As I’m typing this, I’m sitting in my living room and listening to the peaceful hum of my new electriQ air con unit. With temps set to hit 85-90 for the next 10 days, I couldn’t be more grateful to finally have a proper air conditioning unit. For any Americans reading this, you’re probably very confused. Why would anyone NOT have air conditioning?
That was my initial reaction when I first moved to London as well. Even though the UK gets a bad rep for being cold and rainy (which it definitely can be), in the 5 summers I’ve lived here, I’ve experienced seriously hot heat waves every year. Last summer it got up to 95 for 5 days straight! Imagine having no air con to come home to during a heatwave – it was awful. I decided last year that I wouldn’t put up with it again for another summer, and so I started to do some research into air cons. electriQ came highly recommend to me by a friend, and that’s how I finally found my perfect AC unit.
Central air con is incredibly uncommon here, so I knew I was going to be needing a standalone unit. What makes things even more complicated is that UK windows aren’t really built to work with window AC’s, so that meant that a window unit (which I used in my first NYC apartment) wasn’t an option either. In the UK, we need what’s called a portable air con unit. It comes on wheels and can be moved around the flat, and it has a hose that you filter out through the window. The hose is the key and is what makes this different from a strong fan – it sends all of the hot air outside, so that the air con unit can really work to bring temps down inside.
Now as much as I hated being hot during a heatwave, I also hate things that don’t look nice in my flat. I was worried that having an air con (particularly one with a hose) would stick out like a sore thumb. However, my electriQ unit is so compact that it really doesn’t take up too much space. Here are a few tips and tricks to help make your air con blend into your decor.
HOW TO MAKE YOUR AIR CON UNIT LOOK STYLISH
- Use it as an end table when it’s not on. When my air con is off, I keep a little tray on it that I can rest drinks on and use as a side table. I could also put some fresh flowers on it to brighten up the room.
- Hide the hose with curtains as best you can. When I’m using the air con, I like to have the curtains closed to block out the sunlight as much as possible. This helps to cover up the hose as well.
- Take the hose down when not in use. It’s SO easy to put up and take down the hose, so when I have the AC off, I just put the hose back in the closet until it’s needed again.
- If you’re lucky to enough to have multiple windows in the room where you’re setting up your air con, try it in a few different places before settling on a spot. I thought I wanted it near my armchair in the other corner of my living room, but in the end it looked best next to the sofa.
- When it’s not on, you can always toss a tapestry or patterned blanket over the top (similar to how you might do on an ottoman). People will be the none the wiser that it’s an AC unit!
At the end of the day, an air con unit is an air con unit. Is it going to be the most stylish addition to your home? Maybe not. But is the benefit of keeping cool in the summer worth it? 100% yes.
*** Thank you to electriQ for kindly gifting me this air con unit. ***