It’s almost summer! Are you sweating it yet? We just updated our guide to portable air conditioners
if you’re looking for something for a room that can’t fit a cheaper window unit
. Just remember that all of these units require a place to put the exhaust hose for piping heat out. For this update we did a new round of testing in April in Los Angeles. Besides how well an air conditioner cools, we’ve found that one of the most important things to measure for real-life use is how loud the the unit is. We measured the sound levels for each, and our pick, the LG LP1419IVSM
, operates at 56 decibels from 5 feet away with the compressor on, making it the quietest model we tested. It can also work with Google Home and Amazon Alexa—no more digging around for a lost remote control.
Every year at this time we see people searching for fans
and air conditioners
; by July we often have to revisit our guides because our picks are out of stock. Do yourself a favor and put your unit in the window to see if it’s still working after having spent most of the year in storage. If it’s busted, buy your replacement early if you’re considering it.
I’m a big fan of window fans
and own our pick, the Bionaire Twin Reversible Airflow Window Fan
, which can vent hot or smelly air out or switch directions to draw cool air in. These fans are especially useful in the kitchen if you’re prone to smoking the place up with high-heat cooking (as I am). Besides fans and ACs, we have a list with other things you can do
to help deal with the heat.
If you can’t stand overheating under a down comforter, now’s also a good time to invest in a lightweight blanket
. I use cotton matelasse (think thin quilt) in the summer but when the weather gets really hot, I prefer just a good linen sheet
to wick moisture away at night. Our pick, the Cultiver Linen Sheet
, can be purchased individually or in a set
. If you’re a sateen fan, you might not immediately take to the almost scratchy texture of linen, but give it a little time—there’s something about the lack of pliability of linen that makes it feel like it’s floating airily above the bed.
Now would be a good time to switch to a smart thermostat
, too, if you haven’t already. In the smart-device world, few things are more satisfying than being able to turn the temperature down without getting out of bed. We like the Nest Thermostat E
, though we’re also going to be testing
a few more models this year: the Hive Thermostat
, the Honeywell T9
, and the Johnson Controls Glas
for use with Microsoft’s smart voice assistant, Cortana.