Technology to Improve Your Outdoor Living

 

Technology can take your outdoor area to a whole new level. The right products can change your outdoor lifestyle for the better, from keeping cool to staying connected. Here are our favourite tech tips for keeping your patio cool and enjoying your time outdoors.

 

Fans

This might not sound like the most high-tech feature, but don’t underestimate the power of a good fan. Lots of fan units are designed especially for use in outdoor areas, so you can enjoy a breeze on your patio even at the height of summer.

Not sure how to spot a good outdoor fan? Be sure to keep an eye out for weather-resistant designs. The blades should be made from durable materials like timber, or UV-resistant plastic. Your fan’s motor should also be sealed against moisture, so it doesn’t conk out on humid days.

 

Evaporative Coolers

Unlike most normal air-conditioning systems, evaporative coolers can be effective in outdoor areas (as long as the space you’re trying to cool isn’t too large). Have you ever noticed that the temperature tends to drop near large bodies of water like the ocean? That’s because water evaporates heat from the air. Evaporative coolers work in a similar way. Hot air enters the unit where it is filtered through cooling pads, before being released in a stream of cool air.

They might not create the same fridge-like effect as typical air-conditioner, but an evaporative cooler can still make heatwaves more bearable.

 

Misting Systems

Rather than staying cooped up inside all summer, a misting system can help you beat the heat outdoors. By showering your patio in a light cloud of water, a good misting system offers sweet relief from soaring temperatures without causing water damage.

You can get a portable misting system, or install a system in the roof of your patio.

 

Strong Wi-Fi

If you’re trying to enhance your patio with technology, a good Wi-Fi signal is essential. Whether you want to catch up on Netflix in a cool outdoor setting or stream your favourite songs while eating alfresco, having a patio with internet access can come in handy. But if your outdoor area is situated too far away from your modem, the signal might be patchy.

You don’t need any complicated gadgets to connect your outdoor area – simply use a Wi-Fi range extender. This device can ensure your patio always has access to the internet.

And, of course, you can personalise your area as much as you want. From outdoor stereo systems to fun lighting, there are heaps of ways you can tech-up your outdoor living area to make it the place to be this summer.

 

Natural Shields for Your Patio

 

Is your patio lacking in privacy? It can be tricky to shield your outdoor area from nosy neighbours without creating a closed-off effect. Rather than going overboard with building materials, greenery offers a flexible solution for adding privacy to your patio. You can plant a hedge, install a vertical garden bed or go wild with pot plants – when it comes to creating natural shields, the possibilities are endless.

Here are some suggestions to get you started:

 

Hedges

Hedges

You don’t need to be an expert landscaper to grow a hedge from the ground up. Whether you want to block off a small section of your patio or your entire outdoor area, a neatly manicured hedge is the perfect decorative feature for enhancing privacy.

To grow your own hedge, you’ll need the following supplies:

  A suitable hedge plant (Blueberry Ash and Lilly Pilly are both suited to Queensland’s climate)

  Quality garden mix (don’t just use the soil from your garden)

  Mulch

  Compost

  A shovel

  Secateurs

Begin by digging the holes for your hedge. Most hedges should be planted at a depth of around 35cm. Keep in mind that the closer you dig the holes, the faster your hedge will form. After throwing a handful of compost in each hole, you can plant your hedge (be sure to compress the dirt around each plant tightly to prevent air bubbles forming). Sprinkle some mulch on top of each plant and give them a good watering.

Within a few weeks, your hedge should be getting nice and dense. Ask your local nursery how often you should water your hedges, as some plants are thirstier than others.

 

 

Bamboo Screens

Bamboo Screens

Bamboo screens aren’t just an effective privacy enhancer – they can also add an exotic touch to your yard. Hardwearing and weather resistant, bamboo can withstand everything from pouring rain to blazing sunshine. If you want to build a privacy screen that blends in seamlessly with the rest of your yard, the natural colour and texture of bamboo make this plant a versatile option.

You can use wood strips, metal brackets, or even zip ties to attach your bamboo screen to your patio. Just make sure the bamboo has been coated in a waterproof stain before you start building.

 

 

Statement Pot Plans

Statement Pot Plants

Looking for a more temporary solution to your lack of privacy? Scatter some large pot plants around your patio to make it feel like a shady sanctuary. If you ever want to open up your space to the outside world, you can simply move the pot plants out of the way.

Vertical gardens can also be used as privacy screens, and require minimal maintenance. Climbing plants tend to grow quite quickly, so you can start enjoying more privacy within weeks of planting your vertical garden.

If you’re not much of a gardener, there are plenty of other ways to shield your patio. To enjoy permanent privacy in your outdoor area, check out Altec’s range of privacy and weather screens.

 

Altec are Brisbane's leading Patio & Carport Designers and Builders.

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