10 Quietest Portable Air Conditioners By Decibel Rating

quietest portable air conditionersYou need to consider many factors before you select the appropriate portable air conditioners such as; the size, where you should place it, maintenance, and energy efficiency.

However, one crucial factor that you must never ignore if you want the quietest portable air conditioner is the noise level. You can confirm this by checking the decibel (dB) rating that is usually included in the product’s spec sheet.

The decibel rating is a unit used to measure how loud a particular model will be. To clarify, the lower the decibel rating, the quieter the AC.

And different models come with different decibel rating, and while a few decibels may not seem to be much, it may be the difference between your AC producing a sound of an electric toothbrush or rainfall.

In this portable AC review, we have recommended ten models which have the lowest decibel ratings, and that means they will operate while keeping the noise level to the minimum.

10 Quietest Portable Air Conditioners Reviews

Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

1. Whynter Elite ARC-122DS – dB >52

Whynter ARC-122DS 12,000 (7,000 BTU SACC) Elite...
  • Award-Winning Portable AC Unit: Rated Best Overall Portable Air Conditioner of 2024 by USA Today Reviewed, this powerful yet quiet portable air conditioner provides powerful cooling over large areas up to 400 sq. ft.
  • Powerful Yet Quiet: The ideal AC unit for bedrooms, this 12,000 BTU indoor air conditioner operates at 47 dBA in low speed and helps you stay cool while your limiting energy consumption; Made with the environment in mind, it runs off CFC-free R-32 refrigerant
  • Built-In Dehumidifier: This dual-hose portable air conditioner cools up to a 400 sq. ft. space (ambient temperature and humidity may influence optimum performance); 82 pint/day dehumidifying capacity; 330m3/h / 194CFM airflow
  • 3 Operational Modes: This stand-up air conditioner features 3 settings: cool, dehumidify, and fan (3 speeds), plus full thermostatic control (61°F – 89°F); Max. 1200W / 10.5A power consumption; 115 V / 60Hz / 1 phase power supply
  • Includes: A 16″D x 17″W x 29.5″H indoor AC unit, an extendable (up to 60") 5.9" diameter exhaust hose, a small 5.0" diameter intake hose, and a 6.5″W x 20″ (min) / 46″ (max) L window kit an activated carbon air filter, a washable pre-filter and storage bag

Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

There are many features about Whynter ARC-122DS that makes it the number one choice on this list. At dB 52, we are convinced that this AC is the quietest you’ll ever find on the market.

If you’re more concerned about cooling performance than anything else, then you’ll not be disappointed either. The Whynter has12,000 BTU cooling power and an ideal choice for hot spots in your home, office, server room or other areas up to 400 square feet that require a compact cooling solution.

While previous models were huge, heavy with less functionalities, the Whynter ARC-122DS is smaller, lightweight and more compact than many of it’s competitors.

You can control the climate of your room without having to move an inch thanks to the programmable thermostat and automatic timer. You can also choose between three operational modes which include a fan, dehumidifier and an AC. Its dehumidifying capacity is 76 Pts per day.

Since it comes equipped with patented continuous and manual auto drain technology, it draws the least infiltration air giving you maximum comfort. It is also one of the most energy efficient portable air conditioners as it consumes only 1000W/9.0 Amps.

Other notable features include a washable pre-filter, carbon air filter, auto shut-off, eco-friendly R410A refrigerant, RoHS compliant components.

While many customers are fully contended with this product’s features and functionality, other reported that assembling the hoses can be very frustrating. Other also complained that the fan continues to run even when the room has reached the set temperature. It’s also difficult to determine the current temperature as it’s not displayed on the screen.

2. Honeywell HL12CESWB Contempo Series – dB <49-52

Honeywell Contempo Series Portable Air...
  • Stylish, powerful & dependable - cools rooms 450-550 sq. Ft. Thermal overload protection for added safety & peace of mind. Automatic vertical wind motion helps distribute powerful cool air evenly for fast & consistent cooling
  • Dual filters designed to protect from dust & hair to extend product life & performance. Filters clean easily under a faucet for easy maintenance. Full set window kit included for quick & easy installation for vertical and horizontal windows (max. Hose length is 4 feet)
  • Designed for comfort with 3 fan speeds, sleep mode, digital controls, 24 hour energy saving timer & remote control with digital display included
  • Stress-free auto evaporation – no bucket to empty (except in areas with high humidity). built-in dehumidifier removes up to 86 pints/24 hours with continuous drain option for long unattended operation
  • 12000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard) / 6500 BTU (DOE+ 2017 Standard)

Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Honeywell HL12CESWB works best in rooms between 450-550 square feet. It is, therefore, an affordable choice for bedrooms, kids room, or smaller offices in your home.

You don’t have to worry about overload or phase failure anymore. It is built with thermal overload protection which offers protection for the motors. These motors are designed to run quietly. At the highest level, this unit produces 49 to 52 decibels which are good enough for most folks.

While this machine has a high cooling capacity of 12000 BTU, it also comes with an automatic vertical wind motion which ensures the cooling air is evenly and quickly distributed across the room, giving you a consistent comfort throughout the summer.

The Honeywell HL12CESWB is not only an AC but can serve as a fan and dehumidifier. The fan has three speeds while the dehumidifier can remove moisture of up to 86 pints per day. Further still, dual filters are included to help protect the unit from dust and hair as well as increase its performance and lifespan.

This unit can be installed either on vertical or horizontal windows. All you have to do is to roll it to your preferred cooling area and set up the window kit, and it will be ready to get cooling. After installation, you can adjust the settings using the smart digital thermostat control or remote control; both have a digital display.

Unlike the DeLonghi Pinguino Deluxe which cools well but doesn’t dehumidify properly, this one removes moisture fast but doesn’t cool as much especially after running for 12 hours. There are also complains about the night mode and automatic shut-off being faulty, and the set temperature not making a big difference in your room.

3. Whynter ARC-14S, 14,000 BTU Dual Hose – dB <56

Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU (9,500 SACC) Dual Hose...
  • Award-Winning Portable AC Unit: Awarded Good Housekeeping's 2024 "BEST OVERALL PORTABLE AIR CONDITIONER," this powerful yet quiet portable air conditioner provides powerful cooling over large areas up to 500 sq. ft.
  • Powerful Yet Quiet: The ideal AC unit for bedrooms, this 14,000 BTU indoor air conditioner operates at 51 dBA at low speed and helps you stay cool while your limiting energy consumption; Made with the environment in mind, it runs off CFC-free R-32 refrigerant
  • Built-In Dehumidifier: This dual-hose portable air conditioner features a patented auto drain function that automatically exhausts all condensate in most environments; 71 pint/day dehumidifying capacity; 430m3/h / 253CFM airflow
  • 3 Operational Modes: This stand-up air conditioner features 3 settings: cool, dehumidify, and fan (3 speeds), plus full thermostatic control (61°F – 89°F); Max. 1300 W / 11.6 A power consumption; 115 V / 60Hz / 1 phase power supply
  • Includes: A 19"D x 16"W x 35.5"H indoor AC unit, an extendable (up to 60") 5.9" diameter intake & exhaust hose, a 6.5″ W x 20″ (min) / 46″ (max) L window kit, an activated carbon air filter, a washable pre-filter and storage bag

Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner is not only one of the quietest, it also gets the job done so much better than the rest. It has three operational modes – air conditioner, fan, and dehumidifier – which can run independently.

This dual-hose system is a little big, so make sure you have enough space in your room. That explains why it can cool up to a 500 square feet space. It is best suited for small to medium rooms in your home or office.

Another advantage is that it provides cooling relief for areas with too much humidity especially when conventional air conditioning units cannot redress the heat. This is attributed to the dehumidifier which has a capacity of 101 pints per day.

It is easy to carry and move from one room to the other using the available casters attached to its base. The manufacturer has included all the required attachments in a box, which should make your installation easy.

If you always want to run the unit at certain times when you’re not home, you can do so using the thermostat control which allows you to set it to run up to 24 hours. A remote control is included, which means you can adjust any of the features without leaving your seat.

What you might not like about the Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner is its size – it’s so big and heavy. Even if the caster will help move it around, you’ll definitely feel the weight. The hose replacement is also high-priced. If you want a heater, this is not the unit for you because it doesn’t have one. It’s also important to note that, this system does excellent work at cooling your home, but since its noise level is 56dBA, it might not be the quietest.

4. DeLonghi Pinguino Deluxe Portable Air Conditioner dB <56

De'Longhi Pinguino Deluxe Portable Air...
  • Pinguino EX Series 3-in-1 technology includes air conditioning, dehumidifying and fan only function
  • 14,000 BTU cooling ASHRAE Standard; 6,800 BTU cooling DOE Standard
  • Cools and dehumidifies a room up to 600 square feet
  • 3 modes, 3 fan speeds, and 24-hour on and off timer
  • Integrated front-facing control panel and remote control with on-board storage

Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Because the DeLonghi Pinguino Deluxe, a sleek and attractive portable air conditioner and has a high cooling power of 6800 BTU, it is an excellent choice for an area of up to 600 square feet.

It features three operational modes for maximum comfort – an air conditioner, fan, and dehumidifier. The performance of this unit in these areas is pretty good.

You can save energy by cooling the room you’re in thanks to the PAC EX140ES technology. By raising your thermostat settings, you’ll be able to lower your energy bills.

While this solidly built system is designed to cool your indoor environment is the quietest manner possible, it also utilizes a BioSilver Filter which reduces unpleasant odor by preventing the growth of dangerous mold and mildew on the filter.

The DeLonghi Pinguino Deluxe is easy to use and comes with handy features that you should expect from a unit of its price range. You can customize the air flow to your satisfaction as well as change the read setting using the lighted display. A timer which enables you to program the air conditioner to turn on or off at your specified time is available – a great feature that can help you save energy by turning the unit off when it’s not in use.

If you want to move it around, the caster wheels and handle should help you do that. Even more, it is designed with a no-drip technology which automatically recycles condensation within the unit. Thus, you don’t have to worry about any types of leaks.

There are a few issues with this air conditioner. First, it cools well, but the dehumidifier doesn’t live to its standards. It doesn’t remove as much moisture as some of the models on this list. Some customers also complained that it doesn’t satisfy the advertised room coverage of 600 square feet.

5. Global Air 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Global Air 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner, 10,000...
  • Stay cool and comfortable wherever you go with our portable air conditioning unit. With 10000 BTU (ASHRAE) / 6,000 BTU (SACC) cooling capacity, it can cover rooms up to 300+ sq ft, saving you time and money. Enjoy the perfect temperature with ease and convenience at your fingertips.
  • 3-in-1 Portable Air Conditioner - AC, Dehumidifier, and Fan: Our portable AC unit not only cools but also serves as a dehumidifier and fan with 3-speed settings. Its convenient remote control makes it easy to switch between modes to achieve the ideal indoor environment.
  • Designed to fit seamlessly into any environment, this small window air conditioner boasts a 3-in-1 functionality with AC, dehumidifier, and fan modes. With low noise levels of only 52-56 dB, you can enjoy a luxurious and quiet experience in any room. Its versatile design makes it a perfect fit for your home, office, bedroom, living room, meeting room, garage, and more. Plus, its easy-to-use remote controller makes switching between modes a breeze.
  • The Global Air portable AC unit for rooms offers a wide range of features to make your life easier. It comes equipped with an automatic swing mode, a built-in 24-hour timer, and both a remote control and push-button control panel, giving you complete control over your indoor air conditioning.
  • Setting up your portable air cooler for a room is a breeze. With the window mount exhaust kit and exhaust hose, installation takes just a few minutes. Plus, the removable air filter can be washed with ease, ensuring that your unit runs smoothly and efficiently.

Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

This 10,000 BTU portable air conditioner can cool small to mid-size rooms. The recommended room size is 300 square feet. However, if your room is larger than 300 sq. ft. but smaller than 400 sq. ft. you can still use it, but it won’t blow out enough cool air as quickly and efficiently.

This unit can also function as a fan, and has three modes. If you don’t need too much cool air in your room, the fan-only mode should do the job. A 4-way vent design is included to ensures that cold air is distributed evenly to every corner of your room. There is an automatic mode which will turn the cooler or the fan either on or off depending on your temperature settings.

While this fan comes with remote control and digital controls that allow you to set precise temperature settings, you can opt for the control panel which is located at the top of the unit. The three buttons are operation modes, temperature, and speed buttons. All these functions should make your operation as smooth as possible.

A timer is also available so that when the set temperature is reached the system shuts off automatically. You can benefit from the sleep mode which will lower the fan speed and increase the temperature by only 1 degree every 2 hours but stops after a 2-degree increase.

This AC is self-evaporating AC, meaning that condensation from the air passing through the unit is exhausted outside. While this is a useful feature that many people should be happy about, it doesn’t work well in most units, and the Global Air is not an exception.

The drain plug will always leak, so you’ll probably have to check it once and again. You have to note that, this leaking problem is always a common issue if your room is over 80% humid; therefore the condenser struggles to remove all of that water in the air.

The manufacturer didn’t include the carbon filters, but you can install them if you want. They usually help in cleaning the air and getting rid of household odors.

The Global Air 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is an energy efficient unit that will help you stay cool during the summer without worrying about your energy bills. The only problem you have to be ready for is to drain the leaking water from the drain plug as frequent as possible. This might be a nuisance, but it’s all you have to do to avoid the water leaking onto your floor.

6. Honeywell MN10CESWW 10000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner dB<50-55

Honeywell Home MN10CESWW Environmental Appliance,...
  • Powerful, safe & dependable Cools rooms up to 350-450 sq. ft. Thermal Overload protection for added safety & peace of mind.
  • Quick installation easy-to-install window venting kit included with adjustable window bracket from 19.9". to 47.25"
  • Easy maintenance Washable Filter designed to protect from dust & hair to extend product life & performance. Filter cleans easily under a faucet for easy maintenance.
  • Designed for comfort Enjoy simple digital control with 3 fan speeds, 24 hour energy saving timer & remote control included
  • 3-in-1 appliance Powerful cooling in the summer, Dehumidifier for humid days (removes up to 66 pints/ 24 hours with continuous drain option for long unattended operation), Fan circulates air for everyday comfort. Exhaust Hose Length: 12" to 47".

Last update on 2024-06-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Bedrooms, offices, and sunrooms are some of the spaces in house homes with inadequate airflow. During summer, you can increase airflow and keep these rooms using the Honeywell MN10CESWW. It has a cooling capacity that can serve spaces of up to 300 square feet.

Since you don’t want to be distracted even when cooling your room, Honeywell has considered that. This unit operates at a minimum noise level of 50 dB and only 55 dB at the maximum level.

Operating this portable air conditioner has been made easier thanks to the energy-saving-24 hour timer, LCD display, and remote control. These features allow you to set the AC to turn on or off up to 24 hours in advance, see the current temperature of the room you’re cooling, and operate the fan at the comfort of your chair.

Besides being an excellent cooling unit, the Honeywell MN10CESWW can also function as a dehumidifier or a fan. So, if your room is prone to too much humidity, this model will remove up to 67.7 pints of moisture from the air per day. On days when you don’t feel like cooling the room, you can switch on the fan-only mode to avoid room stuffiness.

You have the option to set your ideal room temperature thanks to the adjustable thermostat and digital controls. After setting the temperature, the unit will maintain it, and the digital display will show you both the preselected and the current temperatures.

One of the features you should always look for when shopping for an air conditioner is the draining option. This model offers you both manual and continuous draining options. That means you can either drain it manually or set up a hose to continuously drain the extra moisture.

This model comes with all the features that many homeowners will like. However, it is not the right portable air conditioner to choose if you need a unit that can add supplemental heat.

7. Honeywell MM14CHCS 14000 BTU Portable AC dB<54

Honeywell MM14CHCS 14000 BTU Portable AC,...
  • [POWERFUL, SAFE & DEPENDABLE] Cools rooms up to 550-700 sq. ft. Thermal Overload protection for added safety & peace of mind.
  • [EASY INSTALL & MAINTENANCE] Washable Filter designed to protect from dust & hair to extend product life & performance. Filter cleans easily under a faucet for easy maintenance. Full set window kit included for quick & easy installation for vertical and horizontal windows (Max. hose length is 4 feet).
  • [DESIGNED FOR COMFORT] Enjoy simple digital control with 3 fan speeds, 24 hour energy saving timer & remote control included
  • [4-IN-1 ALL SEASON APPLIANCE] Powerful AC cooling in the summer, Heater in the winter, Dehumidifier for humid days (removes up to 66 pints/ 24 hours with continuous drain option for long unattended operation), Fan circulates air for everyday comfort.
  • 14000 BTU (ASHRAE-128 Standard) / 7500 BTU (DOE+ 2017 Standard)

Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

If you’re looking for a quiet portable air conditioner that cools large rooms, then Honeywell MM14CHCS would be an excellent choice. It’s similar to Honeywell MN10CESWW, only that it can cool spaces up to 550 square feet, making it ideal for rooms like living rooms, basements, or large bedrooms.

Unlike the Honeywell MM14CHCS, this model is also a portable air conditioner heat pump. You can set the heat mode between 60 and 78 degrees F, a great feature to take advantage of if the weather in your city changes frequently.

It has other operation modes, a dehumidifier, and a fan. The dehumidifier can remove up to 95 pints of moisture per day. This option come in handy if you want to control excess humidity in your room. The fan, on the other hand, can be used when you don’t need cool air from the AC, so to avoid room stuffiness, you use it to distributes the air.

The Honeywell MM14CHCS operates quietly. Its maximum noise level is 55 dB while the minimum noise level is 54 dB. For an air conditioner with such a powerful cooling capacity, this would be quiet for most homes.

Since air conditioner dehumidifies, it removes moisture from your space, so you need to drain the water that builds up inside the unit. The good thing is this unit offers a continuous draining option, which means you never have to worry about this buildup. If you attach a hose, it’ll do all the work for you.

Other features that make operating this unit easy are the programmable timer, adjustable airflow, digital display, easy-to-touch controls. Even more, it comes with an air filter and R-410A Refrigerant.

8. Friedrich P12B Dual Hose Portable Room Air Conditioner dB<54

Friedrich P12B Dual Hose Portable Room Air...
  • 3-IN-1 SYSTEM: Air conditioner, dehumidifier and fan;Remote control operation
  • Self-evaporation condensate system means no bucket to empty
  • Built-in drain pump to remove condensate in heat pump mode
  • Condensate overflow protection. Dual hoses for closed loop cooling and exhaust functions for up to 40 percentage faster, more efficient cooling
  • Auto restart after power outage

Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Friedrich P12B Portable Air Conditioner is one of the units that has not only received positive ratings from customers but also from a top consumer reporting agency as one of the quietest ACs. It’s ideal for cooling rooms up to 400 square feet, especially if they face the sun.

This dual hose portable air conditioner is more powerful than most units you’ll find on the market. The company claims it can cool large rooms up to 40 times faster than standard portable units. With all that cooling power, Friedrich P12B still manages to operate quietly at 51 dB. Therefore, it’s a good choice for people looking for a unit that has high cooling power and quiet at the same time.

The Friedrich P12B is a bucketless system with self-evaporating condensate feature. That means it will automatically remove the excess condensate through the exhaust hose – it doesn’t require you to empty and fill water containers. Also, it comes with an in-built reservoir that holds excess condensate in case the humidity exceeds the average room levels. You’ll know the reservoir is full when the water-full light illuminate on the control panel or the unit shuts off automatically.

Aside from cooling your room, the Friedrich P12B will dehumidify the space up to 6 pints of excess moisture per day. It also has a built-in heater so that it would be great for supplemental heating. It’s heating capability is 10,700 BTUs which is enough for most rooms.

Like many other contemporary portable ACs, this unit has a remote control, adjustable thermostat, 24-hour programmable timer, multiple fan speeds, and a fully washable filter for easy maintenance.

While this air conditioning unit is portable and comes with casters that make it easy to transport from one room to another, it is still heavy, and people that want to use it in multiple rooms will not like moving it very often.

9. Haier HPC12XCR Portable Electronic Air Conditioner dB<54

Haier HPC12XCR 12000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
  • Electronic controls with full function remote control
  • Digital time/temperature display and control with 24 hour on/off timer
  • 3 cooling and fan speeds
  • Dehumidify mode
  • Cools rooms 350-450 square feet

Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Haier HPC12XCR Portable Electronic Air Conditioner is one of the best portable air conditioners for small rooms. This single hose unit has a compact design and less loud than its counterparts.

This unit has a cooling capacity of 12,000 BTUs that is sufficient to cool rooms between 350-400 square feet.

Like most of the air conditioners we have reviewed on this list, the Haier HPC12XCR has various operating modes: dehumidifier mode, 3 cooling and fan speeds that you can adjust to your preference. Unlike most portable air conditioners with dehumidifiers, the Haier HPC12XCR can remove up to 4 pints of moisture in the air per hour, making it one of the best in our comparison.

For convenient operation, this unit comes with features that many people will like. First is the remote control that you can use to operate the room from across the room, a programmable timer for setting the AC to turn on or off up to 24 hours in advance, and a digital control board that allows you to see your set temperature.

This AC is easy to carry from one room to another. Also, it’s easy to install – it comes with all needed installation materials for quick installation through a window.

The only downside of the Haier HPC12XCR is the slightly below average airflow. Also, it lacks oscillating louvers that usually sweep cold air side to side within a room, cooling it more evenly.

10. Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC8RD1 Portable Air Conditioner dB<52

Emerson Quiet Kool 8000 BTU ASHRAE / 5000 BTU DOE...
  • 3-in-1 Standing Air Conditioner: This portable air conditioning unit features cooling at 8,000 BTU ASHRAE/5,000 BTU DOE, 3 fan speeds, and excess moisture removal up to 2.5 pints per hour
  • Quiet Portable Air Conditioner: This portable air conditioner efficiently cools family rooms, living rooms, and other medium-sized rooms up to 300 square feet at 52dB on low, among the quietest in the industry; Read and work without distraction plus get a good night's rest with this ac
  • Bucketless Design: The auto-evaporation system efficiently removes water created by the dehumidification process, allowing for a bucketless design that doesn’t routinely need draining
  • Sleep Mode Function: Intelligent sleep mode slowly adjusts the temperature and fan speed to keep you comfortable overnight while saving you energy and money
  • Exclusive 1-2-5 Warranty: Your Emerson Quiet Kool portable ac comes with an industry-exclusive 1-2-5 warranty that covers 1 year of labor, 2 years of parts, and 5 years on the compressor

Last update on 2024-06-14 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC8RD1 Portable Air Conditioner isn’t one of the powerful units, but its cooling capacity of 8,000 BTUs is enough to cool a room up to 150 square feet. It’s ideal for small rooms like small living rooms, home offices, and small bedrooms.

One of the great features of this unit despite its average cooling capacity is its noise level. Operating at 52dBA, this is one of the quietest 8000 BTU portable air conditioners. In addition to its quiet operation, this model has a fan only mode with three settings that blows cold air when you don’t want to turn on the air conditioner.

This AC is a single hose AC with auto-evaporation technology. With this technology, you don’t have to worry about draining your AC manually because you can set up a hose to continuously expel this extra moisture automatically.

Setting this unit to turn on or off up to 24 hours in advance is simple thanks to the programmable timer. Just set your ideal temperature, and this small portable AC works to maintain it. You can also operate the unit using a remote control from anywhere in the room.

Despite being a cheap portable air conditioner, Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC8RD1 cannot serve large rooms, and that is one of its downsides.

How Loud are Portable Air Conditioners?

Do you always consider how loud your home appliances are?

The World Health Organization reported that millions of people suffer from hearing problems due to noise pollution. Therefore, it is important to take every possible measure to reduce noise levels in your home.

Most people think that rush-hour traffic, construction sites, tools, live concerts are the primary sources of noise pollution, and tend to ignore home appliances.

We live in a loud world, and it’s not getting quiet anytime soon, which is why you need to consider the decibel level of all your household air appliances including portable air conditioners.

How loud is too loud? And what causes a portable AC to be too loud?

Measuring Sound Level of Portable Air Conditioner

The decibel rating determines a portable air conditioner’s noise level.

A decibel is a unit used to measure the intensity of sound that reaches your eardrum. The louder the sound, the shorter the amount of time it takes to damage hearing.

On the decibel scale, 0 dB is the smallest audible sound (near total silence). 10 dB means the sound is 10 times more powerful than 0 dB while 20 dB means that the sound is 100 times more powerful than near total silence.
The quietest AC’s fall into the 50–60 dB range. If you do not know what difference the numbers might make, I’ll break them down for you.

  • 50 decibels = the sound of rainfall
  • 60 decibels = the sound of a normal conversation
  • 50–60 decibels = the sound of an electric toothbrush

And what is the difference between a 55 dB and 65 dB air conditioner?

Purdue University’s Chemistry Department has provided us with examples of noise sources for each decibel level:

  • 50 dB (1/4th as loud as 70 dB) – Quiet conversation at home
  • 60 dB (1/2 as loud as 70 dB, reasonably quiet) – Conversation at a restaurant
  • 70 dB (the upper 70s are annoyingly loud) – Running a vacuum cleaner
  • 80 dB (twice as loud as 70 dB) – Running a garbage disposal

So, if you go shopping for a quiet AC, make sure it’s within 50 to 60 dB.

Factors Affecting the Normal Noise Levels of Portable Air Conditioners.

AC size – the bigger the size, the louder the unit.

Fan speed – if you set the fan speed to maximum, the louder the noise. If it runs at low speed, the quieter the unit.

Where the AC unit is located – if the AC is positioned closer to you, you’re more likely to hear it’s operating sound than when it’s far away or in another room.

If there are any portable air conditioning soundproofing and noise absorption in the area where the AC unit is

Common Questions about Portable air Conditioner Decibel Rating

  • Which ACs are the loudest and why?
  • What noise levels do they reach in terms of decibels?
  • How can you find out?

It is not always easy to tell which units are loudest or quietest by just looking at them. You have to do your research and find out from the manufacturers.

The first thing you want to look for is the decibel rating. However, not all manufacturer include the decibel rating on their product’s specifications. In that case, you need to ask the manufacturer which units are quietest and which are loudest.

Alternatively, you can read other customer reviews. If they provide positive reviews concerning the noise level of the AC, you’ll know that it’s quiet. If they provide negative reviews, you’ll know it’s not for you.

Other features you can consider are sleep mode, multiple fan speed, and programmable timer.

Keep in mind that the price of the unit or the number of BTUs does not dictate the maximum number of decibels it produces. A highly priced portable AC can be louder than a low priced unit, and vice-versa.

What about if your portable AC starts making noise all of a sudden?.

After some time of use, portable air conditioners may start making strange loud noises. If you hear an unusual sound coming from your portable AC during normal operation, don’t ignore them. This might mean that there is an underlying problem that needs to be fixed sooner rather than later.

So, if you hear a particular sound, it is important to understand what the problem is and how to fix it.

Here are some of the causes of portable AC noises and what you need to do to fix the problem

  • Compressor failure: compressor lockup is usually caused by the build-up of dust, grime and minerals scales on the condenser coil. As a result, the AC doesn’t expel enough heat from the system, so it’s forced to run continuously trying to cool your space producing a rattling noise.
  • Electric problem: if the electrical voltage flowing through your air conditioner is not at its correct amperage, you may hear a loud buzzing sound.
  • Motor issues: if the motor is not lubricated, the bearing can get worn out fast or malfunction altogether causing a loud buzzing sound as well.
  • Refrigerant leak: during the summer when the ACs are always on, refrigerants tend to leak, especially in older units. This causes the AC to freeze up, resulting in an abnormal hissing noise.
  • Malignant or loose screws/panels: if the AC is poorly installed or old, some of its parts like the screws or panels unfasten overtime which might cause a rattling sound.

The best way to deal with AC noise is to determine where it is coming from. Different noises from an AC indicate various problems. Get to know the different sounds AC produces and the cause of the problem.

If you’re not sure about a particular problem, call a licensed HVAC contractor. Most importantly, keep your AC clean and well maintained.

Portable Air Conditioner Soundproofing

While almost all portable air conditioner noises are caused by maintenance or stress on the unit, some noise may only require you soundproof the room where the AC is in.

Here are some options if you want to reduce the vibration of the noise

  • Place the AC on a large rug: if all you hear is your AC vibrating, you should know that it’s the motor working. You can reduce the level of vibration by placing a rug under the air conditioner. It will absorb any echoes or reverberating noises.
  • Partially wrap the AC with a blanket: if you don’t have a rug to place under the unit, wrap up the AC with a blanket to reduce the vibration from the motor. Ensure you don’t cover the blower vents or outlets where the air is being expelled.
  • Use drapes and wall hangings to prevent noise from coming through the walls.
  • Tighten all the screws, nuts and bolts to reduce the rattling sound.

How to Choose Portable Air Conditioners For Your Home

Now that you understand how loud portable ACs are and things you can do to minimize the excess noise in your AC, you need to learn how to choose the best portable air conditioner for your home.

Here are some of the factors you need to take into consideration when purchasing a portable air conditioner.

1. Cooling Capacity.

One of the first important things you need to consider when choosing a portable air conditioner is the cooling capacity. Your AC should have the right cooling capacity (BTU) for it to effectively and efficiently cool your space.

Many homeowners usually think choosing a bigger unit is better, but that is further from the truth. An oversized AC (by oversized, it means the AC has high BTU rating than the amount of heat required to be removed from the room) is so powerful that it cycles on and off too quickly without cooling the room properly. This can create a dent in your electricity bills.

On the other hand, an undersized unit means it’s less powerful, so it takes a little longer to cool the room, which also leads to a lot of energy use.

If you’re unsure what size your room is and how powerful your portable air conditioner should be, always check the manufacturer’s guidelines. Here is also a guide that you can refer to:

  • 5,000-7,000 BTUs: Rooms up to 150 square feet
  • 8,000-9,000 BTUs: Rooms 150-250 square feet
  • 10,000 BTUs: Rooms 250-350 square feet
  • 12,000 BTUs: Rooms 350-450 square feet
  • 14,000 BTUs: Rooms 450-550 square feet

Most homes are not perfect, and so to determine the most accurate cooling power needed for a specific room, you have to consider the following factors:

  • If you intend to use the AC in your kitchen or any room with heat-generating appliances or tools, increase the BTU rating by 2000 to 4000
  • If more than two people will occupy the room, add approximately 600 BTU for each person
  • If you live in a very hot climate or if the room you want to cool receives a lot of sunlight during the day or poorly insulated, increase your BTUs by 10 percent.
  • If you live in a relatively cold climate or the room is naturally cool or deeply shaded, decrease your BTU by 10 percent.

2. Portable AC Exhaust and Venting

For portable air conditioners to cool a room, they must be installed correctly and vent hot air out of the room. This is usually achieved by using an exhaust hose that can be vented through a window or to an attic or crawl space.

When shopping for a portable air conditioner, be sure to check if the window kit is included or sold separately. If the window kit isn’t included in the unit’s price, then that’s an additional cost you may incur to install the unit.

Since portable air conditioners work the same way as dehumidifiers, they need to expel the moisture from the air. Here are three options:

  • Self-evaporating: These portable ACs automatically evaporates moisture from the air and discharges it through the exhaust hose. They offer hassle-free operation and less maintenance since there is no bucket to empty.
  • Drainage hose: Some portable come with a drain hose that gets rid of the collected moisture out of the room. All you have to do is set up the hose properly, and it will do the job.
  • Drip bucket: This is the most common type of portable air conditioners. It has an internal pan or bucket where the excess moisture collects. The bucket gets full, so it needs to be drained from time to time.

3. Single or Double Hose Exhaust

Portable air conditioners come in two hose configurations: single hose and dual hose.

Single hose portable AC units: These types of ACs use one hose to draw in air from the room and send it through the cooling system. The heated air and moisture are expelled out of the room through the hose. Single hose ACS are less efficient because of the negative pressure that is created by air that needs to be continuously pushed out of the room.

Dual hose portable air conditioners: These have a two hose system, one that pulls in air from outside to cool down the unit and the other for expelling warm air to the outside. Dual hose units are more efficient than single hose ACs because they don’t create a negative pressure inside the room being cooled.

4. Energy Efficiency

Unless you plan to use your portable air conditioner to supplement your central unit, you should expect an increase in your monthly energy bills.

To save energy, you need to choose energy star rated units. Such units have specific features that make them more efficient than ACs of the past.

The first feature is the Energy Efficiency Rating (EER). The EER tells you how much electricity a model consumes to cool a specific room size. The higher the EER, the more efficient the unit.

It’s also important to choose an air conditioner with a programmable thermostat. This feature helps you save energy by automatically switching the unit off when your room reaches the set temperature.

Remember, all these features are all great, but they won’t be of any help if you don’t keep your unit clean and well maintained. A poorly maintained unit will end up using more energy whether it has all the energy-saving features or not.

What are some of the special features of portable air conditioners

  • Reverse cycles – the primary function of an air conditioner is to cool a room. However, some ACs provide the option of heating as well. These types of air conditioners are perfect for people living in regions that experience extreme temperatures.
  • Dehumidifier: during summer, heat brings humidity to many homes. While air conditioners can dehumidify a room, that is not its primary job. If your home always feels damp during summer, it’s a good idea to purchase a portable AC with a dehumidifier.
  • Programmable timer: This feature enables you to set your air conditioner to switch on at a particular time when you need a cool room. You can set the unit to cool the room when you’re away from work so that you come to an already cool comfortable home. Moreover, the timer also turns off the unit after specific time lapses. This is especially important at night, so you don’t have to wake up to turn it off.
  • Remote control: like any other remote, a portable air conditioner remote control allows you to operate the unit without using the controls on the AC or getting up to look at the display screen.
  • Louvers: most portable air conditioners have manually adjustable louvers. However, some have automatically oscillating louvers that will direct and distribute the cool air more widely and evenly throughout the room.
  • Window kit: make sure your air conditioner comes with a window kit that you can use to set up the unit. If it doesn’t, you’ll need to buy it separately.
  • Casters and handles: one of the benefits of portable air conditioners is how lightweight and easy they are to carry from one room to another. If you’ll be using your AC in different rooms, make sure it has casters and easy-grip handles.

Wrap Up

Reducing noise pollution in your home is something you shouldn’t ignore. Loud, unnecessary noises are not good for your health, which is why you need to consider the noise levels of your home appliances including portable air conditioners.

The models we reviewed on this list are some of the quietest you’ll find on the market. Remember, while it’s important to consider the decibel rating of portable, think about the cooling capacity, energy efficiency, and cost involved to maintain the unit.

We suggest you look at our best cheap portable air conditioners under $200 if you want a quiet yet affordable AC.


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Ronald Watford, the owner of Quality Home Air Care, is a qualified HVACR technician and manages the team of expert writers on this site. He believes that educating homeowners about HVAC systems is one of the most impactful aspects of his job.