There are basically two main types of misting systems, low and high pressure and although both aim to perform a similar function there are some marked differences between them. From prices to effectiveness we take a look at high and low pressure misters below.
The numerous differences between high and low pressure misters include cost, installation, features, power and water usage and cooling effectiveness. Although they both have the same aim to cool down ambient air temperature and use the same principles of depositing atomized or vaporized water to achieve this.
These two misting systems mean ones that are controlled electrically with a pump (High Pressure) or ones that will rely on the pressure in your home water supply. (low pressure) We take a look at the differences between High and low pressure patio misting systems in this article.
There is a third which can be called a medium pressure mister, however as it requires a pump also using power we have included it within the high pressure category. Ones with a lower powered pump will be a good middle ground for most us however.
Table 1: Differences between High and Low Pressure Patio Misting Systems
|Patio Mister Feature||High Pressure||Low Pressure|
|Cooling Effectiveness||Can cool in low humidity and high temperature up to 35 degrees lower than the prevailing air temperature depending on the model.||Can cool up to 20-25 degrees in optimum conditions but struggles in average to high humidity.|
|Cost||400 to 1500 Dollars||30 to 150 Dollars|
|Lifespan and maintenance||often comes with warranties||cheap to fix and replace|
|Working in Humidity||Clear win with finer mist and more powerful spray||Much better suited for drier (sub 40-50% humidity) locations|
|Water Usage||the smaller nozzles and high pressure uses less water||Larger nozzles and less pressure make bigger droplets and mor ewater usage|
|Installation||More parts means more difficulty or tasks in installation.||Not quite as similar as plug in and play but closer to it than high powered versions.|
|Mist||Much finer the higher the pressure and the smaller the nozzles||less fine, though acceptable in drier climates. Pressure is less and nozzles are larger.|
|Insect deference||Some models have this an an option but there are safety implications and it may be worth just using traditional methods.||Not really worth it and as they come from the tap usually no way of achieving it.|
|Noise||Although not deafening there is noise produced by the pump.||The advantage of no power is no noise, just the hiss of water being sprayed.|
Which Cools Better – High or Low Pressure Misters?
For reasons we go into more detail below the best cooling systems utilize pumps and filters and cool air more effectively than those misting systems than are not powered like low pressure misters.
High pressure misters are able to atomize water into much finer mist and vapor which speeds up the evaporation process and cools are much more effectively and efficiently. They are usable in all climates and although perform better in dry climates will still reduce air temperature by up to 15 to 20 degrees in high to mid humidity environments as well.
Low pressure misters should not be discounted however. They are able to cool down air temperature in dry hot conditions by up to 20 or even 25 degrees, and although they lose effectiveness rapidly as humidity rises due to the larger water droplets they produce they are still a perfectly acceptable way to cool down a targeted outside space.
The droplets will not spread or effect as far as a high pressure misting system but this is only an issue if you need a large rather than targeted space cooled down.
it is to be expected that high-pressure misters are more effective, they cost up to 1000 dollars more than their low pressure mister alternatives. What you have to decide is if spending hundreds of dollars extra is needed where you live and to create your perfect outdoor space.
HIGH PRESSURE MISTER WIN: They were always going to win in cooling and effectiveness, the main question is do they win by enough to justify the larger price tag. Which we cover in the article below to help you reach your own decisions on that.
Difference in Cost between Low and High Pressure Patio Misters
Low pressure patio misters are a great way to cool down an outdoor area without having to pay an arm and a leg. The best misting units will cool the air and help keep bugs and irritants away. However, you should consider the cost of the various misting systems before making a decision.
Less expensive misting systems can be found for as little as $30 or even less. You can also purchase a misting pump for under $100 or a high-pressure patio misting system that costs around $1,500 or more.
There are two basic types of patio misters: high-pressure misting systems and low-pressure misting systems. The higher-pressure patio misters are more powerful, and can reduce the temperature outside by up to 35 degrees depending on the temperature and humidity levels.
This extra heat loss ability, finer mist and area to cool come at a premium price though and you can be expected to pay between 400 all the way up to 1500 dollars for a high pressure misting system, most of which expense in taken up by the high end pump and filtration components.
Low-pressure misters don’t use a high-pressure pump and don’t produce such a fine mist. the lack of pressure results in a larger water droplet being produced and less effectiveness. However the cost of 30 to 100 dollars for these is certainly attractive and if you live in an arid low humidity area thy could work just fine for you.
They rely on the pressure of your home water supply, and fine nozzles to push water out rather than an expensive pump and the associated costs.
While there are some drawbacks to low-pressure patio misters, they are generally less expensive than high-pressure ones.
Large-pressure systems are likely to need professional installation which unless it comes as part of the purchase price will incur additional costs on top of the already high price. Either way you go if you have no idea how to install these systems it may be worth biting the bullet and paying it to be installed to ensure it is correct first time rather than having to re-install it later.
LOW PRESSURE WIN: in terms of cost at 30 to 100 dollars its a certain win for the low pressure systems when compared to the high pressures 400 to 1500 dollar price tag. Which Lasts longer High or Low Pressure Misting Systems
With less working parts and being ( very basically) a glorified sprinkler system the Low Pressure misting system is likely to require less maintenance over the long term, and even if it does they are cheap enough to either replace or buy replacements for as things wear out. These models are require very little maintenance and can be easily installed by a do-it-yourselfer.
A high pressure patio misting system should have a pump that can produce 180 to 200 psi. they may also come with water tanks and filters to filter impure water before connecting the misting nozzle to the pump.
Working on high pressure puts strain on moving parts and the nozzles which while higher quality than low pressure models, have to deal with much more strain. this all adds up to a higher chance of breakdown, either with the electric pump or the water features dealing with increased pressures.
This comes with a caveat though. When you are paying a similar amount as a 75 inch television for the systems they will come with warranties and guarantees of up to and over 5 years. This means that when things do go wrong you can have some piece of mind that the misting system will be covered by warranty.
DRAW: So with this in mind we give lifespan and maintence a draw between the two misting systems. One is cheaper to fix or replace and the other, if you do your homework, will have warranties to cover breakdowns.
Which Misting System Is Best for Humid Climates
High and low pressure patio misters produce very different types of mist. High-pressure systems use thousands of psi of water to cool down your patio. Low-pressure misters use smaller, less powerful and larger droplets. Higher pressure means that you have less chances of getting and staying wet.
A low pressure system uses household water pressure to create a higher water pressure. This type of system produces larger water droplets and requires tubing rather than piping.
Effect on Humidity?
Misting systems cool the air using the evaporative cooling effect. This means the lower the humidity, or drier the air the more heat can transfer. As humidity increases so the effect of this cooling decreases.
High-pressure systems are best for areas with a moderately humid climate, while low-pressure systems work well in the desert or, less extremely, drier climates.
Low Pressure misters are best for use in patios with average humidity levels lower than 50 percent. They’re also the cheapest type of misting system. However, low-pressure systems aren’t very effective in extremely humid climates but there will still be an effect if its a reasonable quality low pressure misting system.
High pressure misting systems are more effective in areas with high humidity ( over 50%) however even with the finer more pressurized mist these also reduce their cooling abilities as humidity levels rise. In some cases dramatically for example research from mistingpros.com showed the effect of humidity on the ability of a high pressure ( or pump) patio misting system to cool air.
At an average air temperature of 95 degrees these were the effects.
- at 15% humidity the system reduced the air temperature by 25 degrees
- At 50% humidity the system reduced the air by 18 degrees
- at high 60% humidity this cooling effect was reduced to 5 to 10 degrees depending on how far from the mist you are.
HIGH PRESSURE SYSTEM WIN: So while there is a clear reduction on both high and low pressure misting systems as humidity increases the high pressure system deals with it better and provides more cooling in humid conditions.
How Much Water Do High and Low Pressure Misters Use?
Although the amount of water a low pressure or high mister will use depends on so many different variables we have the averages in the table below. These variables can include the following though.
- length of use
- Water pressure
- Nozzle size
- Number of nozzles
table 2: Average Water Usage of high medium and low pressure misters.
|Nozzle size||Pressure||Gallons per hour||Gallons per day|
These number can be compared to other household water usage numbers as detailed below.
3 ten minute long showers
Flushing the toilet 3 times
Sprinkler systems for 10 minutes
Running a faucet for 10 mins
120 gallons of water per day
12 gallons of water per day
66 gallons per day
40 gallons per day
The primary difference between high and low pressure misting systems is the water pressure. High-pressure misting systems use high-psi water to deliver more mist and better performance amd with the smaller nozzles there is less water escaping from the pipes and tubes. . Low-pressure systems use lower water pressure but don’t deliver as good a performance and as the nozzles are bigger the water usage is more.
A high-pressure misting system can cool outdoor temperatures by up to 30 degrees. It can also reduce odors and dust. Its lower water requirements mean you can spend more time in the sun without worrying about water bills. It will use less water than having three showers a day to cool down!
Low-pressure misting systems operate with standard tap or hose pressure they can’t produce ultra-fine water particles. Compared to high-pressure systems, low-pressure systems don’t provide as much cooling as high-pressure units, and they use more water both due to lack of pressure and larger ( mostly) nozzle size.
HIGH PRESSURE MISTING SYSTEM WIN: The pressure and smaller nozzles, together with the finer mist make higher pressure misting systems both more efficient with water usage, and more effective overall. however they will add to your power bill while taking away from your water bill.
Installation Differences Low and High pressure Patio Misters
There are, as we have mentioned, some differences between high and low-pressure patio misters and one of these is ease to install.
- Low-pressure misters can be connected to an ordinary garden hose, and the low-pressure type produces fine water droplets.
- High-pressure misters are more powerful and come with a filtration system and water pump and are more complex ( potentially) to install. Sometimes they may require a water tanks as well.
The Steps to install both high or low pressure misters if of a small size are relatively similar and we have briefly highlighted these below.
- measure the area that you wish to cool.
- Measure the distance between the power source and the water supply, and then mark out the area on the patio where you’ll install the misters.
- Measure the distance from the water source to the mist line, which will hang from parallel beams.
- Make sure they’re at least 3 feet apart. ( this will often be set in the pipe or tube though)
- Once you’ve measured the length of the line, insert the nozzles and attach them to the brackets on the patio.
- turn on to check and enjoy some cooling!
Installing a misting system is not difficult however Some higher end misting kits can be more complicated to install those with frames or high pressure pumps need a little more thought than a low pressure faucet powered mister.
Low-pressure misting systems are easier to install and works like a sprinkler, cooling a small area with a fine stream of water. It uses gravity-fed water pressure, which is the easiest to obtain and the least expensive.
The main difference between installing high and low pressure misting systems is in the size and style of nozzles and the tubes. Low-pressure misting systems are easier to install, because they are more flexible and can be installed more quickly.
The tubing for low-pressure systems is made of flexible plastic that is easy to route and work with. In addition, low-pressure misting systems require less space than high-pressure systems and certainly less wires!
LOW PRESSURE MISTER WIN: Flexible tubing, likely a smaller area and a lack of power and moving parts make a low pressure mister usually easier to install.
Do High or Low Pressure Misters Produce Finer Mist.
As is to be expected the high pressure misters are able to produce water vapor in a much finer mist than low pressure misters are.
This is due in some part to the list in the sections above about pressure and nozzle size. High pressure and smaller nozzles enable the water to be atomised and become much finer. This is important as smaller droplets evaporate faster than larger ones, cooling the air around them more evenly, more effectively and more wide spread.
This greater spreading and drifting effect cools a larger area. For these reasons, high pressure misting systems are more effective than low pressure misting systems, the finer the mist the more effective they are. Low pressure systems just cant compete with powered misters.
High-pressure systems work by pushing water through a micro-orifice at up to 1000 pounds per square inch. Because water is pressurized to such high levels, it forms very fine water mist with a droplet size of 10 microns. When exposed to air, this mist evaporates almost instantly.
Low-pressure systems rely on the main water supply and typically produce a fine mist of between 20 and 100 microns. Because of the low-pressure systems’ low-pressure nature, they’re very affordable and can be easily installed by the average homeowner. But their main disadvantage is that they can’t create as fine mist as high-pressure misting systems do.
HIGH PRESSURE MISTER WIN: it was always going to be a win for the more expensive high pressure systems, it is their reason to be! Making fine mist and cooling mor eeffectively is what you get for those extra 1000 dollars!
Do Patio Misters Stop insects?
Mist and water will be a deterrent and it is possible to get safe natural oil deterrents to insects and mosquitos. however we are in the process of putting together a full article on this so will just highlight it briefly here.
High pressure systems atomize water and liquids more effectively than low pressure and this will include an insect deterrent you place in their systems.
Low pressure will release larger concentrations of water and anything else you may but in it, and as they are fed directly from the tap rather than through a filter or a reservoir then you will need to fit a separate unit which adds cost, won’t work as well and negates the point of buying a cheaper system.
However not all high pressure systems allow for what is basically insecticide to be run through them, and some states even disallow or have requirements for signs to be placed around the area so you need to both check your area, and the manufacturers instructions well before considering this.
HIGH PRESSURE MISTER WIN: Although some models will include the option it is not as straightforward as just using insect deterrents in a mister, there are safety implications especially if you have food or an outdoor kitchen close by. You need to check your model and your state laws before even considering this.
You can check out all of our in-depth mister cooling articles on the links below.
- The differences between high and low pressure misters
- Where should patio misters be placed
- Can you put patio misters on a balcony
- How do patio misters work
- Are high pressure patio misters worth it
- Are low pressure misters worth it
- Do patio misters use a lot of water
High pressure misting systems produce the highest cooling effects. Mid-pressure systems are less effective because they produce larger droplets but are cheaper . In addition, low-pressure systems are easier to install and maintain, so they are a more affordable option. But they do not produce as fine a mist as high-pressure systems do.
Whether you buy a high-pressure or low-pressure system depends on your specific situation. However a low cost low pressure mister can cost as little as 30 dollars and a low end powered version maybe 100 or 150 dollars so if you are unsure if it will fit, if it will be used or if it will work maybe starting cheap is actually the way to go first.
You can always scale up to powered versions if its something that works for you, but scaling down after spending 1000 dollars or so might not be that easy.