It was mid summer & mid day in sunny Arizona. It happened to be about 118°F, and I was volunteered to barbecue for Sunday dinner. Everyone knows I like to barbecue (with propane of course).
I went outside to the stainless steel barbecue, located in full sun, and noticed the temperature gauge on the grill hood was reading 185°F. I slid over the patio table, got the umbrella and positioned it to shade the grill. I went back in, changed into T-shirt, shorts & flip-flops. Fifteen minutes later I went back out to light the grill and to my amazement, the temperature gauge was now reading 118°F, the same as the outside temperature.
I found some info on the web about summer asphalt temps in Rio Verde, located about 40 miles NE of Phoenix, a little higher elevation, more plant life, and normally about 10° cooler. Hot Pavement
I couldn’t find any data on the temperatures of steel or stainless steel, but I do know the denser the man-made material, the more heat it absorbs and the hotter it gets.
Back to the barbecue and the difference the shade umbrella made – about 60°F cooler!
This got me thinking about the shade around our house. The R-value of the insulation in the exterior walls doesn’t increase with the heat and when the wall surfaces get hotter, more heat transfers through the insulation.
Shade is a key factor in reducing exterior wall surface temperatures and how hard your air conditioner works to keep your home cool in the simmer. Think about different ways of creating shade on the east and west walls, and adjacent ground surfaces of your home or your business. Please see our other blog post about shade ideas.