Floor Unit Air Conditioners | Apartment Therapy

Published: about 1 hour ago

When you’re living in a small apartment, the summer heat can turn your little studio into a fully furnished sauna. And while your home spa experience may feel glamorous, that heat can quickly become unbearable, if not dangerous.

If your place lacks central air conditioning, renters can invest in window units or floor units to beat the heat. I’ve lived in my share of cozy (read: micro) apartments, and trust me: when deciding on an air conditioning unit, the floor unit is the way to go. Here’s why they’re best equipped to make that small, cool space a small, chilly place. 

Installation is pretty painless

Have you ever tried to install a window unit on your own? I bet you rightfully gave up immediately. Window units are heavy, require assistance to properly install, and have to be removed before winter arrives. They also weigh at least 50 pounds. You have to dangle this weight from your window while spending the entire installation process praying you don’t accidentally drop it and squish a pedestrian below like a cartoon anvil would. That’s a lot for someone who is living on their own.

Portable floor units, on the other hand, are simple to install. You pop it out of the box and plug it in. No one’s life is at risk, no cartoon carnage. Just delightfully chilled air. 

You can maintain your view

Many smaller spaces lack ample natural light and have too few windows. Obviously, window units take up more of that precious real estate. Floor units eliminate this issue, so you can enjoy the cool air without sacrificing your view and access to Vitamin D. Floor units do need to take up the bottom part of a window for their vents, but that’s all. Plus, they can be vented through sliding glass doors and even the ceiling if you’re handy. 

It’s also important to note that in many apartment buildings, the window is a renter’s single portal to a fire escape. If an emergency should arise, a window unit is a major barrier to safety. And for those who’d just like to pop themselves out the window onto the fire escape for a glass of wine or a chat with a neighbor (doesn’t that sound pleasant?), you don’t have to worry, because your floor unit isn’t holding you back from precious summer moments. 

Unless you go all out and install window units in every space in your place, you’re going to struggle to get air circulating to all the nooks in your apartment. Fortunately, portability is definitive of floor units. In my smallest apartment, my window unit just wasn’t up to the task—this fact made clear by the vastly differing temperatures in each room. Roll your floor unit into your bathroom when you’re drying your hair or cleaning the tub. Move it into your kitchen when you’re using the oven. Use it as a sleep aid to keep you cool in your bedroom at night (and enjoy the bonus white noise of its hum!) Wherever you’re trying to avoid the heat, the floor unit goes with you, like a wee robot sidekick. 

And they save you money in the long run

In addition to the initial investment of a window unit, this type of AC unit often comes with a couple fees on the side. In many older, larger apartment buildings, renters are required to purchase additional brackets and hardware to stabilize the unit so that it doesn’t become a cartoon crime scene, like I referenced earlier. Further, folks who live alone often need to hire professional installation experts—and your landlord may even require this. (Some installers in New York City, for example, charge over $100 a pop.) You can avoid emptying your wallet again by choosing the floor unit route. 

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