3 Space-Saving Cooling Solutions for Small Homes and Apartments

Summer heat is miserable without the proper appliances to keep you cool. Compact living quarters often make it hard to find the right appliances for your cooling needs. Unfortunately, if you are renting, you oftentimes do not have the option of installing permanent air-conditioning units. If that’s the case, don’t worry. Here’s a few space-saving cooling solutions that will help keep you comfortable in your apartment all summer long.

Portable Air Conditioners

Portable Air Conditioner

Portable air conditioners are designed to move easily, allowing you to place them wherever they are needed. These air conditioners sit on the floor and they come with a window kit that is placed in the window. The window kit is easy to install and takes up little space in the window. The instructions for the window kit are simple to follow, and the initial installation process takes only minutes.

Consisting of four basic components, portable air conditioners are designed to sit on the floor and be moved rather easily. The window vent fits directly into the window. The exhaust hose attaches to an exhaust hose coupling and allows hot exhaust air to escape outside. To get your air conditioner set up, connect the exhaust hose to the back of the unit, install the window vent and connect the exhaust hose to the window vent. Your air conditioner is then ready to cool.

Portable air conditioners come in different sizes to cool large or small rooms. It’s important to know the differences in BTU ranges. 7,000 BTU air conditioners cool areas up to 250 square feet. 12,000 BTU air conditioners keep a room that is 450 square feet comfortable. A 14,000 BTU air conditioner is the largest one offered and is designed to cool a room that is 600 square feet. Knowing how big your room is will help determine which portable A/C unit is right for you.

Window Air Conditioners

Window Air Conditioner

Another great way to beat the summer heat, is to install a Window air conditioner in your apartment. Unlike the portable units mentioned above, these air conditioners are installed right in your window. Living in an apartment usually means you are limited to air conditioning units that are not permanently attached to the building structure, which is precisely why a window cooling unit is a great solution.

Not only are window air conditioners easy to install, but they fit most types and sizes of windows. To ensure compatibility, be sure to measure the dimensions of both the unit and the window prior. Additionally, window units can be uninstalled just as easily as they were installed. So, whenever your lease is up, you just simply take the unit out and take it with you.

There are plenty of brands to choose from, but Frigidaire and LG are two of the most popular. You can’t go wrong with either brand.

Personal Fans & Air Circulators

Air Circulator

Another popular option to help keep you cool in the summer are air circulators and fans. Just as the name implies, these devices will help cool down your living area by providing better air circulation.

The main benefits of using a fan is the ease of moving it around at your leisure and the lower cost of obtaining it. The downside, however, is that an air circulator is not going to cool you off nearly as fast as a window or portable unit.

Things To Keep In Mind

Portability and ease of installation are important characteristics when it comes to purchasing an air conditioning unit. Whether you’re wanting to cool an extra large room, cut energy costs or other limiting circumstances keep you from installing a window unit, portable air conditioners are practical and simple to use. Instructions booklets, user manuals and help numbers are all included with your portable air conditioning unit to make installing and using your unit as easy as possible.

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Austin Smarter Spaces Tour : 1715 Giles, Unit C

The first house profiled from the Smarter Spaces Tour was the home at 4813 West Park. Be sure to check out that post for more pictures and inspiration on how you can make great use of the room available in a small space.

Next up though, we have 1715 Giles, Unit C.

1715 Giles, Unit C

  

This place was actually 1 of 4 townhome units in a small development. It had a long, narrow hallway with a small half bath on the left and door to the garage on the right when you first walked in before it opened up to the living area and kitchen. The architect, who was actually using the home as an office at that time, told us they had decorated the home on a budget, but it wasn’t obvious at all. We loved the items they had chosen, especially the lighting fixtures and burlap ottoman/seat that you can see in the picture above on the right. All of the pieces felt eclectic but like they went together at the same time, not an easy task to pull off.

The ceilings are surprisingly tall for a small space and feature skylights that really open up the space up with natural light. My favorite feature of this home though was the backyard. It has a patio that faces a small creek and wooded area that is very serene and beautiful.

Both bedrooms were upstairs and each had its own bathroom, but the bedroom on the back of the house also featured a small balcony that overlooked the patio and same creek.

We were able to get a few of our products in this house to show off, including the EdgeStar stainless steel kegerator, Kamado grill and MicroFridge red mini fridge (one of my favorite products).

See more photos of the home below.

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Austin Smarter Spaces Tour: 4813 West Park

As we previously announced, we were the title sponsor of Austin’s first ever Smarter Spaces Tour which took place Saturday, April 14. There was a total of 10 homes on the tour and I believe around 500 people ended up attending. Pretty impressive for the inaugural run!

The first house on the tour was 4813 West Park.

4813 West Park
4813 West Park Home

4813 West Park is a 3-bedroom house located a little further north than most of the other homes on the tour. We had our Koldfront 4-bottle wine cooler on display in the kitchen.

From the outside, I really expected the home to have a second story, which shows you just how spacious it looks. I’m sure if there had been a second floor though, it wouldn’t have qualified to be on the Smarter Spaces Tour (homes had to be under 2500 sq ft). The first feature that really caught my attention was the teal-colored door. I love bright colors and teal isn’t one you usually see on the outside of a house.

When you first walk in, you can see across the entire home and right into the backyard thanks to large windows in the living room. The windows let in a ton of natural light and help the open floor plan seem even more open. The living room, kitchen and dining area are all in one giant room with an island providing a clear delineation for the kitchen.

This home was custom built by GnM Lohr Homes (you can see more high quality pictures on their site) and it was awarded 4 stars by the Austin Energy Green Star rating program.

See more photos of the house, including our wine cooler, in the gallery:

 

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