the system. You will need to do some of the math and gauge whether this is a worthwhile expense when weighed up against what it is that you hope to get in return.
Then there is also the small matter of the increased moisture that will circulate in your living space, as a result of using this system. That can have some impact on your walls, your deck, and even the roof of your Screened-In Porch. The damage incurred might not end up being worth the trouble.
Turn the Lights Down Low
While we understand and appreciate that people do not like being in a slightly darker room, for whatever reason, you will be surprised by how much heat is generated when you have the lights on in your household.
Your Screened-In Porch is not immune to this either. Apart from the fact that the basic design of a Screened-In Porch allows for tons of light to seep into the room, having the lights and other electronics on can contribute to your discomfort during the summer. It is a basic scientific fact that light bulbs emit heat. Let nobody tell you otherwise.