When the star Sirius appears in the night sky it signifies the official start of the "dog days of summer" -- 40 of the hottest, stickiest days of the year (July 3 to Aug. 15). This year you can be cool -- without being indoors -- by installing a misting system like you see in hotels and restaurants. Water, pumped through overhead piping, is forced out of a series of small nozzles, producing a fine mist (about 50 microns in size) that floats on the air. It reduces temperatures 20 or more degrees. A misting system can be all or partly home-made from standard PVC parts and misting components, or purchased in kit form at hardware stores and home centers. On average, they go for less than $100. There are small portable fan-like units, too: a 10-gallon model cools 200 square feet for five hours. The "dog days" are here, but you don't have to sweat it. Just play "misty" and forget it.
-- The Carey Bros.