street view of corner apartment on top floor

Living in a top floor apartment has a lot of advantages.

You get the best views, experience less noise, and enjoy lower heating bills.

But, it also gets really hot in an upstairs apartment during the summer because heat rises.

So if you’re looking for ways for how to keep top floor apartment cool in summer, then this guide is for you.

Below, you’ll find 13 tips for how to cool down a top floor apartment so you can feel comfortable no matter how hot it gets outside.

How to Keep Top Floor Apartment Cool in Summer

1. Keep it Cool with an AC Unit

If you’re reading this post, then you most likely don’t have an air conditioning unit in your apartment.

If you did, you’d be able to keep your top floor apartment cool.

So the most obvious—and best solution—is to invest in an indoor air conditioning unit.

And these days, you have a variety of options for all types of housing codes, including:

  • Portable Air Conditioner
  • Ventless Air Conditioner
  • Window Air Conditioner

Portable Air Conditioners

A portable air conditioner is the best choice because it’s the easiest to install, is approved by most landlords, and can be taken with you from room to room if you’d like.

Portable air conditioners are stand-alone units that are about 24 inches tall and 18 inches wide.

So, they’re quite compact and can be repositioned to deliver cold air wherever you need it. They also include wheels.

These units include a hose on the back that exhausts the hot air outside. This hose has to be attached to a window, but you only have to open up the window about 6 inches for it to blow the hot air out properly.

The slim design of the exhaust hose is what makes portable air conditioners so easy to transport from room to room. You can literally take the window kit out in a matter of seconds, roll the unit to another room, and set it up in a new window very quickly.

To find out more about these types of air conditioners, visit our best standing air conditioner page as well as our list of affordable portable air conditioners.

See all of Amazon's Best Selling Portable AC Units

Ventless Air Conditioners

A ventless air conditioner is a lot like a portable air conditioner. The only difference is that these units don’t require a window for ventilation.

So, you can use them anywhere in your top floor apartment.

Ventless air conditioners are also compact in size and include wheels for easy mobility.

These units include an internal tank that you fill with water and a big spinning fan blade. As the fan spins, a small amount of water is misted into the air to cool down the apartment.

The cooling power of a ventless AC unit is not as cold as a traditional portable air conditioner, but it’s a good option for people who don’t want the hassle of venting an AC unit out a window.

To find out more about these types of air conditioners, visit our portable air conditioner no window page.

See all of Amazon's Best Selling Ventless AC Units

Window Air Conditioners

Finally, a window air conditioner is the most common solution for keeping a top floor apartment cool in the summer.

Window air conditioners are installed inside a window sill and pump cold air into the center of the room.

There’s not much else you can do with a window AC unit after it’s installed.

It’s a simple system that just works to cool top floor apartments.

However, some apartment complexes don’t allow their renters to install window air conditioners. That’s because landlords don’t want the unit hanging out the window. It can be unsightly and the units tend to drip water out the back.

But, if you are allowed to use one of these units to keep your apartment cool, you’ll find that they’re the cheapest option available.

To find out more about these types of air conditioners, visit our best window AC unit page.

See all of Amazon's Best Selling Window AC Units

2. Block the Heat on the Top Floor

If you’re looking for an easy want for how to keep a top floor apartment cool in summer that doesn’t require an air conditioner, then this is the first thing you should try.

The more sun that is allowed to get into your apartment, the hotter it’s going to get.

That’s why it’s in your best interest to close your blinds—especially during the peak heat times of the day, which are between 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

Another option is to invest in blackout drapes.

Blackout drapes can reduce heat gain in your top floor apartment by up to 33% during the summer.

3. Improve Airflow in a Hot Apartment

You may not realize it, but air is constantly flowing through your apartment.

To ensure you’re staying as cool as possible during the heat of the summer, you need to improve the airflow.

This means that you should close the doors to any rooms you don’t use frequently.

For example, if you spend a lot of time in your living room during the day, then close the doors to your bedroom and bathroom since they’re not in use.

Closing doors will ensure that the cool air from fans (mentioned next) or air conditioners will cool down the area you spend the most time in to keep you comfortable.

4. Use Portable Fans When It’s Too Hot

Another cheap option to keep a top floor apartment cool is to use portable fans.

Not only do fans improve the airflow in the space, but you can use them in a variety of ways to cool you down.

  • Set a fan up to blow directly on you. This provides instant and continuous cooling.
  • Place a fan on a window sill, or right up against, it and position the fan so it blows outward. This will push hot air out of your apartment.
  • Combine the previous two methods to create a cross current. Cross currents will cool you down and draw hot air outdoors at the same time. Set up one fan to blow directly on you and another in the window sill.

5. Become Energy Efficiency

A lot of the heat that’s floating around your apartment might be coming from unlikely sources: light bulbs and electronics.

To keep an apartment on the top floor cool in the summer, you might consider turning your lights off when they are not needed.

You might also consider replacing your current bulbs with LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs. These options put off less heat than other bulbs.

Since TVs, computers, gaming consoles, and other appliances can also put off a lot of heat, you might consider unplugging these if you are not using them.

Every little bit of help you can get to reduce the heat in a top floor apartment during the summer is beneficial for your comfort.

6. Draw the Heat Out to Keep the Top Floor Cool

If you’re looking for another simple tip to try to keep your upstairs apartment cool, you might consider turning on the exhaust fans in your kitchen and bathroom.

These exhaust fans are designed to draw out heat and steam, so having these running during the hottest part of the day is a good way to get the hot air out of your apartment and get cool air flowing around the space.

7. Dehumidify the Apartment

Living in a humid area means that when you sweat, it won’t evaporate as quickly as you would like.

This can leave you feeling sticky, wet, and overly hot.

What many people don’t know is that excess moisture can contribute to the heat in your top floor apartment and cause your discomfort.

By adding a dehumidifier to your space, you can make it feel cooler and more comfortable without actually blowing cold air into the room.

It may sound strange, but it works.

Many indoor air conditioning units include a dehumidifying function. So, if you’re thinking about buying a portable or window air conditioner, then you can skip the dehumidifier purchase.

If not, you can get a dehumidifier for much cheaper if you want to try that solution first.

8. Add Plants to the Balcony

If allowed by your landlord, you might consider placing tall plants on your balcony.

Tall plants can help reduce the amount of sun that gets into your apartment.

If you don’t have a balcony, you might consider placing tall plants on the inside of your apartment to cover the windows.

This is a simple, yet more natural way to block the sun from getting into your space than using blinds or curtains.

9. Draw in the Night Air During the Summer

Back in the 1950s and 60s, when central air conditioning didn’t exist in most homes, homeowners would use an attic fan to draw the cool night air into their house.

In the morning, they would then shut the windows and close the blinds, trapping the cold night air inside their living space.

You can use the same principle in your top floor apartment to keep it cool in the summer without cutting through the ceiling.

Of course, you won’t have an attic to put a fan in, but you can use your windows.

To use this method to stay cool, place a portable fan so that it’s up against a window. Then position it so that the fan is blowing air into the room.

Now, while you sleep, the cooler night air will be pulled into your apartment.

Then, first thing in the morning, close the windows and the blinds to trap that cold air indoors to keep your apartment cooler for a longer period of time.

10. Reduce Your Stove Use

Cooking creates a lot of heat, so reducing how much you cook during the day can help you keep your upstairs apartment cool in the summertime.

By using your stove in the early morning or late evening, you can still create delicious meals without making your apartment overly hot.

If you have the ability to cook outside, this is another option you should consider.

You also might want to do a bulk of your cooking for the week in batches and then reheat what you need in the microwave.

That way, you can limit how often you’re using the stove and creating unnecessary heat to build up in your apartment.

11. Cover the Furniture in White

White has the ability to reflect light and doesn’t retain as much heat.

Thus, if you’re looking for another way to keep your top floor apartment cooler in the summer, consider covering your furniture with white-colored covers.

12. Chill Your Bed

There’s nothing worse than climbing into a hot bed at the end of the day and trying to fall asleep.

To get a good night’s rest, it’s imperative that your bedding is at the right temperature.

To achieve this goal, you might consider placing your sheets and pillowcases in the freezer for a few hours before you head to bed.

This simple trick can keep you cool enough so you don’t toss and turn throughout the night because you’re too warm.

13. Cool Yourself Down

In addition to trying these various tips for cooling down your top floor apartment, you might also consider ways to cool yourself down too.

This might include wearing lightweight, loose-fitting clothing or taking a cool shower or bath.

If you don’t have time to stand in the shower or soak in the tub, you can always place a cold, wet washcloth on the back of your neck or on your wrists.

You can also drink beverages with ice or eat more icicles or ice cream to help keep you hydrated and cool during the heat of summer.

Cooling from the inside out is a simple way to stay comfortable in hot spaces, and it’s a trick that people used for years before air conditioners were invented.

How to Cool Down a Hot Top Floor Apartment Summary

How to cool down top floor apartment

We hope you enjoyed this guide on how to keep top floor apartment cool in summer.

You now have 13 ways for how to stay cool even on the hottest days of the year.

As a reminder, you can get the best relief from the heat by investing in an indoor air conditioning unit.

To help you find the one that’s best for you, we’ve put together three separate guides.

Visit our best standing air conditioner page, our portable air conditioner no window page, or our best window AC unit page to learn more about each solution and find reviews of the top models available.

No matter what option you choose for how to cool down top floor apartment, you’ll have a much more comfortable space for you and your guests to enjoy.

Avatar for Katherine Dyson

About Katherine Dyson

Katherine is the lead Staff Writer. She conducts in-depth research and interviews with industry experts in order to produce a wide range of content for the site. Her main role is to write helpful articles that aid people who are seeking to improve their indoor air quality and comfort. (See Full Bio)