Why is My Apartment so Hot? (7 Best Solutions)

Is your apartment unbearably hot? Summers in some areas can create a hot apartment and make living uncomfortable and sometimes downright unbearable. I know I’ve lived in some apartments that reached uncomfortable temperatures in the summer. When we lived in Chicago, that peak summer humidity would make our apartment feel like the surface of the sun.

There are a few reasons why your apartment might be too hot to stand. Here we will provide some reasons for such a warm living space along with some solutions to the problem.

9 Reasons why your apartment is so hot

  1. Exposure to sunlight– apartments with a lot of windows exposed to the sun can trap heat in and create a hotbox effect.
  2. Damaged ductwork– Ductwork that is damaged or clogged can cause cool air to escape and leak out before it reaches your apartment. Most ductwork will lose energy from poor insulation and leaks.
  3. Thermostat in the wrong location– If your thermostat sits in a cool spot or in the shade it might not register how hot it truly is in the apartment. Also, if it is in a cooler room, for example, a room that is not on the sun side of the house it be registering an inaccurate reading of the temperature throughout the apartment.
  4. Floor you are on– The higher floor you are on the hotter your apartment will be. Heat rises, therefore, the floor you live on can make your apartment hot.
  5. Air-conditioning unit is too small– AC units come in different strengths and sizes, and you want to make sure you have the correct unit for the size of your room. If you don’t have the correct unit you will not be cooling your room and wasting electricity running the unit and not having any results.
  6. Poor airflow– Stagnant air can create hot spaces. You need to ensure that you have proper airflow to keep your place cool. One way poor airflow can be caused is either closed windows or not enough windows.
  7. Running too many heat emitting appliances– Running too many appliances that give off heat can bring the temperature of your apartment up.
  8. Insulation– If your apartment isn’t properly insulted it can be holding hot air in and causing cool air to escape.
  9. Windows– Same as your walls being properly insulated, your windows also need to be properly insulated. For the same reason, the cool air could be escaping, and the hot air is being trapped inside.
why is my apartment so hot

7 Solutions to cool down a hot apartment

  1. Get air-conditioning or make sure your existing unit is working properly. If you have an existing AC unit, have it inspected and make sure it is working properly and the vents are clean. If your apartment does not offer a central AC option, you may want to invest in a window or free-standing AC unit.
  2. Open windows and air vents. Opening windows will create good airflow and circulation. You especially want to open windows that are across from each other to create a cross breeze. I know from my experience keeping windows open across from each other on the breezy side of the house provided me with relief from the heat. This is more important if you are cooking or at night when you are sleeping.   
  3. Improve insulation. Unfortunately, this option is something you will have to discuss with your landlord. If you find that the apartment is not well insulated, you can speak with your landlord about ways to improve the insulation.
  4. Cool down bedding. If you have exhausted all your options and are not able to acquire an AC unit, a simple solution may be to put your pillowcases and sheets in the freezer for a few hours before bedtime. Might sound like a crazy idea, however, it can reduce the amount of tossing and turning you do in a hot apartment.
  5. Use an evaporation air cooler. Another option if you do not have AC is to create your own evaporation cooler. What is that you ask? Place a bowl of ice in front of a box fan and watch how the temperature will drop. You can create your own AC unit this way. The air is cooled as it passes from the fan through the ice and makes cooler air.
  6. Use LED light bulbs. Replacing incandescent bulbs with LED bulbs can reduce heat. Incandescent bulbs put off much more heat than an LED bulb will.
  7. Buy thick blackout curtains– Not only do they block sunlight in the early morning, but they can help act as insulation on the windows to keep the hot sun out of your room and add an insulated barrier between your window and room.
window air conditioner

Which apartments get the most heat in the summer?

The apartments that receive the most amount of heat in the summer are south and west-facing apartments. If you have rooms that face these directions you may want to add some blinds or shades to your windows to cut the amount of sunlight streaming in.

Why is my apartment so hot in the morning?

During the evening, cool air is present after the sun goes down cooling the walls. This effect creates insulation that holds warm air creating a warm apartment in the morning without the heat of the day overheating your apartment.

Same reason your apartment can be hot at night. The sun has gone down cooling the exterior walls, and trapping hot air in your apartment. Therefore it is especially important to keep windows open at night to allow cooler air in and warmer air out.

Nobody likes an apartment that’s too hot. Many parts of the country can reach dangerous temperatures in the summertime and we want to help you stay cool. We hope our tips will cool you down and make living in your apartment more enjoyable!

About Chad & Rachel

Rachel and Chad have over 17 years of experience as both renters and landlords. They were tenants in 7 different apartments before becoming landlords of 9 apartments in Chicago. Renting apartments from landlords and being landlords themselves have helped them gain the knowledge that they want to share with renters. Whether you are at the beginning of your rental journey or in the middle of your lease and dealing with complex apartment issues, we are happy to help where we can. Read more about Rachel and Chad, or send a message using this contact form.

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