10 Ways to Use Outdoor Shades to Stay Cool This Summer

Natasha Ero | 03 May 2023 | Outdoor

You've scrubbed the patio cushions, power washed the deck, and just as you sit down to relax, the summer sun shines in and makes you feel like you're in an oven. If you want to get the most out of your patio this summer, outdoor shades can keep you feeling cool and block harsh UV rays.

Although we most often think of outdoor shades being installed on a patio overhang, they can also be used to block light and heat in many other outdoor spaces. Today we're sharing 10 places you can use outdoor shades to stay cool and even save on energy costs!

To learn more about outdoor shade installation, cleaning, and features, check out our Patio Shade FAQs.

10 Ways to Use Outdoor Shades to Stay Cool This Summer

1. Patio

Your patio cover provides shade from above, but what about late in the day when the sun shines right in? Outdoor solar shades give you the flexibility to block glare, and you can choose from a variety of fabric weave-opennesses to preserve your view.

modern outdoor living toom with beige sun shades

Heavy Duty Outdoor Solar Shades in Caribbean 10% Openness.

2. Pool Deck

Install outdoor shades on a patio or overhang to create a space to rest out of the harsh sun.

large two story patio with balconies and exterior shades

Coolaroo Solar Outdoor Shade

3. Pergola

pergola off house with roll down exterior shades

Blinds.com Outdoor Solar Shades in Palermo 5% Linen

A pergola is a great way to add shade and style to a deck or outdoor dining space, but it doesn't offer light protection from the sides. To get extra coverage and allow this architectural feature to shine, install outdoor roller shades in a color that matches your pergola.

pergola next to pool with white sun blocking exterior shades

Coolaroo Solar Outdoor Shade

4. Balcony

beach house balcony with sheer exterior shades

Bali Outdoor Solar Shades in Feedback 5% Frostine

If you're outfitting a balcony off of a vacation condo or upper story room, adding outdoor shades can make the space much more comfortable and add a degree of privacy.

modern house balcony with brown sun shades attatched to roof

Coolaroo Solar Outdoor Shade

5. Front Porch

front porch with beige outdoor shade to block sun

Bali Outdoor Solar Shades

Whether you want to relax on your front porch in comfort or block harsh rays from your front windows, outdoor shades can make a big impact. Consider choosing a motorized system, so you can lower shades across the whole porch with just the push of a button.

front porch with white outdoor shades

Blinds.com Outdoor Solar Shades in Palermo 3% Frost

See more of this front porch makeover:

6. Gazebo

Outfit your gazebo with shades on all sides for some added privacy, or just where you need to block sun most.

gazebo attached to house with solar shades

Coolaroo Solar Outdoor Shade

7. Exterior Shades Over Windows

Who would have thought about mounting shades outside your home instead of inside! In situations where you don't have adequate wall space inside to install shades, or don't want to cover decorative molding, it can be easier to block light and heat from outside.

sun shadeinstalled outside window on front porch

Bali Outdoor Solar Shades in Feedback 5% Frostine

Choose a motorized lift so you can lower the shades in a snap from inside the room.

outdoor shades installed over windows to save energy

Blinds.com Outdoor Solar Shades

8. Sunroom

If you have a sunroom or screened-in porch that's partially or fully exposed to the elements, we recommend using outdoor-rated shades which won't rust or deteriorate.

screened in porch with roll down sun shades

Coolaroo Solar Outdoor Shades in Sydney Rural Dawn

9. Sunroom, Greenhouse or Indoor Pool

kitchen and dining room inside glass conservatory

If you'd like more light control for a humid space like a greenhouse, open-air sunroom, or even an indoor pool, we recommend using outdoor shades which can stand up to high levels of moisture.

indoor pool with large modern windows

10. Sliding Glass Door or Patio Door

Doors onto the deck like sliding glass doors and french doors can be a real challenge to cover from the inside. Standard shades can be bulky and interfere with the function of the doors.

So, if you'd rather leave your doors unobstructed, but get some light control when you need it, consider mounting an exterior shade outside your doors and lowering it with a remote from inside.

person opening outdoor shade installed over double patio doors onto deck

Bali Outdoor Solar Shades

Have More Outdoor Shades Questions?

Blinds.com designers are available to recommend the perfect shades, no matter where you're installing them! Contact our team at 800-505-1905, or by live chat.

You can also learn more in our post: Are Outdoor Shades Right for You?

  • About Author

    Natasha Ero is a Social Media Marketer for Blinds.com. She is a native Houstonian and proud graduate of the University of Houston and the High School for the Performing and Visual Arts. In her free time, she enjoys trying out the latest workout classes and the newest restaurants in town. Follow her on Twitter + Instagram at @nicetrynatasha.