Help me find the best/most cost-effective way to cool my apartment this summer! Special snowflake apartment and clueless renter here!!
One bedroom second story apartment in Chicagoland that is 537 sqft. I have a floor plan of my apartment with some sloppily taken dimensions here
. The bedroom in the upper left corner has 3 windows with a southern exposure. I have another window in the living room that is right next to the lower right corner box that is a closet. Outside that window is the wall of another building that has other apartments' bathroom windows (I could stick my leg out and touch the other buidling--it's awkward). The kitchen is open to the living room as well. There's a ceiling fan in the bedroom and two in the living room.
I lived through September and October in this space with only my fans going at full speed, and it was only barely bearable. Earlier this week when the temperatures reached 86, I was dying inside. I've heard a lot of contradicting and confusing advise about what to get: a single unit that can cool 550 sqft installed in the larger space, two 150 sqft units, and getting unit(s) with additional BTU to account for the southern exposure/second floor/kitchen factors. From what I understand, not buying the correct BTU-age will either result in not extracting the moisture from the space or not being able to cool the space enough.
I never had window air conditioning units, so while shopping I discovered that they were surprisingly expensive! To add to the cost, my landlord requires that all units be installed by the maintenance team for a charge of $50 per unit installation
ಠ_ಠ. Going rogue/DIY is not an option because there's a $100 fine and $25 removal fee for any units that are not installed by the management company. I'd like have a budget constraint of under $400 if possible. That is including the installation costs and the heavy-duty light colored curtains that I'll be getting to supplement the space (suggestions on curtains too?). If I purchase the wrong unit, I believe that I can return it but will have to pay for removal and another installation. Must avoid this!