Recently, I moved into a tiny, air-condition-less apartment in NYC. And after a full day of hauling boxes up four flights of stairs, I had one thought: This is what hell must feel like. Indeed, Satan must have a special place in his heart for stagnant, sticky summer air. So naturally, my first move-in mission was to install a window A/C unit that could provide some sweet relief. But I have to admit: finding an effective yet visually appealing air conditioner was nearly impossible. After days of sweaty-scrolling, each unit seemed to be clunkier—and louder—than the last. Until I saw it: July's modern window A/C.
I'm a Home Editor, And July's Air Conditioner Is the Prettiest, Most Effective Window Unit I've Tried
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Installation/Ease of Use: 20/20
Cool-down Speed: 19/20
Total PureWow100 Score: 97/100
Right off the bat, I knew this thing had to be good. Upon its release in 2020, these smart A/C units sold like hot cakes and amassed a waitlist of 30,000 people in just a few days. And at first glance, it makes sense why everyone would kvell over it: The air conditioner has a slim, modern build that’s unlike anything else on the market. But of course, as a home editor, it’s kind of my job to vet products like a detective. Alright, this thing is stunning, I thought to myself. But does it actually work? So, thanks to the lovely people at July, I was able to test a unit out for myself.
JULY AIR CONDITIONER, SPECS AT A GLANCE:
- Dimensions: I went with the smaller size, which measures 17.87-inch length x 19.87-inch width x 14.75-inch height. It’s also worth mentioning that July works with most standard windows, where the minimum window width is 20.37 inches, and the maximum width is 39 inches.
- Best for rooms up to 250 feet: The smaller model has a 6,000 BTU cooling capacity that’s recommended for rooms up to 250 feet.
- How quickly it cools: It has three fan speeds and five modes—including cool, dry, fan, auto and eco. Its lowest temperature setting is 61 degrees and it can take up to 20 minutes to feel a noticeable difference.
- Noise level: It’s about as loud as an open refrigerator when it’s on a lower setting, like fan or eco mode, getting up to about the hum of a microwave when the fan’s really spinning.
- Warranty/return policy: Every July A/C is automatically registered for a one-year limited warranty. During this time period, July may replace any part of the air conditioner which fails due to a defect in materials or workmanship, or, in the case where repair is not possible, a replacement unit of the same model type. You’re also covered by the company’s 30-day trial, where if you don’t like your July for any reason, you can return it for a full refund within the first 30 days.
CAN THIS A/C *ACTUALLY* COOL A ROOM?
The short answer: a resounding yes. After a seamless delivery and installation (more on that below), I was literally dying to power this baby up. Automatically, I switched the unit to ‘cool mode’ and adjusted the temperature to its lowest setting (61 degrees). And I kid you not, after just 20 minutes of power, my room was indisputably cooler. So much so, that my roommate walked in from 12 feet away and said, “holy sh*t, our apartment just went from sauna to hotel spa in ten minutes.” After two hours of cooling, my room finally reached near-freezing, to the point where I was chillin’ in a sweatshirt on a 92-degree day). Eventually, I settled for a 65-degree temp on ‘medium cool’ mode (which has become my ideal sleep temperature. What’s more, it worked just as well on eco mode; my room was chilled to perfection when I returned home after 8-hours of working at a cafe. What’s more, it includes a ‘timer’ button on the remote, where you can set the digital display (in hours) to automatically switch the unit on/off after a specific amount of time.
My only complaint? The Auto feature, which automatically chooses the fan speed and the mode of operation, felt too warm for summer months. Plus, when I tested dry mode—which is meant to work as a dehumidifier—the air felt less immediately less crisp (and I ran back to ‘cool mode’ the second humidity reared its ugly head). While the setting automatically switches between cooling air and circulating uncooled air, I found it to be uncomfortable on a particularly humid day. But take that with a grain of salt: I’m the kind of person who’d rather die by frostbite than overheat.
That said, there was one feature that really took me by surprise: its purifying capabilities. Unlike most window A/C units, this model comes with an easily removable, washable filter that can clear the air of pollutants (including pollen, pet dander, dust mites and mold/spores). And within a few hours, I realized the city’s summer stench had been completely neutralized, and the room felt noticeably less sticky.
After a week of keeping this guy on full blast, there’s no visible sign of dirt or grime seeping in/around the filter (which is a nasty problem I’ve had in the past). I also tested the brand’s air purifying sky filters, which you can insert into the front compartment for ultra-fine filtering. My takeaway? The air felt just as breathable with the filter as it did without, and there were no major differences in how the unit cooled. Plus, they’re somewhat pricey, at $30 for a three-month supply, and each filter is only effective for one month’s use.
IS IT EASY TO INSTALL?
Aside from its lightweight, 50-pound design, there’s one thing that separates July from other units: It comes with everything you need for easy installation. It includes an installation frame, insulated side panels and remote control (which, in my opinion, is well-worth its $449+ price tag). Nevertheless, as someone who’s mechanically challenged, I opted for their white-glove install service. The whole process was flawless—from scheduling delivery ahead of time to an under-ten-minute installation (and leaving pristine white walls, thank you very much).
However, after watching the expert installer work, I quickly realized that the setup was super straightforward. So, FWIW, I’d recommend skipping the $150 white-glove delivery fee.
In the video above, you can see July’s three-step installation process in action:
- The frame: Disclaimer: be sure you measure your window *before* you buy the unit. Then, once it arrives, you can use the included screws to attach the frame to your window with the holes provided.
- The unit: Once the frame is secured, you can simply slide your July in until you hear a ‘click.’
- The front panel: Add your magnetic front panel as the last step, plug it in and turn it on.
WHAT ABOUT THE DESIGN?
Can it cool a room? Yes. Is it easy to install? You betcha. So, at this point, there’s only one thing left to discuss: how *swoon-worthy* it is. The unit is best known for its elegant magnetic panel (which allows you to remove, wash and re-attach the filter in seconds). But what really makes it unique is its customizable design, which allows you to choose between premium materials—like linen and ash wood—and five ultra-chic matte finishes (white, cloud, sky blue, rose and forest green—my personal fave). And let me just say, I never thought I’d use the word ‘stunning’ to describe an A/C unit—but here I am.
To that end, if there’s one thing I love even more than its innovative front, it’s the sleek, modern side panels the unit comes with (which also happen to be 100 percent bug-proof). When installed, the white frame assumes a 17.87-inch width that’s so slim, it’s nearly imperceptible from your window’s side view. Plus it comes with a mini blue remote that lets you adjust the speed, mode and temperature from anywhere in the room.
HOW NOISY IS IT?
What I loved most about this A/C was its quiet, consistent sound. With other units, I’ve found that the noise is erratic—it’ll go from loud to quiet to clanky—regardless of the setting. This guy’s sound output is *smooth*, and it remains the same throughout the night (which is great if you’re a light sleeper). Granted, there’s no ‘silent’ setting, but I love how the noise level adjusts with each mode. It’s about as loud as an open refrigerator when it’s on a lower setting, like fan or eco mode, getting up to about the hum of a microwave when the fan’s really spinning.
THE FINAL VERDICT
By now, you’re probably thinking, are there any downsides to this thing? And to that end, I’d say it definitely falls on the pricier side, where the smaller unit starts at $449 (and can go up to $559, depending on size and customizations). Yet as I mentioned before, it’s rare to find an A/C unit that comes with all of its installation materials—plus a set of modern side panels to boot.
Otherwise, in terms of functionality, my only stipulation was its smartphone compatibility. As a Zillennial, I found the app to be somewhat outdated and glitchy. More often than not, it screwed up my preferred temperature/cooling settings, and I always returned to the remote.
The bottom line? Those cons were minor to me, compared to what you get in return. As someone who scours the internet for appliances as a living, I can guarantee July’s A/C is worth every penny—from its unprecedented cooling speed and multifaceted functions to its customizable noise and unique, modern design.
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