Quiet Window Air Conditioners
Recommended brands and models of quiet window air conditioners. Tips for selecting, purchasing, and installing a quiet home A/C.
In shopping for a window A/C unit, the first step is to determine how powerful a unit you will need, as expressed in British thermal units per hour, or "BTU."
This sizing worksheet
from the Association of Home Appliance Manufacturers can help you figure out the appropriate BTU size air conditioner for your room(s).
Quiet Window Air Conditioners: Recommended Brands and Models
Following are some suggested quiet window air conditioners that are highly rated for low noise, and that also rate well for quality and efficiency. These were selected based on published reports of independent product testing and on hundreds of consumer reviews posted to a variety of websites.
As a whole, the entire brand of Friedrich window air conditioners receives the best reviews for having the most quiet window air conditioners. Quality does have its price, and Friedrich air conditioners are more expensive than most other brands. But many reviewers comment that they appreciate the attractiveness of these units as well as their quality, efficiency, and quiet operation.
- 6,000 BTU (for cooling 150 to 250 square feet)
- $230 to $370 (US dollars)
- Very good energy efficiency rating (10.7 EER*)
- Rates highly for attractiveness
The main caution for this Friedrich window air conditioner is that installation is tricky. Since proper installation is essential for quiet operation, it may not function as quietly as it is designed to if the installation is not carried out correctly according to the instructions.
- 7,900 BTU (for cooling approximately 350 square feet)
- $770 to $900
- Outstanding energy efficiency rating (11.7 EER*)
- Includes many extra features such as a seven-day programmable timer, dimming controls, stylish design, and fashionable color choices.
The premium Friedrich Kühl series replaces the QuietMaster line of products. They come at a significantly higher price than other brands for the same cooling capacity. For some buyers, the higher price is worth it for the engineering and testing that result in quiet operation (confirmed in side-by-side comparison tests) and excellent efficiency, the added usability features, and the stylish appearance.
Reviewers note that installation of this Friedrich Kühl unit is time consuming. Since proper installation is key for quiet operation, be prepared to devote the time and attention necessary to follow the manufacturer's installation instructions.
- 12,000 BTU (for cooling approximately 550 square feet)
- $320 to $360
- Very good energy efficiency rating (10.8 EER*)
- Five-year parts and labor warranty
LG window air conditioners are well liked by customers for their cooling effectiveness, and the LW1212ER model is highly rated for quiet operation as well.
Reviewers comment, however, that it is difficult to install. For LG air conditioners, as with any brand, be sure to follow the installation instructions carefully, in order to achieve the quiet operation you are looking for.
What If It's Not Quiet Enough?
Because of the
different kinds of air conditioner noise, and the difficulty in evaluating how noisy a unit will be,
you probably won't be able to know for certain whether the air conditioner you select will meet your standards for quiet until after you have it installed and are able to try it out. So before purchasing a unit, be sure to find out the store's return policy. If quiet operation is important to you, and the unit turns out to be intolerably noisy, you will want to have the option of returning it without hassle.
A Quieter Alternative: A Ductless Mini-Split
For a truly whisper-quiet air conditioner, if you are not limited to a window style A/C, consider a ductless mini-split system.
With a mini-split system, the hot and noisy condenser component of the system is located outdoors, so nearly any mini-split system will be much quieter than any window unit you can buy. Other advantages are:
- Does not require a window
- Can be configured to provide heating as well as cooling
- Is less of a security risk than a window unit, which can be removed by an intruder to gain entry to your home
A mini-split system does require that a hole be constructed through an outer wall, for a pipe to connect the indoor and outdoor components. This is normally done by a professional. (For this reason, a split system is not usually a feasible option for renters.)
"EER" is the Energy Efficiency Ratio, which is calculated as the cooling capacity divided by the power used. The higher the EER, the more efficient the appliance. When comparing two models, a difference of 1 EER point represents about a 10% difference in energy costs to run them for a given period of time.
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