I Caved and Bought a Window A/C Unit, and Here Are My Thoughts

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Welcome to The Cool Down, Hunker's definitive guide for staying cool, calm, and collected all summer long.

I spend so much time in my bedroom now; I sleep in here, work in here, and occasionally eat in here (though I told myself food would only be allowed in the dining room). And it gets So. Hot. in this tiny space even when the weather outside is moderate because my old SoCal apartment has neither central air conditioning nor overhead fans. I've spent what seems like hours just hovering in front of my plug-in fan trying to to cool down. I've tried keeping the windows completely covered to block out the hot sun rays. But none of those things really work.


And since no one is exactly sure when we'll all be returning to our offices (where central A/C is abundant), I figured I deserved to treat myself to an A/C unit. So I did what I do best and browsed online to see which models had the best reviews, the most high-tech features, and the easiest instructions for self-installation. My search led me to the GE 6000 BTU 115-Volt Room Air Conditioner.

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The Details

Priced at $194 (and that's before tax), this GE model was definitely pricier than I'd hoped but it had a 4-star rating out of 196 reviews, it allegedly cooled rooms up to 250 square feet with three fan speeds (while most A/C units only effectively cool up to 150), and it had a remote which is perfect for a lazy gal like myself. So I took the plunge, bought this unit from Walmart, and here's what I discovered.

The Installation

I never installed a window air conditioner before this, and if I'm lucky I'll never have to do it again. It's not necessarily that the GE 6000 A/C was terrible to get in place, but it certainly wasn't as easy as the brand claimed. I kept thinking the whole contraption would tip out of my second-floor window because it's tricky to balance on the sill. I did eventually rig the thing up myself, but I'd recommend doing it with a partner if possible because the product is pretty heavy. Also, I found that the side panels included with the A/C unit aren't exactly perfect. I had to buy additional styrofoam insulation to close the gaps and prevent cold air from leaking out.


The Pros

Once I finally got through the headache of installation, the air conditioner was a dream. Plus, as soon as I plugged it in, I could feel an ice-cold breeze. It didn't take long for my entire room to feel perfect, and I didn't even need to close my door or the other window. It was almost too cold (which, if you lived in my heat cave apartment, you'd know that's impossible). The circulation stretched to the hallway outside of my room, too.



But the best part about the GE 6000 A/C is the remote. I knew I wanted one, but I truly had no idea how much I needed it. Get too cold when you're lying in bed? Use the remote. The temp's not low enough when you're sitting at your desk and working? Use the remote. Get bored and just want to push some buttons? Use the remote. You literally never have to get up with this thing. It's the best, and now I'm trying to figure out if there's a way to connect everything in my house to remotes.


The Cons

It was hard to justify spending $200 on somewhat of an unnecessary item during a time like this (and I certainly had to be tighter with my budget after I hit that "Confirm Order" button online). But I do think this was a good purchase. Even when it gets hotter out, as it's bound to do, I'll have some respite. So apart from the price, I only have one other slight con to note about the GE 6000 A/C — it's just not the most gorgeous thing to have in your room if you value some sort of design aesthetic.


It's white, so in a way, it blends in. But also it's a hunking cube of plastic, so it doesn't blend in one bit. A fix for this might be to mount your curtain rods further out from the wall to hide the unit when not in use. I didn't have that option, though, so I just stare at it all day. Luckily, it works super well, so I think I can get over the visual imposition. But if you are willing to spend a bit more money, you can find window units that are a bit sleeker than this one. So keep that in mind.


Final Thoughts

I'd buy the GE 6000 A/C again in a heartbeat, and I've actually already recommended it to two friends. Sure, it's a bit uggo, but I'd rather be comfortable in my apartment more than anything. My only regret is that I can't put one of these units in my living room, too.



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