This Portable Air Conditioner Allows You to Enjoy Your Windows Year-Round
I’m finally able to enjoy air conditioning and plenty of natural light at the same time.
Anyone who lives in an apartment has a fear of dropping an air conditioner out of their window—even on the first floor, you’re not safe from this concern. Pre-pandemic, I was working from home one day when I heard a crash outside my alleyway-facing window. A few minutes later, a neighbor I had never met before—typical city behavior—asked if he could crawl through the window in my bathroom to gather the remains of his new air conditioner. Watching his feet dangle above my toilet, I vowed I’d never take the same risk.
After a recent move, I found myself in a new apartment on the fourth floor with a decision to make. With only two windows in the apartment—and summer temperatures creeping higher every day—I wasn’t willing to give up any natural lighting. All I wanted was to blast my home with cool air, but I knew that, come winter, I’d be stuck with a clunky box taking up half of my window (out of fear of dropping it and to avoid the hassle, I'd always left my air conditioner units in the window year-round). I was about to succumb to this fate again and lose a huge amount of natural light when I discovered the Black+Decker Portable Air Conditioner.
This portable air conditioner is perfect for my small one-bedroom apartment. At around two feet tall, its size allows me the flexibility to hide it away when it's not needed, and its sleek white exterior isn’t an eyesore when it’s being used. It came with a window kit—necessary for ventilation—that included a long hose, which allowed me to pull the unit further into the room. With this extra space around the window, I was able to add a desk area instead of dedicating the corner to a clunky piece of machinery that keeps the rest of my space cool.
Black+Decker Portable Air Conditioner, $300; amazon.com
Beyond my immediate glee at avoiding the dreaded air conditioner installation, other parts of my life have also been made easier by this portable air conditioner. It came with a remote control, so I can lower the temperature from the kitchen when I’m turning up the heat on the stove. When I don’t need air conditioning, its multiple functionality can act as a powerful fan or dehumidifier. When I found out all it took to clean it was sliding out the filter twice a month to rinse it in the sink, I nearly sang the “Clean Up” song out of sheer joy.
RELATED: How to Clean an Air Conditioner
From my first night with this portable air conditioner, I’ve really put it to the test. Before I went to bed that night, I set the timer so that it turned off when my bedroom reached the perfect temperature (76 degrees, of course). I switched it to sleep mode, which kept the unit quieter. (As a person who isn’t a fan of noise machines, this feature let me embrace my inner light sleeper.) The next morning, I woke up and with a click of the remote the air conditioner began to fill the room with the low buzz of cool air again.
While I know I’ll need air conditioning until fall saves us from the heat, I’m looking forward to the ability to roll this portable unit into my hallway closet the same way I look forward to pumpkin spice lattes. Its compact size will keep it tucked away and as seasonal as my winter coats for the cooler months of the year. For now, though, I’ll continue standing in front of it after a hot summer day at the park.