July’s smartly designed air conditioner

The first time I installed an air-conditioning unit—it bounced and clamped it effortlessly to the threshold of a fourth-floor bedroom window—I was shocked that more units didn’t trip and fall to the floor.

Although the stakes are lower in my current first-floor apartment, I challenge myself every summer to see how long I can last a sweltering bedroom or home office before trying caving and my annual dance with a cumbersome rectangle of 70lbs with accordion wings that hold in place with pressure and three small screws. And every year, like the main character of a TV infomercial, I think there’s got to be a better way.

[Photo: courtesy July]Enter July. Founded in 2020 by Muhammad Saigol and Erik Rauterkus, the company got off to a buzzing start, with its design-focused, easy-to-install window unit generating a waiting list of 20,000 people. In all of his marketing, July claims to have a superior installation approach and an aesthetically pleasing, minimalist aesthetic. So when the company reached out to see if I’d be interested in testing it, I was intrigued (and sweating too because it was mid-June and I hadn’t yet installed A/C in my home office).

After some shipping delays, the Juli Small air conditioner sat in my hallway in a box that, despite being well designed with plastic-reinforced handles for easy carrying, felt absurdly large for a 6,000 BTU AC. When it finally opened up (lots of empty space in that box), I noticed there weren’t that many installation steps. Instead of the standard AC framework of screwing the plastic wings onto the unit itself, July offers a frame that fits into the window before the air conditioner itself gets into the mix. It also replaces the accordion wings with retractable screens that hook into place to fill the space between the unit and the edge of the frame.

With the frame in place, it was just a matter of lifting the device itself into the frame until it gave a satisfying click. It was still heavy, but I didn’t have to do an awkward balancing act as I tried to lock the wings and lower the window at the same time. Once the July AC is installed, you’re supposed to put a stylish pick-a-color-and-fabric front on the unit, but mine didn’t get to it at first (a delivery error was fixed the next day). When I turned on the July, I immediately noticed the impressive power it had for a device of its size.

[Photo: courtesy July]Even without the front cover, the July unit has an attractive silhouette. And with a front (they come in a variety of colors and finishes; mine is green plastic), it looks like something that wouldn’t look out of place on the set of one of the many Star Wars series, with sleek grilles well hidden. in the recesses of the device. The device also comes with a sturdy, sky-blue remote and has an app that can be paired with your machine. The app is useful, allowing you to pre-cool a room for a few minutes before entering or turning off the device from another room.

In addition to the standard cooling function, the Juli also has a simple fan function, a dehumidification mode and an eco mode that switches off the device when the room reaches the desired temperature. My July effectively cools my entire 80-square-foot room quickly, and eco mode can be turned on well when needed. It is also relatively quiet for an air conditioner. I’m very close to mine and haven’t had any complaints during Zoom meetings or Slack huddles.

Some 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 effective air conditioners of that size I have ever tried. The company also claims to be environmentally conscious, offsetting the emissions of every unit sold through a partnership with CarbonFund. In addition, the larger unit uses a refrigerant that, according to July, emits a third of CO2 as traditional refrigerants. Ultimately, it’s a matter of how frustrated you want to be with your window unit. If you’re anything like me and ready to get ready for the annual AC wrestling fest, July is a deal worth considering.

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