How’s the Heat in Your Condo?

I missed Seattle’s epic heat yesterday by escaping down to the much cooler and better air conditioned Orange County.

My upstairs neighbor tweeted that it was 99’f in their unit when she got home! Perhaps we’ll stay in a hotel tonight because it’s impossible to sleep in the heat, not just because of the heat but because when we open all the windows making it hot and noisy.

For those of us in condos without air conditioning (which is fine 11 months of the year) do folks have recommendations for after market options that don’t involve HOA approval?

About Matt

Matt , Urbnlivn's publisher, has a love for lofts, floating homes and mid-century moderns.

For years Matt resisted becoming a real estate agent preferring to be an executive in the startup world but he recently caved in the spring of 2014 and became an agent.

You can also find Matt on Twitter or skiing.

  • http://ninaforsyth.org ninaf

    It made it to 94.1 degrees in my condo. My poor husband works from home though.

    I always look at portable A/C units but for 500 bucks… I could never justify the price. They don't require HOA love.

  • siegerrebe

    For some of us who did spring for A/C as an upgrade in a new condo (ductless system, cost as much as a small car), we did manage to limit the temperature in the main living space to 90 degrees (!). The bedroom was better, about 82 degrees at the peak, however it is very clear to me that we'll be looking to invest in a larger compresser and Air Handling Units in the living spaces.

  • myothercarsthetardis

    I find that my fantasies as of late have involved infomercials for this:

    http://mrslim.com/Products/Category.asp?Product

  • http://seattlebubble.com/ The Tim

    I don't live in a condo, but my house is cinder-block construction which basically acts as an oven. We were able to keep the temperature in our house from rising above about 82° by opening all the windows at night, with fans in nearly every window blowing in the (relatively) cool air all night. As soon as the sun came up we closed every window and pulled all the curtains.

    The house was a lot darker than usual, but at least it stayed 20° cooler inside than it was outside. Of course, I have no idea if that would work in a high-rise.

  • Jerry

    I had luck when living in Costa Rica blowing a fan over blocks of ice in a big livestock rubber feed bucket to catch the water as it melted. Using multiple blocks made it last longer, but required the bigger bucket for run off.

  • Capital_Hill_Agent

    There are many new versions of floor standing air conditioning units that do not require anything more than venting to the outside, with less visual disturbance than a fan in the window for sure. I love the ones costco is selling, here is an example. http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodi

  • rossjordan
  • Phil

    Heavy duty roller blinds work for me, and I have east and south facing windows. They stay out of the way when you don't want them. Just pull them down when the sun is shining on a hot day. Plain white ones are pretty cheap from the local home stores or online.

  • Phil

    Ceiling fans work very well too, if you have higher ceilings. That's all I had in San Jose.

  • http://twitter.com/mattgoyer mattgoyer

    Except my HOA has a requirement that our blinds are black! So silly.

  • http://twitter.com/mattgoyer mattgoyer

    My friend recommends a 10K BTU Everstar. Model # MPK-10CR-1.

    I also found this helpful site :) http://www.portableacguide.com

  • http://www.modecoflats.com/ Ken Holmes

    We just built some condos in West Seattle (http://www.modecoflats.com) that have Mitsubishi ductless AC/Heat which are amazing. And much quieter than the freestanding or window units. But yeah, they were pricey, but also very eco friendly. I think that is what got us the 4 star Built Green certification.

    I got one of the freestanding AC units for my home which works great, but is a little loud. Didn't really care about the noise during that heat wave though.

  • http://twitter.com/mattgoyer mattgoyer

    I'd take noise from an AC unit over the noise from all the firetrucks that drive by my place because I have my windows all open :).

  • Tim S

    Stayed nice and cool here – never higher than 74 even with western exposure. Shades helped a lot in that regards.

  • popsci

    Although most condo's don't offer a choice, interior shades are actually a suboptimal way to keep cool. Modern window systems are designed to keep heat inside, so most of the heat reflected from the shade still ends up staying inside the room. If the shade is too close to the glass, the additional reflected heat on the interior of the window can also shorten the life of your window seals.

    Exterior shades can be anywhere from 200% to 500% more effective in blocking the sun, although they aren't suitable for most condo's. At the very least, the condo should have high performance windows to minimize heat in the first place.

  • popsci

    Although most condo's don't offer a choice, interior shades are actually a suboptimal way to keep cool. Modern window systems are designed to keep heat inside, so most of the heat reflected from the shade still ends up staying inside the room. If the shade is too close to the glass, the additional reflected heat on the interior of the window can also shorten the life of your window seals.

    Exterior shades can be anywhere from 200% to 500% more effective in blocking the sun, although they aren't suitable for most condo's. At the very least, the condo should have high performance windows to minimize heat in the first place.