This Smart AC Unit Is the Only Thing That Gets Me Through the Brutal NYC Summers

published Jun 2, 2023
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Credit: Erin Derby

In case you didn’t know, summers in New York City are brutal. While it’s definitely the most fun part of the year in the city, it gets seriously hot, humid, and hazy. (We’re actually classified as a “humid subtropical climate” — and don’t even get me started on the urban heat island effect.) Plus, I’ve always been more of a winter person, so the warmer months in NYC are especially tough for me. The cherry on top is that most apartment buildings aren’t equipped with central air conditioning, so if you want to make it to October, you need a good window AC unit. In my apartment, we had been using an old rickety one with a filter that was so jammed we hadn’t been able to clean it for months. That’s why I was so psyched when I had the chance to test out the TCL 8,000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner

This AC unit helps cool down rooms up to 350 square feet, and pairs with Alexa or Google Assistant, so you can use simple voice commands to control your AC without lifting a finger. It also features a bright digital display, Sleep and Eco modes to help keep your power costs low, and a washable (and reusable!) filter which helps protect the life of your AC and reduce airborne particles including dust and pet hair. Setup is super easy, as well, and with its compact size and adjustable side flaps, it fits most windows with ease. Plus, it comes with a remote control if you don’t want to hook it up to a smart home device, and it has multiple fan speeds and cooling levels.

I’ve had over six different window AC units since I’ve lived in New York, and I’ve gotta say, this one is my favorite one by far. It’s the first one I’ve had with a remote, and while I didn’t imagine myself using it a lot when I first unboxed the unit, it’s actually so convenient. There’s nothing worse than when you’re perfectly comfortable on the couch and the minute you start to relax, you realize you either forgot to turn the AC on or it’s way too chilly, and you have to get up and walk all the way over to your unit and mess with the controls. With the remote, I can adjust any and all of the functions from the comfort of my sofa. The Eco mode is also key, since electricity gets expensive, and I love the fact that you can turn the display off without shutting off the unit. 

Credit: Ian Burke

I’m not alone in my love for this unit, either. “I had already gotten a smaller unit for the bedroom, and decided I needed something a little bigger for the rest of the house,” one review explains. “This 8,000 BTU unit is working perfectly for what I was hoping for. It cools my kitchen and living room way better than I thought it would.” The unit also has a 4.7-star average rating from its customers, so you know it’s doing something right. And, if there’s one thing I’ve learned after popping this sucker into the window, it’s this: Not all AC units are the same. This one not only gets the job done, but its smart, intuitive design makes NYC summers that much better. If you’re looking for a great AC unit that does it all, snag the TCL 8,000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner ASAP. 

Buy: TCL 8,000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner, $262