The Quest: Finding The Quietest Window Air Conditioner On The Market

If you are concerned with decibels a lot and feel like you can hear people talking from the distance of like 1000 feet while still in need to get one of these nasty window air conditioners, we prepared a guide and curated a list of the quietest window air conditioners out there.

For the rest of you who are just looking for the best value for your money and are not concerned that much with the sound, you might want to check our guide on buying sliding window air conditioners as well.

For those who get easily annoyed with noise, AC units can be depicted as a necessary evil – you need it but you hate it. However, this awkward relationship with the ACs doesn’t have to be always like that.

Of course, this article is not one of those to teach you how to meditate, focus or go outside where it’s plenty of noise and come back home so you won’t hear your AC at all. If you need that kind of advice, this is probably a wrong place to be.

Here we are rather on a quest to help you find the one that simply produces the less of the noise and is still affordable. And furthermore, we will give you some tips regarding the installation that can help you to make sure that your AC produces as less noise as possible.

Having that said, let’s jump straight of to the list of our picks.

NOTE: The noise-level that you can often find on the product specifications for the items of this type is usually expressed in dbAs. However understanding this noise measurement unit is quite complex task so, we decided rather to rely on user experiences in first place when compiling our list of top picks and then we included the dbA ratings as well. If you want to know more about how the noise measurement system works, we have it explained below.

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OUR TOP PICK: Whirlpool WHAW151BW Energy Star 15000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

Whirlpool WHAW151BW Energy Star 15000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
Whirlpool WHAW151BW Energy Star 15000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

This Whirlpool 15000 BTU window air conditioner is a true hidden gem among all of the other similar ACs.

Why? Well, how often did you see a product of this type that has a full 5 star rating on Amazon? This AC has only positive ratings and therefore we simply had to choose it as our top pick.

However, that is not the only reason we choose this particular AC as our first recommendation, we didn’t forget that this list is somehow different from the other similar lists that will tell you which, where and how to buy a window air conditioner. We had in mind our quest to find the quietest window air conditioner which will be also reliable and have all the features that one might expect from it.

This unit comes with the noise-level rating between 52 and 55 dbA which is almost brilliant for an unit of this size and capacity.

If you scroll down to see our review of the other smaller window air conditioner also made by Whirlpool, you will see that the noise level is almost the same for the both of these devices.

Now let’s get to the specifications for this AC. It has the cooling capacity of 15000 BTUs and can cool spaces up to 700 square feet. This makes it perfect for use in mid-sized flats and condos.

It has a high Energy star rating of 11.9 EER and only $115 of estimated yearly operating costs which are pretty good results for a device of this size and capacity.

This AC has all the programmable controls that you could expect from an unit of this price range and size including three cooling speeds, 8-way air direction controller, a full function remote controller, auto power-off and sleep mode and it can also work with Amazon Alexa.

It has a washable filter which will alert you once when it needs a cleaning.

Pros: 

  • Estimated 52 dbA indoor noise level – among the quietest ACs on the market
  • Strong dehumidificator (3.53 pints per hour)
  • Highly energy efficient
  • Comes with the installation kit
  • Perfect even for mid-sized condos and flats
  • Made by Whirlpool which is considered by air conditioner repairmen as one of the brands with fewest number of repair calls 

Cons

  • There’s no built-in heater – window air conditioners of this size are usually expected to have a built in heater for the winter days
  • Heavier to carry and install – you might need a help of at least one person while installing this unit

EXPERT TIP: This is a semi-large window air conditioner that is fairly larger from the other units of this type so, if you are purchasing this one you need to take in account that you might need to install some extra support from the outside of the window in order to keep it in place.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This is a window room air conditioner that has all the necessary specifications to be at the first place of this list. Whirlpool did work hard on achieving very low levels of both indoor and outdoor noise for all of their newer air conditioners. This unit, even though pretty large and powerful still makes the same noise as a 6000 BTU unit from the same manufacturer that we described below. It has so far amazing reviews and is an unit that is definitely worth to try. 

BEST FOR LARGE SPACES: Koldfront WAC25001W 25000 BTU Heat/Cool Window Air Conditioner

Koldfront WAC25001W 25000 BTU Heat/Cool Window Air Conditioner
Koldfront WAC25001W 25000 BTU Heat/Cool Window Air Conditioner

This powerful Koldfront Window Air Conditioner has some of the best ratings on Amazon and we decided to take it as our top pick for large spaces because it is a multi-functional AC that can be used as a great long-term solution.

With its 25000 BTU cooling capacity, this AC can cool up to 1500 square feet of space, making it a great solution for using in larger apartments and smaller houses.

Due to the fact that it has a really strong cooling capacity, this unit can be placed in the part of your house where you spend the least of your time so you will hear less of the noise anyways and you can still get your whole house cooled.

Another great thing to mention about this window air conditioner that it can also turn into a heater during the winter. Although its heating capacity will be much smaller (it has 16000 BTUs of cooling capacity and expected coverage of 700 square feet).

So, if you are looking for an all in one solution air conditioner, this might be it.

It comes with a built-in digital thermostat and a display and set of various controls and options that can be also set up from a remote control.

It has 9.4 EER rating and the estimated yearly energy cost of $259.

This unit is pretty large (18.6″ H x 26.5″ W x 26.5″ D) and you should make sure that you have a proper window to mount it on.

You might also need an extra suporter from the outside to get this unit in place.

NOTE: This air conditioner requires a 30 Amp 230 Volt breaker in order to work as expected. Also this AC falls into heavy-weight window air conditioners category so, although installation still might be easy and simple, you should definitely have someone of your friends or family to help you install it.

EXPERT TIP: This AC might not be the best solution for smaller spaces when it comes to noise – a large and powerful unit like this one should be used inside a large space and if you put into a room that you use less, you probably won’t even hear it.

Pros:

  • Reliable AC that can cool larger spaces
  • Can also be used as a heater during the winter
  • Can be really quiet if installed properly

Cons:

  • Not the best one for smaller rooms
  • Can be heavy to carry and install, you might need at least one person to help you with the installation

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This window air conditioner is a good solution for cooling the whole home. If installed carefully and into a proper place, you can achieve a significant level of quietness with it.

BEST FOR BUDGET: LG LW6017R 6000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

LG LW6017R 6000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
LG LW6017R 6000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

This small and practical window air conditioner comes as a true solution for those who are seeking for quiet and cheap AC to cool their room.

With its price range between $130 and $190, this is probably the best what you can get for the money. The expected noise level from this unit ranges from 50 to 55 dbA.

It has 6000 BTU cooling capacity and can cool up to 260 square feet of space.

It has standard 3 cooling speeds and 3 fan speeds but it also has some other features that you wouldn’t expect from an item of this price and size – there’s an auto-cooling option, it has a digital display and, something that you would be really positively surprised with a device of this price range – it has also a remote controller.

The package also contains an installation kit.

Pros:

  • With this unit you will get the best ratio of quietness for your money
  • Small and handy, easy to install
  • It has advanced controls and full-control remote

Cons:

  • It can become louder after some time
  • Provided side panels within the installation kit aren’t endlessly wide, if you are installing it on a wider window, you might need some extra DIY work regarding that
  • Not the best solution for the larger rooms

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This is a small and handy window air conditioner that you can expect to be quiet when used in a small room with a respectful set of controls and features.

BEST FOR SMALL ROOMS: Frigidaire FFRE0533S1 5000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

Frigidaire FFRE0533S1 5000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
Frigidaire FFRE0533S1 5000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

This Frigidaire’s AC comes with the capacity of 5000 BTU and an impressive energy efficiency rating of 12.2, which makes it an ideal choice for smaller rooms. It’s cooling capacity can cover up to 150 square feet of space.

With its EER rating of 12.2, the expected yearly energy cost of this AC is just $37

It comes with the antibacterial washable filter that will alert you  when needs to be cleaned, a full set of programmable controls – you can set a preferred room temperature on your own. It also has a built-in timer that you can set up before sleeping to turn it off after specific time.

The package contains the installation kit with the side panels included.

Pros:

  • Small and handy, easy to install and remove
  • Relatively cheap and energy efficient window air conditioner
  • Washable filter, programmable controls

Cons:

  • Not good for larger rooms
  • Doesn’t come with a remote controller

EXPERT TIP: If you buy this item make sure that you apply all the screws correctly since other users’ experience has shown that the level of noise can change drastically if the screws aren’t applied properly to their place.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: This small AC from Frigidaire is a good solution for usage in small rooms. If properly installed, the level of noise should be within acceptable tolerances. It is a good combination of features and specifications for the given price range.

BEST FOR MID-SIZED ROOMS: Frigidaire FFRE0833U1 8000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

Frigidaire FFRE0833U1 8000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
Frigidaire FFRE0833U1 8000 BTU Window Air Conditioner

There are a couple of reasons why we decided to pick this model as our top pick for mid-sized rooms. 

As it is a 8000 BTU unit, it is perfect for cooling mid sized rooms, it is also described as relatively quiet by the existing customers and has a really good energy efficiency rating. The manufacturer noise rating for this product is 59 dbA.

It is a modern AC unit with a remote control and, for this type and capacity of window air conditioner, it is not that expensive.

This window AC with its capacity of 8000 BTU can cool areas up to 350 square feet. It is a quiet air conditioner with three fan speeds and programmable cooling options.

It has energy efficiency ratio of 12.1 and estimated yearly operating cost of only $59.

It has all the standard features that you would expected from a window air conditioner of this type and price – advanced fan and cooling controls including a remote controller, 24-hour timer, washable mesh antibacterial filter and many more.

One of the features to mention is also the 6-way air direction control which in combination with the other options gives you a pretty decent range of controls for the price.

Pros:

  • Relatively small and very easy to install
  • Comes with an installation kit
  • Relatively quiet (59 dbA)
  • Energy efficient 
  • Full range of options and controls including a remote controller

Cons:

  • The experience with the noise levels may vary from case to case, additional attention to detail during the installation is advised.

OVERALL IMPRESSION: A nice small easy to install and remove window air conditioner that would perfectly fit into a mid-sized room. Relatively quiet and has a good EER ratio.

RISING STAR: Whirlpool WHAW061BW Energy Star 6000 BTU Window-Mounted Air Conditioner

Whirlpool WHAW061BW Energy Star 6000 BTU Window-Mounted Air Conditioner
Whirlpool WHAW061BW Energy Star 6000 BTU Window-Mounted Air Conditioner

The only reason why we didn’t rank higher this Whirlpool window AC unit is just because there is a smaller existing user base for this model than for the other competitors with similar features.

However this small AC has everything that you need to cool a smaller and mid-sized room perfectly. And, when it comes to how quiet it is, the manufacturer’s specification for the noise level of this unit is within the range of 51 – 55 dbA which is pretty low.

This window air conditioner has the cooling capacity of 6000 BTU which means that it can cool spaces up to 250 square feet surface. 

It is a very small AC unit (15.6 x 18.6 x 13.3 inches) and you can expect to be able to install it on the most of the standard window sizes.

It has all the standard features like washable and reusable filter, a wide range of controls and options with a three speed fan, 8-way air direction control, 24-hour timer and it comes with a remote control.

This AC falls into a light-weight category and comes with the installation kit.

The EER rating for this unit is 12.2 and the expected annual energy costs are only $45.

Pros:

  • Low range of noise between 51 and 55 dbA
  • Small, reliable, easy to carry, install and remove
  • Energy efficient and relatively cheap
  • The Whirlpool window air conditioners are known as very reliable and as units with fewest repair calls among repairmen.

Cons: 

  • Not so popular on Amazon as its competitors

How Quiet is Quiet? Understanding the Decibels and How the Noise Measurement Works

We’ll be honest with you regarding this – understanding how the noise measurement scale expressed in decibels works is pretty complicated and, unless you were really good in maths and physics in your high school, you might find it too difficult to understand.

However if you still want to get a better insight into this topic, let’s try to get it closer to you.

You might heard the word “decibels” plenty of times already when someone is describing the intensity of sound. But what it really means when someone says “this fan produces x decibels of noise”?

First, you should know that there are all kinds of different “flavours” of decibels. For now we are going to focus on explaining the A-weighted, B-weighted and C-weighted decibels in order to bring you closer how it all works.

NOTE:The noise that air conditioners and other similar devices produce is usually measured with the A-weighted scale expressed in dbA since this kind of noise falls into the low-level background noise category.

A-weighted decibels (dbA) are usually used to express measurement of background noise which is considered as low-level by its nature while B and C weighted decibels (dbB and dbC) are used to express intermediate and higher levels of noise. 

Next thing to know is that for example if something measures a noise level of 20 dbA then double intensity of that noise level would be 30dbA, and double intensity of 30dbA is expressed as 40 dbA. 


So, when you see that something has a noise level of “only” 10 dbA more than something else, you should know that this actually equals to double of the given intensity. Simply said, every increase on the scale by 10 is double intensity of the previous number on the scale.

Another important factor to mention when measuring noise is that the noise level will drop drastically as the distance increases. So, a noise produced by a window air conditioner that is put just next to your bed won’t be the same as if you would put it on a window at the other side of the room.

Now, let’s see how some everyday noises look like when expressed in decibels:

  • Human breathing measures only 10 dbAs
  • Whisper measures double of that, 20 dbAs
  • The average noise in the library measures 40 dbAs 

Every noise up to 60 dbA is considered fairly quiet. However don’t forget that 70 dbA will be twice as loud as 60 dbA.

The average noise of window air conditioners is in the range of 45 – 60 dbA.

However, you will hardly find any noise specification for this kind of products. If you are really persistent in googling, you will probably manage to find this in like 4 of 7 cases. 

This is probably simply because the noise level for the very same model of AC unit can drastically vary due to factors that aren’t necessarily in direct correlation with the product but rather with the way how they’re installed and with the place where they’re installed.

Remember, noise level will drop by increasing the distance,

Therefore, even if you find an AC that is marked as a low-noise unit you still might end up with plenty of noise if you put it just too close to where you spend the most of the time or if you don’t install it properly.

Speaking of the proper installation, if you are looking for some expert installation tips in order to achieve an extra level of quietness, we prepared a guide that you can see below.

What to Look For When Buying Quiet Window Air Conditioner?

Given the fact that it is not that easy to find the noise-level specifications for window air conditioners in first place, and even when you do the experience for the very same model might vary, you might feel confused regarding on what to rely when you simply want to find an AC that is quiet.

Although we are aware of the fact that it is not the best practice to rely on other people’s opinion i.e. reviews since the perception of what is quiet and what is not is also something that is a matter of personal opinion and experience, we decided to primarily rely on reviews rather than the noise-level specifications provided by the sellers.

So, our advice in this case, would be to primarily look for reviews and see what other people are experiencing with the same product and only then also look for the noise-level specifications provided by the manufacturers.

We know that this is might be a pretty sensitive purchase for you since you need a product that will meet a specific criteria which is hard to meet all the time due to installation and placement issues, therefore we worked on preparing a set of tips that could help you find a really quiet AC.

Here is a list of some other things that you should have in mind when looking for the most quiet AC unit, in order to make sure that you find the one that really works as expected.

How to understand the noise-level rating provided by the seller

As we explained it above, the lower the noise level the better. Ideally, an AC unit that has noise-level between 40 and 50 dbA should be extremely quiet. The ACs that have the noise-level specification between 50 and 60 dba can also be considered as fairly quiet.

However, before buying make sure also to check the reviews and see what other buyers are saying about the noise and how it worked for them.

Also, note that some of the AC units will have two noise-level specifications, outdoor and indoor. While it is expected that the outdoor noise would be louder than the indoor one, you should probably prioritize the models that have equal indoor / outdoor noise-level ratio or that have a lower indoor noise-level.

Look for a  better installation kit and guide

The second most common reason for the increased noise-levels of window air conditioners is failing to do the proper installation. 

Many buyers will think something like this:

  • I bought the AC for bargain, let’s have it run for this summer and it will pay-off for itself…
  • Let’s just put it on the window and insulate the gaps with a duct tape!

However, despite the fact that you bought your window AC for a bargain, you shouldn’t just rush into putting it on the window and having a duct tape as your main tool for the work. 


What you want to look for are air conditioner models that contain advanced installation kits and preferably that come with side-panels included. 

If you are buying a vertical window air conditioner, you are more likely to get a proper installation kit with manufacturer-made side panels that are used to fill the gaps and provide you with better insulation from the outside noise that is produced by your AC unit.

Most of window ACs are made so the noise stays outside but if the insulation between the gaps is weak, the more noise will come inside.

NOTE: Most of the air conditioners that we selected as our picks for this list do come with an installation kit i.e. with the side panels included. However, these side panels usually can provide only a basic insulation – primarily just to prevent the air flow from outside to inside and vice versa. You can save yourself from a decent amount of noise by adding some extra insulation here.

Check if the AC unit has built-in any specific technology that prevents the noise

Manufacturers are aware of the issue that you are facing with and to be honest, it is not that easy to build a perfectly quiet window air conditioner because of the way they are built.

They don’t have much of the space to innovate regarding this since these units are meant to be small, as lightweight as possible and to meet a certain budget criteria. 

However, you can expect to find some specific noise reducing technology in nowadays window air conditioners, such as ACs that have an extra level of noise insulation built inside the casing or ACs with specially designed fan blades so they make less noise when producing the necessary airflow.

Some of this kind of air conditioners have an inside level of insulation applied so it blocks a significant amount of noise that comes from the compressor.

Look for the models that have multiple airflow speed options

Although this is already a standard feature for the most of the window air coolers on the market, you might want to look for those who have advanced controls options and multiple fan speeds built-in.

You can significantly reduce the noise by simply putting your AC into a slower wind-blowing mode. Yes, this might slightly affect its cooling performance but the noise can halve just by better control over the cooling fan.

Larger cooling capacity (i.e. more BTUs) doesn’t mean it will be louder

It somehow logically implies that the larger the cooling capacity, or the larger the air conditioner in general, the more of the noise you would get.

However, this doesn’t have to be always true. Especially if you consider that with the larger units, manufacturers actually have more space to put all the advanced equipment that can reduce the noise. 

For example, we have included two different models from Whirlpool as our picks for this list while the larger one has the capacity of 15000 BTU is more than double capacity of the smaller one that is a 6000 BTU model, they both have a similar indoor noise-level range specified by the manufacturer – from 51 to 55 dbA. This means that while they significantly different in size and capacity, they still the pretty same indoor and outdoor noise-level specifications.

Also, it is well known that manufacturers usually put more effort into the window air conditioners with the larger capacity because they can be used both for small and large spaces, while small capacity units are usually meant to be used within a single room.

One important advantage of the AC units with the larger cooling capacity regarding achieving less noise is the fact that you can put them further from the space where you spend the most of the time.

So, even in case that you find a kind of a not the quietest window air conditioner in the world, and still it has enough of capacity to cool down double of the surface that you actually need, you can consider taking it and putting it into the other room where you don’t spend that much of the time and you probably won’t even be aware that it is turned on.

Vertical sliding window AC or Horizontal Sliding Window AC?

If you have both of the types of the windows where you could put your air conditioner, you might want to look for the vertical sliding window air conditioners in this case for a simple reason – the gap left after the installation will usually be smaller for the units that are meant to be used on the vertical sliding windows and they will more often come with a proper kit that has attachable side panels to help you insulate the gaps properly.

The primary goal here is to get less of the gap space so you can insulate it better and reduce the noise. If you, however, have horizontal sliding windows but your AC unit fits perfectly leaving less gap than it would a regular vertical sliding AC unit do, then you can take in account to purchase that kind of an unit.

Don’t forget the primary purpose of the air conditioner

While you are searching the quietest air conditioner you need also to be reasonable – window air conditioner HAS to produce some noise in order to effectively cool your place. You don’t want to end up with a super quiet air conditioner which you can’t hear at all but which also won’t cool your room.

Unfortunately there is amount of noise that you will just have to tolerate when owning an air conditioner of any type or size. However, you should not tolerate a noise that is above the specified noise level given by the manufacturer. Especially not for the items that you just purchased.

EXPERT TIP: If you have already purchased a window-mounted air conditioner and you noticed that it simply does produce unusually higher noise, you shouldn’t let it work like that. You need to know that malfunctions of this kind do happen often indeed and that you have a right to call customer support and simply ask for a replacement if the sound level is not in the range that is provided by the manufacturer.

There are numerous examples of similar experiences from other customers who were buying a quiet window air conditioner on paper but would get a loud and noisy device in practice. If you request a replacement in this case, you are most likely to get it.

EXPERT TIP: If something like this is happening to you and you don’t know what’s the specified noise-level for the unit, you could call the customer support first and kindly ask them to provide you with this info – they should have this info. Once you get that info you can use some kind of a sound level meter / noise level meter to measure the noise level of your air conditioner if you suspect that it is higher than normal. After measuring the noise-level and you are sure that is higher than usual, you can get back to the customer support with that info.

Installation and Maintenance Tips For Perfect Quietness

Assuming that you already know the basics of how to install a window air conditioner (if you don’t you can find a step by step tutorial that we wrote earlier), we won’t go here through all of the steps of installation. We will rather give you some important tips on how to make sure that you get the maximum quietness possible from your AC unit during the installation process.

There are couple of things to take care of while installing this kind of ACs:

Carefully choose the place where the unit will be installed

When installing a window AC, when it comes to reducing the noise that it produces, there’s one golden rule that you might already be aware of: The further from you the better.

Of course, you don’t want to put a small window air conditioner into a different room and expect it to cool the other rooms as well, if its cooling capacity is too low. However, you might expect this from the units that have a larger cooling capacity.

Another important thing to consider when it comes to selecting a place where to put your window air conditioner is to see if there’s an option to put it on a window which is not directly exposed to the sunlight.

These devices are designed to work perfectly even in the worst conditions but if you can avoid putting it into the direct exposure to the sunlight, your air conditioner will most likely produce less noise since it won’t heat up quickly and have to cool itself while also cooling your space.

Make sure your window frame and jams are well fixated and still in place


One of the most common causes of increased noise (which often can turn into a true ratling) is actually bad window construction that amplifies otherwise quiet vibration from the AC unit and makes the regular noise twice as loud. And if you leave it like that from the beginning the noises would get only even worse.

When installing a window air conditioner, you want to make sure that the jams and the frame which will support the most of the weight of the unit, are well fixated and still in place.

This will also help you avoid any possible issues with fixating the air conditioner as well. Your window needs to be strong and stable in order to hold the air conditioning unit strongly in place. 

You also need to check that there’s no any horizontal (left-right, forward-backward) movement (if you are installing the AC onto a vertical sliding window) of the sliding window parts or if it feels loose. 

The stronger your window structure is, the less of the noise your window AC will produce.

EXPERT TIP: Using some extra weather strip to put it between the sliding window that holds the AC and the casing of the air conditioner to prevent a direct contact between them could come as handy to avoid possible vibration noise that could come as a result of direct interaction between these two as they’re both made of solid materials that can produce annoying noise even in case of the smallest vibration.

If you want to go a step further, you could consider putting a flat thick piece of heat resistant rubber on the bottom frame of the window on the place where you are going to put the air conditioner. This way you could minimize the direct contact of the AC casing with the window parts from top and from bottom. All this can reduce the unwanted vibration noises drastically.

Always strive for better window noise insulation

Another thing regarding the placement of your window air conditioner that you should know is that it largely depends on the materials your windows are made from how quiet will it be.

If you have old thin windows that aren’t anyhow built to insulate the sound from the outside, then you might want to start by changing the windows as a whole in first place.

Sliding window air conditioners are designed so that if you install them properly, the most of the noise will stay outside (this is especially the case with the models that have internal layer of insulation to block the noise that comes from the compressor). However, you have to have good and well insulated windows in first place to expect from your AC to meet the noise requirements.

If your windows are made from light and weak materials, no matter how well you insulate the gaps, your efforts could be pointless if the rest of the window doesn’t provide a low level of noise insulation.

Work on improving the insulation of the side gaps

Whether you have installed your air conditioner onto a horizontal sliding or vertical sliding window, you need to make sure that you adequately insulate the gaps that are left after the installation.

With vertical sliding windows, these gaps are usually easier to fill since you will in most cases get a set of stretching side panels as a part of the installation kit.

However, in some cases you can get less of the gap space if you are installing your unit onto a horizontal sliding window.

Truth to be told, these side panels that come as a part of the installation kit aren’t always the best noise insulators. They are primarily made to prevent the air to flow through the gaps from the outside so the cooling won’t be affected. But they are still thin and they aren’t the best insulators when it comes to the noise.

What you can do is to apply additional panels from both, the outside of the window and inside of the window over the manufacturers side panels (you can use something as simple as styrofoam or combination of styrofoam and plexiglas). This way you could double the sound insulation and it wouldn’t cost you a dozen of bucks and extra half an hour of time.

Make sure that you level the air conditioner properly

This part requires that you carefully read the installation guide provided by the manufacturer. In most cases you will need to put the air conditioner under a certain angle so it leans to the outside. This is primarily done to stop it leaking inside your place but if manufacturers expect from you to put it under a certain angle, then you can expect that this position will be the best for the AC to work and most likely produce the least of noise.

NOTE: It is very important to level the AC unit properly from the beginning because missing to do this properly can cause permanent damage to the inside structure of the AC. There is a lot of rotation going on inside the AC and in order to work smoothly it needs proper leveling. Look at this as if you were installing a washing machine – you know what happens when the machine is not leveled properly. Of course ACs don’t have a centrifuge but larger units have some really powerful rotation happening inside.

Proper maintenance can help you avoid increased noise

It is not uncommon for all of the similar devices of this type that they get quickly dirty. Since they blow plenty of air into your house everyday, they are in a direct contact with the tiny dirt particles.

Of course, there are appropriate filters in all of these devices that will minimize the amount of the dirt that will enter your home, however, the dirt still has to go somewhere.

Most of the dirt will go into the filter, so you should make sure to clean or remove the filter as soon as you get alerted by the device to do that.

The other dirt that won’t go into the washable or removable filter will end up inside the air conditioner. If you bought an expensive unit, you might want to get it cleaned every year after the summer, if you think that is necessary. The dirt that is collected inside the air conditioner can cause some extra heating therefore making your AC to have to spin blades more than usually and thus produce more noise.

You might also want to check from time to time the screws that hold your AC fixated. As the time passes, the screws can become loose and this can cause the unit to vibrate.

Wrapping It Up

While some people can sleep like a baby even if you put them next to the freshly fired up rocket engine, others might find it very irritating to have to deal with noisy stuff, including window air conditioners.

In this article we worked hard on finding the best of the available window ACs that are also the quietest and we came up with the list of our top picks. We decided to focus on both, user experiences with the given models and the expected noise level specifications provided by the manufacturers.

Finding a quiet air conditioner is not an easy task, actually it turns out to be a true quest for many of the buyers so, we also prepared an in-detail tutorial on what to look for when buying one. We also tried to get you closer to understanding how the noise-level measurement scale works. And finally we created an in-detail tutorial regarding what to take care of during the AC installation in order to get less of the noise.

We hope that eventually we managed to help you find a nice working and quiet air conditioner that is a best-fit for your need.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the average noise of window air conditioners?

The average noise of window ACs is in the range of 45 – 60 dbA. Most of the currently available window ACs will have the noise-level specification close to 50 dbA which is considered as a reasonably quiet noise. Everything above 60 dbA would be too noisy and if you are looking for a quiet one you need to stay in the 45-55 dbA range.

How can I know if a window AC that I want to buy is quiet or not?

First, you need to read the noise-level specification provided by the manufacturer. If it is in the range of 45-55 dbA, it should be pretty quiet and good to buy. However, you shouldn’t only rely on that, you want to check the reviews of existing buyers of the particular AC and see what they have to say about the noise-level.

My window AC is producing a rattling noise, what should I do?

Rattling noise inside your unit is something that should not happen and if you just received it like that you should turn it off and call customer support because your item was obviously shipped as broken or broke during shipping.

What should I do when my window AC seems not to be as quiet as expected?

If your newly bought window unit doesn’t sound as quiet as described in the product specifications, you need to check first if it came with a malfunction that might be causing this issue. 

Would a window AC with multiple fan and cooling speeds be quieter?

Technically, you can make it quieter if you have more options regarding controlling the fan and cooling speed. However this is not something that can directly affect the noise-level because once your window unit has to work in full capacity it will produce the loudest possible noise, according to its specifications.

Can I put a vertical sliding window AC onto a horizontal sliding window?

Yes however, you will need a rod that will prevent the air conditioner from falling over. This might be included in the installation kit but if it isn’t you will have to buy it on your own. You will also have to take care about the insulation panel because the basic installation will usually only contain the panels for vertical mounting.

Is it better to install my window AC on a horizontal or vertical sliding window and which of these two would make it quieter?

Since most of the window units come with the installation kits that are primarily built for use on vertical sliding windows, it is highly recommended to go with a vertical window if you have one. This will reduce the possible size of the gap that has to be insulated, which will make it easier to fill the gaps and get a better insulation from the noise that might be coming from the outside parts of your window unit.

How can I measure noise-level of my window AC?

You can do that by using a professional device called sound level meter / noise level meter or you could look for a smartphone app that can help you with this.

Would my window AC be quieter if I put it in another room?

Yes, of course. If your window AC is strong enough to cool both of the rooms, you might want to put it into the other room where you spend less of your time so you won’t be directly exposed to its noise.

Does the quality of the window affects the noise of my window AC?

The quality of the windows indeed can affect the amount of noise that your AC produces. If your window is thin and doesn’t block the sounds from the outside well, you could get more of the noise from the condenser and compressor which are on the outside side of the AC. Loose window parts also can vibrate all together with the AC and produce even more noise.

Can quality of the side panels affect the noise of my window AC?

Yes, if side panels are made from a thin or loose material they might let a decent amount of the outside noise of the unit to come through. Better insulated side panels will also reduce the leakage of the air from the outside which can also help make your window unit quieter.

What can I do to make my window AC quieter?

You can make your window air conditioner quieter by doing the following steps:

  • Putting it onto a window that is further from where you spend the most of your time
  • Making sure that your windows are tight and well insulated
  • By improving the insulation of the side panels
  • By adding some weather stripping around the side panels and on the bottom side of the window frame to reduce vibration
  • By improving the insulation of your room in general so your AC will have to work less and be more efficient

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