How To Keep Top Floor Apartment Cool In Summer (Best Ways)

Summer is the hottest season of all, and you need to know how to deal with the heat no matter where you live. The top floor of your apartment can be a source of great views and gorgeous natural lighting, but unfortunately, it is also prone to uncomfortably high temperatures in the summertime.

It is necessary to learn how to keep your house cool during this time of the year. This article will explore why the top floor gets so much hotter than the rest of the house and ways to combat the discomfort. Keep reading for tips and tricks to beat the top floor apartment heat.

How To Keep Top Floor Apartment Cool? (7 Ways To Cool In Summer)

Exposure to excessive heat can lead to discomfort and even health risks. Apartments are especially prone to overheating due to inadequate airflow. Follow these tips to learn how to keep a 2nd or 3rd-floor apartment cool in the summer.

1. Use An Air Conditioner

There are no two ways about it: the best way to stay cool in a top floor apartment is to use an air conditioner.

You may be worried that getting an AC will be costly and take a long time to install. Fortunately, there are different types of ACs that work best for apartments—even small studios. These include:

  • Window AC units
  • Portable AC that can move from room to room
  • Through-the-wall AC
Why Use an AC

2. Turn On The Outdoor Grill

The oven is a significant heat source. To prevent excess heat in your apartment, it is ideal to not use the oven on extra hot days. Instead, opt for cooking on an outdoor grill or ordering takeout from your favorite place.

You can also make meals that do not require an oven. If you must use the oven, consider recipes that do not require a lot of preheating, and do not leave the oven door open for longer than you have to.

If you are using the stovetop, you can match your pan size to the size of the burner to ensure that the heat is going into the pan and not the room. This is one of the most important tips on how to keep an apartment cool.

3. Optimize Your Fans

Optimize your fan’s cooling capabilities to ensure its efficiency and a comfortable temperature in your apartment. Be sure to keep your fans clean.

Floor fans are often most efficient at their lowest speed setting because it uses the least electricity. Choose the lowest speed that produces a sufficient breeze.

Setting your ceiling fans to spin in a counter-clockwise motion pushes air down and pulls hot air up to create a cool breeze. The blades should also spin quickly to create a breeze.

Fans can save you money on your utility bills in the long run. If you use them properly, they can keep the apartment well-ventilated and can greatly diminish the need to constantly run the air conditioner.

4. Invest In A Dehumidifier

Humidity can prevent your body from properly releasing heat. Although a dehumidifier will not directly make it less hot in your apartment, it will take the extra moisture out of the air.

Dehumidifiers also help make fans more effective by encouraging dry heat instead of wet. Use your dehumidifier before you need the room to ensure the best efficiency.

This way, instead of being bogged down in what feels like a swamp, the dry air will allow the sweat to evaporate off your body, naturally allowing yourself to cool off.

Related Article How Does a Dehumidifier Work?

5. Shut Your Blinds And Open Your Doors

According to the Department of Energy, you can reduce heat increase in a room by up to a whopping 77% just by smart “window management.”

Keep your blinds and curtains closed on hot days. Light awnings will reflect sunlight and reduce heat gain in your house in hot weather.

However, one of the best things you can do for your windows is to invest in quality blackout curtains. These curtains will keep the sun’s hot rays out of your home, keeping your apartment at a lower temperature.

6. Develop A Green Thumb

If you don’t like the look of bulky blinds, you can invest in some tall greenery to put on your balcony. This is a natural, more stylish way to shade your apartment.

But having plants give shade isn’t the only way they keep things cool. As plants breathe, they release cool water vapor into the surrounding environment. This is called transpiration. They also keep oxygen content high, which keeps our body temperature down.

Have More Plants

7. Keep Yourself Cool

Body heat can contribute to the temperature in your apartment. Body heat emissions can increase the heat in the room, especially in a confined space.

Comfortable temperatures lead to restful sleep. Invest in bedding with breathable fabric. You can also freeze a washcloth or water bottle to keep handy throughout the night.

You can cool yourself down during the day in a few simple ways:

  • Use an ice pack.
  • Wear lighter clothing.
  • Drink room temperature or cold water.
  • Invest in a floor or ceiling fan.

Why Is It Hotter In Top Floor Apartments?

The top floor generates more heat than the rest of an apartment for several reasons. Learning why this happens can help you take proactive measures to prevent excess heat.

Sun Exposure

Although the views are gorgeous, the top floor also gets the most sun exposure. The severity of the heat absorption can depend on the type of roof that you have—dark-colored roofs cannot reflect the sun as well as light-colored ones can. The lack of reflection leads to higher heat absorption.

If the upstairs of your apartment is too hot, you should keep your blinds closed.

Rising Heat

Your top-floor apartment heat may be the result of simple physics. Heat expands and rises from your lower areas to the highest levels.

Although you cannot prevent physics, there are many simple tricks on how to cool down an apartment.

What Type of AC Is Best On The Top Floor Apartment?

There are various air-conditioning options to explore when trying to figure out how to keep an apartment cool.

Window Air Conditioners

Like other air conditioning systems, a window air conditioner works the same way by using recycled air to keep the room cool. These units come in different sizes that you can easily install in your window.

Because of their size and the fact that they don’t need to be connected to an internal venting system in your apartment building, they’re an excellent option for apartments.

Portable Air Conditioners

These stand-alone units are a great option for keeping your apartment cool. There are several affordable options.

These portable ACs work similarly to other cooling units but include a hose. They pull hot air from the unit and exhaust it outside. The inside motor cools the air down and disperses it throughout the room.

Best of all, you can take it with you, cooling the space you need without wasting energy on the rest of your apartment.

Portable Air Conditioners

Ventless Air Conditioners

These air conditioners are similar to portable models, but they don’t require a hose or a window. They cool the air internally and don’t need to filter out heat. Ventless air conditioners are fantastic for people who have small windows or tight spaces with no room for a hose.

What’s the Best Option?

A portable air conditioner is the best way to cool the top floor of an apartment. It is compact and easy to install. It is also the most “landlord-friendly” option.

A portable air conditioner is especially convenient for top floors with multiple rooms because you can move the unit from room to room if necessary.

People Also Ask (FAQ)

What temperature should my apartment be in summer?

According to sleep psychologist Michelle Drerup, the ideal room temperature for comfortable sleep ranges from 60 to 67°F. This can vary by a few degrees during the summer and can range from about 72°F to 75°F.

Which floor is typically the coldest?

Thanks to physics and sun exposure, the lower floors of an apartment are typically the coldest. Heat rises to the top floor, and the exterior of the house often plays a role in overheating the higher floors.

Are there budget-friendly ways to keep an apartment cool?

You do not need to spend a fortune to keep your apartment cool in the summer. Although it is ideal to invest in a portable air conditioning unit, there are cheaper alternatives. For example, you can invest in a fan and limit your oven use.

Related Article AC Alternatives to Keep Cool


The first step to keeping your apartment cool is keeping yourself cool. Wear light clothing and invest in a fan. You should also consider purchasing an air-conditioning unit.

Is your top-floor apartment getting uncomfortably hot? Don’t sweat it—keep yourself and your apartment cool with these helpful tips.

Josh Mitchell

Josh Mitchell

My name is Josh and I am obsessed with DIY and improving my family home. HVAC topics can be tricky for homeowners so I decided to share my knowledge on the subject. When I am not working on DIY projects, you can find me at the beach or my local coffee shop.