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These smart devices will help you stay cool without central air

Staying indoors is the best relief when a heatwave comes through the area during the summertime. While most new homes are equipped with central air to keep you cool, other places aren’t so lucky. If you happen to live in an older apartment or perhaps a home that doesn’t have central air, there are plenty of smart devices that you can incorporate into your living situation that can keep you cool this summer, no matter what your budget. Even better, these solutions don’t require permanent installation, which is great if you’re renting. Chill out and take a look at devices that will change your summer for the better.

Cooling gadgets you can wear

Embr Wave and app
Embr Wave and app Embr

You need to stay cool when you’re working in the yard, on a walk, or while playing sports. There are smart cooling devices for those situations. You can literally turn your smartphone into a cooling device with fans that plug into its port.

If you want to be less obvious, the Embr Wave is a watch-like wearable that helps you feel more comfortable by cooling the skin on the inside of your wrist. The device can be adjusted with an app and basically tricks you into thinking you’re cooler without cooling down your core temperature. It can also warm you up. Here’s what we thought about the Embr Wave.

Released in Japan this year is the Sony Reon Pocket. This device goes into a pocket on the back of a specially made undershirt and is controlled with an app. The Reon Pocket can only keep you cool or warm for up to 90 minutes before needing a charge, but it may be a good purchase for exercising or working outdoors.

Bed coolers

See How a Device Called BedJet is Helping Couples Fight Less, Rest More, and Enjoy Bedtime Again.

I don’t know about you, but I get overheated at night. Apparently I’m not the only one because there are now AC units that you can use in your bed. BedJet, for example, pumps cool (or warm) air into your blankets through a pipe as you sleep. You can adjust it to just the right temperature using the accompanying app. BedJet3 could be the perfect solution for couples who fight over the bedroom temperature because it comes with two units, one for each side of the bed, which can be controlled separately.

For those who want to be cool but don’t want air blowing on them, the Ooler Sleep System comes with a cooling pad that you can slip over your mattress. It’s cooled through fluid inside the mattress pad. The pad is controlled with an app that can be set on a cooling schedule, just in case you’re warmer during certain parts of the night than others. The ChiliPad is another, lower-priced bed-cooling pad that uses the same concept, but doesn’t have the nifty app.

The ZEEQ Smart Pillowhas tons of different smart functions to help you sleep better, including sleep tracking, built-in speakers for calming music or audiobooks, and the ability to connect with other smart devices through Alexa commands. For example, you can use it to control your smart AC unit while you’re in bed. It’s also made of moisture-wicking, temperature-controlling fabric to keep you cool.

Smart AC window units

If you need to cool a whole room, the obvious choice is a window AC unit. Don’t go with just any unit, though. There are some with extra smart features beyond a remote control that can even save you money. For example, Frigidaire’s Cool Connect Smart Window Air Conditioner has an app that lets you start the unit up from anywhere. You can get your house cooling before you leave work, or switch it on for your pets while you’re out. You can also use the app to put your window unit on a schedule to come on automatically before you go to bed, before you arrive home from work, or any other time.

Image used with permission by copyright holder

Another option is LG’s smart AC unit, which is Wi-Fi enabled so you can use voice commands to control it through Google Assistant and Amazon Alexa. It also has the SmartThinQ app to control it remotely, as well as Auto Restart. If the electricity shuts off, Auto Restart will automatically turn the air conditioner back on when the power is restored.

Smart floor units

 Rollibot ROLLICOOL photo in a room
Rollibot Rollicool Image used with permission by copyright holder

Can’t afford to get a window unit for each room? A smart portable floor unit is a good choice as you can take it with you from room to room. The Rollibot Rollicool can be wheeled around your house or apartment, and you can use Alexa voice controls or the Rollicool app to control it. Even though it’s small, it can still cool a whopping 450 square feet.

You can also save money by getting a portable AC that has extra uses. For example, the Midea 3-in-1 is a portable air conditioner, dehumidifier, and fan. You can control it with Alexa or Google Assistant voice commands or its app. Even better, it can detect how far you are away and will automatically adjust the temperature so you stay comfortable without wasting energy.

The Dyson Pure Cool is one of our favorites when it comes to portable, multi-use cooling. It cools the air and filters it, removing pollutants, mold, allergens, dust, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) from the air while you chill out. It can be controlled through Alexa, Siri, and the Dyson Link app. It also has a night mode that makes it work more quietly and dims its lights so you can sleep. It also automatically senses and reports air quality on its display, while adjusting how it cleans the air appropriately to meet the conditions.

Long-term savings

Although some of these smart cooling devices are pricey, in the end, they save big bucks. The ability to control your AC from anywhere and put it on a schedule can lower your electricity bill substantially because it won’t be accidentally left on while you’re away or asleep. Not to mention, running many of these devices is much more cost-effective than running the central air in your entire home.

Many AC units also have built-in energy-saving features. For example, the LG window AC unit is 25% more energy efficient than the Energy Star certification requirement. These smart devices end up paying for themselves quickly, and then save you extra money down the road.

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Alina Bradford
Alina Bradford has been a tech, lifestyle and science writer for more than 20 years. Her work is read by millions each month…
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