How to Get a Free Air Conditioner to Beat the Heat

Are you eligible for a free air conditioner to help ride out the coming heat wave? If you’re interested, it’s better to find out ASAP because funds for free air conditioners are awarded on a first come first serve basis. In 2022, funds ran out by July 8th. 

New York City is currently experiencing soaring temperatures. You can see a U.S. map of the current heat advisories here. The city’s cooling centers will be open to help NYC residents beat the heat. Some residents will even be eligible for free air conditioners. So read more below to see if you will get to be one of those lucky residents.  

The state has a cooling assistance benefit program that will cover $800 for the purchase and installation of a window unit, portable AC, fan, or up to $1,000 for an existing wall sleeve unit for certain eligible New Yorkers this summer.

Am I Eligible? 

Do you have a disability? Do you have a tight budget? The State Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA) program offers help to New Yorkers who are the most at risk from extreme heat and to those struggling to make ends meet.

Here are more details below. 

To be eligible, you already must fulfill the following requirements: 

1. You are a recipient of Home Energy Assistance Program (HEAP) benefits or are eligible for cooling assistance.  

2. You have one of these qualifiers in your household.

  • One person who is at least 60 years of age or older. 
  • A child under the age of six. 
  • A person with a documented medical condition that would be made worse by extreme heat. 

3. At least one member of your household must also be a U.S. citizen or have an immigration status that wouldn’t make them ineligible. 

4. Your household meets one of the following income requirements:

  • Your household receives benefits from SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program), one of the temporary assistance programs provided by OTDA, or Code A Supplemental Security Income.
  • Your household already receives a HEAP benefit of $21 or more for heating and you live in subsidized housing where heating is included in your rent.
  • You meet the income requirements. The full income cap list is here

5. You have not received a HEAP-funded AC unit in the past five years, your current AC unit is at least five years old, or you do not have an AC unit.

How to Apply?

In order to apply, you’ll need to show proof that you qualify for the program and need it. You can do that by doing the following things: 

  • Show where you live (such as a rent receipt or a utility bill).
  • Show how much money you make (such as through a tax statement or your last four weeks of pay stubs)
  • Prove your identity (with a driver’s license, passport, etc.)
  • Provide documentation of your medical condition. 

For more information, check out the city’s guide here.  

How Else Can I Stay Cool? 

The best way to stay cool is with an air conditioner. But if you don’t have one, we’d suggest the following: 

  • Find public places in your city that keep cool, such as libraries, malls, and museums. You can find locations by checking out this map. This is a great way to have a fun day out while beating the heat. 
  • Avoid/limit strenuous outdoor activity. (A good excuse to avoid your afternoon jogging routine, right?)
  • Hit the beach or the pool. Feel free to check out our suggested list of essential items to bring with you.
  • Stay hydrated. 
  • Wear light clothing. 
  • Stay inside. (This may be a good time to finish binge-watching your favorite show)
  • Close your shades. 
  • Avoid using the stove, oven, or any other things that can heat up your apartment. 

Signs of Heat Exhaustion or Heat Stroke? 

Safety first! Definitely watch for signs of heat exhaustion or heat stroke. And call 911 if you are having an emergency. 

Signs of Heat Stroke: 

  • Hot and dry skin
  • Hallucinations, confusion, and disorientation
  • Loss of consciousness or being unresponsive
  • Vomiting or nausea
  • Difficulty breathing
  • A fast or strong pulse
  • Weakness
  • Dizziness

Signs of Heat Exhaustion:

  • Heavy sweating
  • Cold, clammy skin
  • Lightheadedness or feeling faint
  • Muscle cramps
  • Decreased energy and fatigue
  • Headache
  • A loss of appetite or nausea

For some extra fun tips on staying cool, check out Best Brooklyn Splash Pads for Cooling Off this Summer


If you’re interested in learning about buying or selling in Brooklyn, download our free Buying Into Brooklyn Ebook or our Seller’s Guide. We share a ton of valuable resources to demystify the buying and selling process.

Share Page