how do patio misters work

How Do Patio Misters Work?

Although often seen in restaurants and outside bar areas, Patio misters have come down in price and are now a realistic option for your outside spaces. Although shade sails, canopies and good old fashioned roofs will protect from the scorching sun, there is certainly an element of class in installing a Patio mister for those really hot days. We take a look at how these great additions to decks, patios, balconies and more work below.

All three main types of patio misters, Low-pressure, mid-pressure, and high-pressure work by misting the patio with cool water. This is achieved by forcing water through a pressurized pump and allowing water to escape through micro nozzles which atomizes water and creates vapor that fills the surrounding area.

Here’s a brief look at the differences between each type and how they work and don’t forget to check out our other articles for a definite guide on Patio Misters for the home and garden on the site. We have linked some in below to help you chose and decide the best versions for you in case you are not sure which type of mister is right for your home

how do patio mistersd work

Why Do Patio Misters Cool You Down?

Have you ever been having a lovely swim on a sunny day and when getting out of the pool suddenly felt a bit of a chill even through it might be 100 degrees and blazing sun. This is water evaporating on your skin and there is a little science behind it. that science is why people all over the world are increasingly looking at Patio misters and misting systems to keep themselves and their outside spaces cool.

The science: We will keep this brief as we are an outside space website and not a science 101 website. However the reason isters work to keep the air, and whatever in in that air space cool comes down to energy.

For water to be in a gas form, be it steam or mist it needs more energy than in solid ( or more accurately) liquid form. So as it evaporates into gas it needs energy, it takes this energy from the air, specifically the hot air around you. This cools both your skin and the air around you making you feel cooler.

So those fine droplets, or vapor that the msiter produces evaporates in the air and drops the air temperature both on your skin, and in the air.

Science lesson over, and lets look at the three main different types of misters in use. We also have loads of other articles to help you choose a patio mister for your outside space, and if they are worth it. You can check those out in the links throughout the article and at the end.

Low-Pressure Mister System

How they work: Low pressure patio misters relay on gravity and your home water supply to push water through the pipes and nozzles. You can think of it like the shower head in your bathroom, there is usually a way to change the force and size of the water steam.

Low-pressure systems using just the power of your home water supply, are the least expensive option and can be installed with a little elbow grease and effort by yourself. They are however the one that may leave more damp and moisture in the area as the pressure would not be enough to properly atomize water, and the droplets would be larger.

This PSI ( pounds per square inch) on low pressure misters will be between 40 and 60 Psi. Compare that to high or even medium pressure misting systems at 750 to 1500 and 160 and 250 for high and medium pressure systems and you can see why.

This means they wont produce as fine a mist, which if you live in an arid climate which is mostly dry should be fine, but if you are in the tropics and humidity is a factor you may need to look at higher pressurized options.

A low-pressure system can be as inexpensive as a sprinkler. It is the most common, and it does not require electricity. It uses gravity-fed water pressure to provide cooling to a limited area. The misting effect will be concentrated where people are, so they must be near the nozzles. You can even get fogscaping with this system. But be sure to check the installation manual before making the purchase.

You can read more about low pressure misting systems in this article here and we also look at the differences between high and low pressure misters here.

Mid-Pressure Misting System

How they work: Although similar to a low pressure system a mid pressure system will include a small pump to push the water through the pipes and nozzles at a high pressure than from the faucet alone. This will create a finer mist and higher pressure.

A mid-pressure system for patio misters is a good option for homeowners who want to keep the heat at bay. These misters can be used to cool patios, outdoor events, and even corporate functions.

Depending on the style of patio mister that you want and your budget they can range from around 150 to 250 to one hundred and twenty-five pounds per square inch. In addition to delivering a mist of luxurious quality, these systems are easy to install and operate on a par with the low pressure systems although as there is a need for a pump to create a finer mist there is additional costs and a requirement for power supplies.

A mid-pressure system for patio misters is the best option for most homes. This misting system uses medium water pressure to dispense larger spray droplets. The higher the water pressure, the more water will be dispensed per minute and the finer the spray, however it will still be less fine, or less atomized than a high pressure ( and more pricey) patio misting system.

The bigger the misting system, the more water it will use. However, you can install a mid-pressure system yourself if you are skilled at DIY projects it would require attaching the tubing to the water supply and having the pump plugged in ( and away from the water supply for safety reasons)

If you don’t want to put a lot of stress into an installation hiring a professional is the best option.

Generally, a mid-pressure system will produce a finer mist than a low pressure system. Mid-pressure misters are less expensive than high-pressure systems and cost between $600-$750.

A high-pressure system, which we look at below, will cost anywhere from $1500. While it is a good option for those who want the mist to be finer and more concentrated, it requires a power source and more planning. We look at these below.

how do patio mistersd work

High-Pressure Misting System

How they work: These are often used in commercial premises, especially restaurant terraces in hot countries. They are the most expensive and most effective options but are unnecessary for most households as they will not be used as frequently. The pump can push up to 1500 PSI depending on the model and will create a very fine mist.

A high-pressure patio mister system is ideal for homeowners who have a large space for a patio. The mist produced by a mid-pressure patio mister will cool down a patio much more effectively than the other two ( cheaper) systems and also leave much less moisture or water residue as the vapor and droplets will be much finer due to the higher pressure.

All misters, but particularly high pressure systems, will also help to control the presence of flying insects and reduce dust. There are also a variety of other benefits to patio misters, including regulating humidity and reducing the presence of static electricity.

A high-pressure system for patio misters is also ideal for industry. These misting systems are ideal for eliminating heat stress and OSHA concerns for workers. Additionally, these systems can also help make shaded patios feel cooler and reduce the temperature depending on the air temperature and humidity levels by more than 25 degrees.

These systems come with stainless steel lines with compression fittings and nozzles spaced every 24 inches. Some patio misting systems can even be used for fogscaping, a popular misting effect.

While the benefits of high-pressure systems for patio misters are obvious, they are not created equal. Some patio misting systems are little more than mini-sprinklers that get everyone wet which is not the general idea, it is why medium to high pressure misters are the more popular especially in commercial usages.

There are several factors to consider when choosing a high-pressure patio mister. The main feature that makes a high-pressure system so effective is its ability to mist water in a variety of different climates.

You can choose from a variety of options, so you can make a decision based on your needs. We have highlighted and linked some through out the article but if in any doubt you can consult a professional to get a quote and a plan

Another difference between low and high pressure systems is the cost of the patio misting system which we go into more detail here on the site. This cost is increased due to finer nozzles increased pumps size, the power required to run them, the piping structure and of course the size of the system.

While high-pressure systems can be installed by a mechanically inclined or handyman, you should have a professional install them. The parts can be expensive, but they are well worth it and will last for years.

Remote control system

Some patio misting systems come with a remote control system, so you can change the settings from inside the house. A handheld remote control can also be used for your mister, so you can pre-cool the area before you enter it.

This can be convenient if you often entertain outside or are constantly changing the temperature in the area. Here are some tips on how to choose the best remote control system for your patio mister.

The most advanced remote control systems work with a mobile app that allows you to control the misting power from wherever you are.

The remote controls make it easy to set the misting temperature and water amount you desire. This feature also allows you to water plants while away from home, or cool the area when you get back. This technology makes the misting experience a more convenient and enjoyable one.

you may even be able to install it as part of a shade sail or similar set up.

You can check out all of our in-depth mister cooling articles on the links below.


As we mentioned we have plenty of articles on patio misters, mainly because we love ours!, but it is wise to do research and both not over purchase or under purchase the system for your perfect outdoor space. there is no need to buy commercial grade materials if you are looking at a small balcony or terrace and similarly it would be a mistake to buy a smaller system if you have a huge entertaining area outside.


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