When the summer heat is beating down on your home, nothing is better than relaxing in an air-conditioned room. If you don’t have central AC, window units are a great way to regulate room temperature beyond a simple ceiling fan.
Window air conditioners are inexpensive but powerful enough to blast some seriously cool air into your home! That said, they do have one major downside. These machines can produce a ton of noise!
With central air, the most you’re going to have to contend with is a slight hum coming from the ducts. The compressor and fan are installed outside where you can’t hear it. With a window unit, all of those mechanics are only a few feet away! While they’re not nearly as loud as portable AC units, they can still produce a considerable amount of noise. If you are trying to control noise inside your home, this can be a problem.
Thankfully quiet window air conditioners do exist. Designed for quiet operation, they’re perfect for keeping cool at night or cutting back on ambient noise throughout the day.
Benefits of a Quiet Window Air Conditioner Unit
Whether you have a quiet unit or not, window AC units offer a slew of advantages. Beyond the obvious cooling benefits, window units give you much greater flexibility.
The devices are built to install onto any standard window sill. There’s no need to worry about making major renovations like installing ductwork. Everything from the refrigerant compressor to the air filter is built into one compact box.
One half of the unit sticks outside the window while the other points inside. Installation is as simple as popping open the window, sliding the unit in place, and securing a few screws! You can place them in your bedroom, a living room, or even an addition without ducting.
While many people think that central systems are best, window units are much more cost-effective. Not only does the unit itself cost significantly less than a whole-home system, but it’s much more affordable to run.
Think about how much energy is wasted cooling down a 2,000 square foot house. Chances are, most of that space isn’t being occupied. So, why spend money cooling it down? With a window unit, you’re cooling down the specific room you’re in and nothing more.
Quiet systems take things a step further by addressing the biggest complaints homeowners have about these machines: the noise levels. With standard window AC systems, you have to deal with continual noise as it runs. Throw in the occasional boom of the compressor kicking in and it’s nearly impossible to use these machines at night.
Investing in a quiet model lets you get the peace and quiet you deserve. Perfect for hot sleepers, quiet window units minimize noise by using more efficient components. Advanced compressors, streamlined fans, and some careful engineering can cut back on noise significantly.
Some brands also modify the design to insulate your window a bit better. This helps to block out some of the commotion coming from the components outside.
Things to Consider When Choosing a Quiet Window AC
So, how exactly do you find the quietest window air conditioner? There’s not exactly a standard when it comes to noise levels. Thus, you’re going to have to dig a bit deeper and consider everything the unit has to offer.
Use the information in this buying guide to zero in on the best unit for your needs.
The most important thing you’ll want to look into is the amount of noise the unit produces. Not all manufacturers will provide this data outright. But those that designed the system with quietness in mind will often use it in their marketing materials.
To get some reference, standard window units can produce anywhere between 40 and 60 decibels of noise depending on the operating mode. A standard conversation with someone standing next to you is roughly 60 dBA.
A 20-decibel jump might not seem like a lot. A jump of only 10 decibels is actually a big jump in perceived loudness. The difference between 40 to 50 decibels is almost double!
Of course, several factors will contribute to perceived loudness. Where you are in the room and how intense the cooling settings are will change how loud the system is to you.
To keep things simple, go with the lowest possible decibel rating you can find. Lower ratings are always better when you’re looking for a quiet machine.
What good is an air conditioner if it doesn’t effectively cool your room? A machine’s cooling capacity is represented as BTU unit. BTU, or British Thermal Unit, is used to measure heat transfer. A higher BTU rating means that the machine can move heat out of the room faster. It directly correlates with your room size.
If you have a small room, you can get away with getting a unit with only 5000 BTU. That’s usually enough to cool down a room with only 150 square feet.
But you have a larger room that you’re looking to cool down, you might need to jump up to 10,000 BTUs or more. With 10,000 BTUs you can cool a 350 square foot room.
Window units are available in a range of ratings. There are even heavy-duty models with 36,000 BTUs! Choose a BTU rating that’s appropriate for your room. Other than cooling the room down faster, there are no major benefits to getting a system with more cooling power than you need. So, choose a rating that’s as close to the size of the room as possible.
Window air conditioners can be as simple or as advanced as you want! More affordable systems utilize simple knob controls. They work just fine, but they can be a pain when you want to make changes from across the room.
To do that, you’ll need a unit with remote control. More advanced systems can connect to Wi-Fi. With a complementary app, you can adjust settings, create schedules, or even turn the system on before you get home.
Energy costs are an important consideration. Running powerful AC units doesn’t come cheap. Generally, systems with higher BTU ratings will cost you much more to run than those with lower ratings.
Several factors will affect your running costs. These include your current cost per kWh, how often you run the AC, and how much energy the system uses.
Use any available energy guidelines to get a better idea of what the unit will do for your electric bill. Pay close attention to the EER rating. EER, or Energy Efficiency Ratio, provides some insight into a system’s power consumption. A higher EER rating is preferred, as this means that the appliance uses less electricity. To keep costs low, invest in efficient Energy Star products.
More performance options are always preferred. Cooling features vary wildly across the board.
On simpler machines, you’ll get limited cooling options. You might have only a few preset temperatures or cooling speeds to choose from. Those systems are still worth considering, but you won’t have fine-tuned control.
More advanced air conditioner units have more flexibility. You can set the thermostat to an exact setting and let the machine do the work to keep things stable. You may also have access to adjustable louvers, multiple fan speeds, and dehumidifier controls.
Tips for Keeping Your Window AC Quiet
Buying the quietest air conditioner on the market can make all the difference when it comes to noise levels. But, that quietness is fleeting. Window units are notorious for getting louder as they start to experience some wear and tear.
To maintain the low noise levels, you must maintain your air conditioner. Check on the compressor, fan, and other moving parts regularly. Clean the exterior of the unit, remove fallen leaves, and apply some lubrication to the fan to keep it running smoothly.
Also, pay attention to the power cord. If the power cord becomes damaged, you run the risk of experiencing a short. It could also start having issues maintaining constant power. This results in intermittent stops and a regular vibrating noise.
Finally, keep the air filter clean. Most units nowadays have a washable filter that you can clean in minutes. Removing accumulated dust and grime will improve the system’s efficiency and keep noise to a minimum.
Best Quiet Window Air Conditioner Units
One look through Amazon or Google will show you that window air conditioner units are a dime a dozen. To help you sift through your options, we’ve collected some of the best quiet window units available. Here are our top picks!
From Whirlpool is this Energy Star compliant window AC unit. With 12,000 BTUs, it can easily work large cooling areas in minutes. The simple button controls and programmable thermostat make it easy to get the perfect temperature in any room.
This particular model has an integrated dehumidifier. It can pull roughly 2.64 pints of water from the air every hour, making the space feel cooler and less muggy.
- 12,000 BTU
- 12.1 EER
- Cools up to 550 square feet
- Built-in dehumidifier
- Remote control
Good for smaller rooms, the unit from Koldfront has all the flexible controls you need to stay cool during the summer. On both the front panel of the machine and the remote control, you can make fine-tune adjustments to the thermostat.
The unit also has some handy convenience features. Make the room feel dry with built-in dehumidification, save money with energy-saving mode, or turn on the timer to ensure that you’re not wasting power.
- 6,050 BTU
- 12.1 EER
- Energy-saving mode
- Remote control
The Haier Serenity Series is purpose-built with quiet operation in mind. The room air conditioner has a couple of noteworthy features. The first is a compression blanket. A layer of insulation wraps around the compressor to reduce noise and keep vibrations to a minimum.
Smaller fans are utilized as well. This unit has two separate fans to push air. Thanks to the smaller design, the fans run smoother with less resistance.
- Produces only 43 dB of noise
- 6,000 BTU
- 11.2 EER
- Digital control panel
- Dual fans and louvers
- Remote control with LCD screen
Capable of fitting most window casements up to 35 inches wide, the LG air conditioning window unit offers efficient performance and simple design. The control panel on this system is small and discrete. Yet, its push-button operation and included remote control make getting things just right a breeze.
There are three fan speeds available. The unit also has a built-in dehumidifier and a programmable thermostat for your convenience.
- 6,000 BTU
- Cools rooms up to 260 square feet
- Energy-saving mode
- Removes up to 1.8 pints of moisture per hour
- Sleek controls
Here’s another model from Haier’s Serenity Series line. Like the first one, this unit features a blanket-wrapped compressor for quiet performance. It also has a unique cross-flow fan.
Rather than the traditional inward-facing fan that most units have, this one has a fan that runs parallel to the window. This provides more cooling power while also keeping extraneous noise to a minimum.
- Makes 43 decibels of noise
- 6,050 BTU
- Dual motor and cross-flow fan
- Energy-saving mode
- Cools up to 260 square feet
- Sleep mode and a 24-hour timer
Need a beefier unit to cool down a large space? This model from LG has you covered. With 12,000 BTUs, you can rooms up to 550 square feet as cool as you need. Not only that, but this system has a four-way louver. You can point air flow in any direction for maximum comfort.
Convenient features like Auto Restart and energy-saving mode are included as well. The former ensures that the unit starts cooling again after a power outage while the latter keeps your cooling costs as low as possible.
- 12,000 BTU
- Cools rooms up to 550 square feet
- Auto restart
- Articulating louvers
- Simple controls
- Energy-saving mode and timer
With its sleek design, this unit from Midea can fit in anywhere. It features a modern design aesthetic complete with a smooth digital control panel.
In terms of operation, this system is quite efficient. To keep your energy costs low, you can run the unit on ECO mode. In this mode, the AC will shut off once the room reaches the desired temperature.
Sleep mode is also available. This mode runs quieter and automatically adjusts the temperature to match your sleep cycle.
- 8,000 BTU
- ECO mode
- Sleek digital control panel
- Quiet night operation with Sleep mode
Also from Midea is the U Inverter quiet air conditioner. This system has a unique design that can make a significant difference in noise levels. It features a U-shaped configuration that allows you to keep the window closed. When closed, the window blocks out noise from the compressor for quieter operation.
As if that weren’t enough, the unit has Wi-Fi connectivity! Connect it to your smartphone to control the system from your screen. You can even use Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant to change settings with your voice.
- 8,000 BTU
- Only produces 42 decibels
- Wi-Fi connectivity
- Smart control features
- Window remains operational
- Simple push-button controls
The Emerson Quiet Kool air conditioner does a fine job of keeping noise levels as low as possible. Once the air has reached your desired temperature, the system drops to a lower setting for maintenance. That way, the compressor isn’t blaring the entire time you use it.
Like the previous model, this unit is Wi-Fi enabled. Control it with your smartphone or use compatible voice assistants for hands-free operation.
- 15,000 BTU
- Wi-Fi enabled
- Cooling area up to 700 square feet
- 11.0 EER
- ECO mode and Sleep Mode
Enjoy the cool air in peace with this window unit from hOmeLabs. When running, the indoor noise level is anywhere between 55 and 59 decibels depending on the cooling mode you’re using.
Speaking of cooling modes, this unit has six. This includes an energy-saving ECO mode, a quiet Sleep mode, and a dehumidification mode to get rid of moisture in the air.
- Produces 55 to 59 decibels of noise
- 8,000 BTU
- Energy Star rated
- Six cooling options
- Power-saving and nighttime modes
The final unit on our list comes from Frigidaire. It’s a smaller system that’s best used for rooms up to 150 square feet. As an Energy Star-certified product, you can expect this unit to be highly efficient without sacrificing performance.
It has a simple control panel with push-button thermostats. The thermostat is programmable, allowing you to choose an appropriate temperature for your needs. The AC will continuously monitor the conditions and adjust performance to maintain your chosen settings.
- 5,200 BTU
- Programmable thermostat
- Remote control operation
- Integrated 24-hour timer
- LCD temperature readout
Why deal with the grating noise of a loud AC unit when you don’t have to? The best window air conditioners can provide you with all the cooling benefits you need minus the headaches!
They’re easy to install and can give you that localized cooling you’re after. Plus, they’re quiet enough to use at night? What more could you want?