July’s cleverly designed air conditioner
The first time I installed an air conditioning unit – by lifting it up and wedging it effortlessly on the windowsill of a fourth floor bedroom – I was shocked that more units wouldn’t fall over and don’t fall to the ground.
Even though the stakes in my current first-floor apartment are lower, every summer I challenge myself to see how long I can endure a stuffy bedroom or home office before I give in and attempt my annual dance with a bulky 70-pound rectangle with accordion. wings that manage to stay in place thanks to pressure and three small screws. And every year, I think, like the protagonist of a television infomercial, that there has to be a better way.
Walk in July. Founded in 2020 by Muhammad Saigol and Erik Rauterkus, the company got off to a flying start, with its designer, easy-to-install window unit racking up a waiting list of 20,000 people. In all of its marketing, July claims to have a superior installation approach and a clean, minimalist aesthetic. So when the company contacted me to see if I’d like to test it out, I was intrigued (and also sweaty because it was mid-June and I hadn’t yet installed air conditioning in my home office).
After some shipping delays, the July Small air conditioner sat in my entryway in a box that, while well-designed with reinforced plastic handles for easy transport, seemed absurdly large for a 6,000 BTU air conditioner. Once it was finally opened (lots of empty space in that box), I saw that there weren’t many steps for installation. Rather than the standard window AC rigmarole of screwing the plastic wings onto the unit itself, July provides a frame that fits into the window before the air conditioner itself enters the mix. It also replaces the concertina wings with retractable screens that snap on to fill the gap between the unit and the edge of the frame.
With the frame in place, it was enough to lift the device itself into the frame until it gave a satisfying click. It was still heavy, but I didn’t have to engage in any awkward balancing act while trying to secure the fenders and lower the window at the same time. Once the July AC is installed, you are supposed to put a stylish front cover, choose a color and fabric on the device, but mine didn’t initially come with one (delivery error was corrected the next day). When I turned on the July, I immediately noticed the impressive power it had for a unit of its size.
Even without a front cover, the July the unit cuts an attractive silhouette. And with a front cover (they come in different colors and finishes; mine is green plastic) it looks like something that wouldn’t be out of place on the set of one of the many Star Wars series, complete with sleek grilles well hidden in the recesses of the device. The device also comes with a chunky sky blue remote control and has an app that can be paired with your machine. The app is convenient, allowing you to pre-cool a room for a few minutes before entering or turning off the device from another room.
Beyond the standard cooling function, the July also has a simple fan function, a dehumidifier mode and an eco mode that turns the device off when the room reaches the desired temperature. My July effectively cooled my entire 80 square foot room quickly, and the eco mode did a good job of turning itself back on just when it was needed. It is also relatively quiet for an air conditioner. I sit very close to mine and have had no complaints in Zoom meetings or Slack huddles.
Some might see the July price — the 6,000 BTU unit is $399 and the 8,000 BTU unit is $449 — as a sticking point. I will note that the smaller unit is one of the most efficient air conditioners of this size that I have ever tried. The company also claims to be environmentally conscious, offsetting emissions from every unit sold through a partnership with CarbonFund. Additionally, the larger unit uses a refrigerant that July says emits one-third the CO2 of traditional refrigerants. Ultimately it comes down to how frustrated you want to be with your window unit. If you’re like me and ready to get the annual AC wrestling fest over with, July is a deal to consider.
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