Does an aluminium garden table and chairs get hot in the sun?

In this article we are discussing if our cast aluminium garden tables and chairs get hot in the sun and why that is a good thing...

Maybe because it's our off-season, we have been talking more about how our furniture is made than how to style it on your patio, etc. The current wintery wet weather has the team longing for summer but those sorts of articles are a little harder to write at this time of year.

We recently took an in-depth look at why we think you should buy cast aluminium garden furniture for summer 2024 though, and in that article, we touched several times on the question of whether our aluminium garden tables and chairs get hot in the sun.

That is something we want to explore in a little more detail in this article, as like many of the advantages and disadvantages we see with the different materials used to make outdoor furniture, one person's pro is another person's con.

For example, weight. Cast aluminium is relatively light compared to other materials such as say teak or wrought iron. Some people see that as an advantage, making the pieces easy to pick up and move. 

For other people, it is more of a disadvantage as their garden may see a lot of high winds and they have nowhere to move or store it should there be a weather warning.

The same is very much true when it comes to us answering the question does an aluminium garden table and chairs get hot in the sun? There are two sides to that and a whole host of things to consider. 

Is aluminium getting hot in the sun a good thing?

Is aluminium getting hot in the sun a good thing?

Aluminium, as a metal, has excellent thermal conductivity, which simply means that it is a very good conductor of heat. In other words, your aluminium garden table and chairs from Lazy Susan will become hot to the touch when exposed to direct sunlight.

This at first might seem a disadvantage but most outdoor materials, even wood will get hot to the touch in the summer sun.

The big advantage aluminium has over other materials such as wood and resins is that it will not be damaged by the sun's UV rays. Yes, it might get a little warmer to the touch but it will not fade or crack under any high heat.

Garden furniture with good thermal conductivity, when exposed to sunlight will still become hot during warm weather, but it will also dissipate that heat the quickest.

This prevents the furniture from becoming uncomfortably hot and is particularly important for surfaces that come into direct contact with skin, such as chairs and sun loungers 

Outdoor furniture in the UK will potentially be exposed to varying temperatures in a single day too, and thermal conductivity helps prevent the material from deteriorating or warping due to extreme temperature changes.

For example, if there is a sudden downpour on a hot day, and your garden table and chairs are exposed to that cooling rain, then it could be an issue with materials like wood, as they could easily split or warp. 

Other materials and metals that tend to retain heat for longer periods, will make them more uncomfortable to touch during hot weather.

Patio furniture with lower thermal conductivity like cast aluminium will retain heat for a shorter duration. Take it out of direct sunlight, pop it in the shade, and it will cool down much quicker.

How hot will our cast aluminium furniture get in the sun?

How hot will our cast aluminium furniture get in the sun?

The extent to which our cast aluminium garden tables and chairs get hot in the sun depends on a host of factors though and there are several ways you can minimise to keep them cooler:

  1. Colour
    Our aluminium is painted to further protect the metal and give it a nice finish but the colour can also impact on how hot it gets. Darker-coloured aluminium furniture such as our Black with Antique Bronze will tend to absorb more heat than our White finish as lighter colours better reflect sunlight and heat.
  2. Finish
    The type of finish on the aluminium surface will also influence how it reacts to sunlight. We looked at our paint in detail in the advantages of powder-coated aluminium garden furniture article, and the finish we apply has a slightly textured or matte finish that will dissipate heat more effectively than a glossy or polished surface.
  3. Exposure
    Of course, the biggest factor in how hot the metal gets is the amount of direct sunlight the furniture receives. In intense sunlight on a 20ºC and up day, aluminium furniture will become warm to the touch. 

How do you keep cast aluminium cool in the summer?

How do you keep cast aluminium cool in the summer?

While aluminium will get warm in peak summer, it is generally not as prone to retaining as much heat as other materials or metals such as steel and wrought iron. 

Additionally, the fact that our cast aluminium is lighter in weight, makes it easier to reposition the furniture in a shaded part of your patio or garden if need be

If you're concerned about the heat, there are a few simple steps you can take to keep things cool this summer: 

  1. Cushions
    Place our fitted cushions on your garden chairs to provide a barrier between the aluminium and your skin, making the seating much more comfortable.
  2. Shade
    Consider placing the furniture in a shaded area of your patio or pair our garden tables with a parasol or other shade such as a pergola or awning to reduce direct sun exposure.
  3. Accessories
    Opt for light-coloured accessories, such as our stone cushions or a white linen tablecloth, as they will better reflect more sunlight and heat.
  4. Time of Day
    Try and use your garden furniture during times when the sun is less intense, such as mornings or late afternoon/early evening.

Keep in mind that all outdoor furniture, regardless of the material it is made from, will become hot when exposed to direct sunlight. 

If we are experiencing hotter weather, yes, even in the UK, then it is always a good idea to test the temperature before you sit down on anything that has been left outside in direct sunlight. 

Even a concrete bench, which is often cold to the touch can get very hot on a sunny day, and has much lower thermal conductivity than cast aluminium, will hold that heat long after the sun has set.

Of course, whilst high thermal conductivity is beneficial in certain situations, it might not be the primary consideration for the type of garden table and chairs that you purchase and it can be easily mitigated.

What is essential is to weigh up all the pros and cons and consider a combination of factors, such as material, price, design, intended use, etc. At the end of the day, the best garden furniture is the pieces or sets that will get you outside and enjoying your outdoor space in the sunshine.

If you have any photos of your new cast aluminium garden furniture, we’d love to see a few snaps for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or Upload Here.

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