The quietest window air conditioners have decibel levels in the 40s when on their lowest setting. All of the most quiet window ACs have inverter compressors, explained below.
For those with standard compressors, the quietest window ACs have sound levels in the 50s to the low 60s in terms of decibel, or db.
That’s the short answer.
There is a lot more research information below.
Plus, we recommend specific models that run very quietly – the quietest window air conditioners available. They are perfect for bedrooms, the nursery, home offices and any space when you don’t want to have to shout to be heard or play media super loud to enjoy it.
Use the Navigation to find the content most useful to you today.
How Many Decibels is a Quiet Window Air Conditioner?
It ranges from 44 to about 65 decibels. Let us explain the wide gap.
There are two compressor types used in today’s window AC models.
Standard AC Compressors
For decades, and even continuing today – these have been the majority of compressors used in window units.
They have one setting – full blast, 100% capacity. They are either on or off. And they are loud. Most make a loud buzz when they kick on – and they run loud the entire time they are cooling.
Standard compressors put out decibel levels in the low-50s to mid-60s.
These compressors were developed in Asia 40+ years ago. Rather than having a single “On” setting that runs full speed, inverter compressors run at variable capacity from as low as 25% to 100%.
And they run at the lowest speed or capacity possible to keep up with the need for cooling in the room. Low speed = low noise output. It’s quite simple.
Inverter AC compressors run at decibel levels as low as the mid-40s.
What Are The Main Sources Of Noise For A New Window Air Conditioner?
Here are the main reasons and what you can do, if anything, to quiet the AC.
1). It is normal to be loud when the compressor starts and stops.
Sad but true – and there’s little to be done about it.
When you turn on your AC, the temperature in the room is likely lower than you want it to be. So, the AC compressor starts. Its job is to pump refrigerant to the front, where it grabs heat, and cycle it to the back, where it gets rid of the heat through the radiator-like fins on the back.
- Start: The compressor needs extra power at the start, and that buzz you hear is the surge given to it for this purpose. Then it runs until the air in the room is cooler.
- Stop: When the right temperature is reached, the compressor shuts off with a “thud” in many cases. Just the fan runs until the air needs to be cooled again.
Then, it will repeat the cycle – buzz/run/thud, buzz/run/thud.
What can you do? Sell your old window AC, and buy a new unit with an inverter compressor. We have recommendations below in various sizes. The reasons are:
- Inverter compressors are designed differently, and they run more quietly, especially on their lowest setting.
- These compressors turn on/off less frequently, and even when they do, the noise level is lower than with standard window ACs.
Or see the answer to 3). below for another kind of quiet window air conditioner.
2). The compressor keeps humming and buzzing while it is pumping.
Similar problem to the one above. Some window ACs are noisy the whole time the compressor is cycling refrigerant around.
What can you do? Same solution as above. Get a new AC – or turn up the music really loud.
3). The AC is halfway inside the house!
Of course it is going to be loud – and the flimsy plastic fan-out wings don’t stop a lot of noise.
What can you do? We have two solutions to suggest, other than buying an inverter window air conditioner, which we’ve mentioned.
- Keep your window AC – but add quieting insulation to the sides, in front or behind the panels. If you have a spare piece of rigid foam insulation, that’s a great material to use. Batt insulation is OK too. Cut the insulation to fit, and use non-permanent adhesive like duct tape to hold it in place.
- Don’t keep your window AC – Replace it with a U-shaped window air conditioner. And there are only a few on the market. The quietest is the Energy Star certified Midea U-Shaped smart window air conditioner.
The Midea U window AC is one of the quietest window air conditioners available for two reasons.
- It has an inverter compressor, so the compressor runs more quietly and turns on/off less often.
- The U shape means that the loudest part of the unit sits outside, and the window sash is pulled down into the U shape. The window sash is better at keeping out noise than plastic wing panels.
The Midea U Shaped Window AC comes in three sizes – 8,000 BTU, 10,000 BTU and 12,000 BTU models. Check them out here, and choose the sizes you want for the various spots in your home where they are needed.
4). The AC is old and has issues.
Things that cause the window air conditioner to be noisy include loose internal parts, bent fan blades or the lubricant has leaked out and moving parts are squeaking.
What can you do? We don’t recommend taking the AC in for service. Why? Because it will likely cost you more than half the price of a new window AC. Put your money into a new one.
You can find tutorials online about making most minor window AC repairs including where to lubricate it. If you are willing to DIY, that’s a good place to begin.
5). Installation problems.
If the AC isn’t tightly installed in the window, it will vibrate and make noise. Make sure the window sash is tightly closed and that the side panels are fully extended.
We recommend using weatherstrip foam wherever the AC makes contact with the window or sill. Fill panel gaps with it too. The foam will dampen vibration noise.
Airflow Is Not A Main Source For Noise
BTU/size isn’t much of a factor either.
That might surprise you.
How do we know that? Research! Our researchers look at hundreds of window air conditioner models. What we found is that there is just a noise difference of 1-2 decibels when comparing 6,000 and 10,000 BTU inverter ACs. For non-inverter models, the difference is just 3-6 decibels between sizes.
3 Key Tips for Choosing a Quiet Window Air Conditioner
We’ve discussed these, so here is a brief summary.
1). Choose a window AC with an inverter compressor
2). Choose a U-shaped Midea window AC – it also has an inverter compressor
3). If your outdoor temperatures are 95F or higher and/or you like it really cool in your room, consider this: Buy a larger(oversized) inverter AC than you need, and run it on its lowest setting.
This is because inverter ACs run much quieter on their lowest setting. But on mid-level and high, there isn’t as much difference between noise levels of ACs with standard compressors and inverter compressors.
Is a High BTU Window AC Noisy?
Noise level generally rises as the AC size increases. But not always.
However, as mentioned above, BTU capacity is not the major factor in how loud a window air conditioner runs.
Top Quiet Window Air Conditioners
Here are the quietest window air conditioners.
A range of sizes, styles and brands are chosen, so you’ll have good options for your home or commercial setting.
GE Profile Ultra Quiet 6150 WiFi Window AC
Quietest Window Air Conditioner of All
40 decibels! It’s the quietest window air conditioner available when running on low. It is very quiet on higher settings too.
Just right for small rooms or any space that needs extra AC, this quiet energy efficient window air conditioner gives you voice control along with Energy Star certified efficiency.
Noise Range: 40 decibels on low; 45-56 decibels on higher settings.
Size & coverage: 6150 BTUs for an area up to about 250 square feet.
Features: Works with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, Google Assistant/Hey Google. 24-hour timer, remote, 3 cooling levels and fan speeds. When the app is installed on your smartphone, you can set up geofencing – so the AC kicks on when you pass a point on your way home that you choose.
Window requirements: The window must be at least 22” wide and 13” high.
Weight: 56 pounds
Best Use: Small bedrooms and offices – And good supplemental cooling in any room. For example, if your central AC doesn’t quite get an upper floor bedroom cool on hot days, add this unit for an extra blast of chilled air. And it is a quiet energy efficient window air conditioner for any space.
LG Energy Star Rated 6,000 Window AC
Best Small Quiet Window Air Conditioner
You can run this AC on high, and the noise level will be just 52 dB! That’s very impressive. The unit is highly rated, and LG has an outstanding reputation for quality and performance. The CEER rating is an Energy Star qualified 12.4.
Also called the LG LW6019ER window AC, it is one of the quietest window air conditioners in its size.
Noise Range: 48/50/52 decibels
Size & coverage: 6000 BTU, up to 260 square feet.
Features: Remote, 24-hour timer, 3 AC settings and fan speeds, Energy Star certified, digital controls and LED display. This AC does not work with smart home equipment.
Window requirements: Window opening should be at least 23” wide and 13” high.
Weight: 56 pounds
Best Use: Home offices, tiny house, converted attic space. This is also a quiet window air conditioner for bedroom use.
Midea U-Shaped Inverter Window AC 8,000 BTU
Best Quiet Window Air Conditioner for Bedroom
This is a ultra quiet 8000 BTU window air conditioner with an inverter compressor. It runs really quietly on low or high.
The Midea U-Shaped window air conditioners are all very quiet, Energy Star efficient, highly rated and fit more securely into the window than most others.
Window air conditioners are produced in sizes up to 25,000 BTU, so 8,000 is on the small size.
Noise Range: 42 & 47 decibels
Size & coverage: 8,000 BTU/350 square feet
Features: Voice control with Alexa and Google Assistant, iOS and Android smart app, certified as one of the 2022 Energy Star Most Efficient for lower electric bills, remote with all the controls in your hand, digital display and thermostat, timer, dehumidifier mode – dries the air without cooling it.
Window requirements: Width minimum of 22”. Height, minimum 13 ¾”.
Weight: 68 pounds
Best Use: Ideal for bedrooms because of its size and because it offers better window security than standard window ACs.
But this unit is great for anywhere you want to see more out the window, since there are no side flaps and it is pretty low-profile. It also is a good fit for a home office and baby nursery.
Haier Serenity Series 6, 000 BTU Window Air Conditioner with Ultra Quiet Sound Package
Quietest 6000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
Haier makes quality window air conditioners, and this one won’t disturb your sleep – or the baby sleeping – or an important phone call in your office.
This unit is also called the Haier ESAQ406T window AC.
Noise Range: As low as 44 decibels.
Size & coverage: 6000 BTU, up to 250 square feet.
Features: Full-function remote gives you control from anywhere in the room. Modes are AC, Fan-only, Dry-only and Energy Saver. 24-hour timer.
Window requirements: Minimum window opening of 27” with the side panels, and minimum height opening of 13 3/4”. It is Energy Star certified with a 12.2 CEER rating. Removes 1.5 points of moisture from the air per hour.
Weight: 56 pounds
Best Use: Upstairs. We recommend this one for any small room, but especially for those on upper floors. Why? It is lightweight and easy to carry. Installation goes quickly too with very little hassle. The remote makes using this Haier 6000 BTU window air conditioner very easy for those who have difficulty getting around.
Midea U-Shaped Inverter Window AC 10,000 BTU
Quietest 10000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
As stated earlier, this leading edge, efficient window AC is available in three sizes, and they are all very quiet.
Noise Range: 42 & 47 decibels
Size & coverage: 10,000 BTU/Up to 450 square feet
Features: This is a smart window air conditioner that can be controlled with voice through Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Monitor and adjust settings from anywhere with the iOS or Android smart app. This quiet window AC is certified as one of the 2022 Energy Star Most Efficient for lower electric bills. A full-function remote with all the controls is included. Modes are AC, Fan-only and Dehumidifier that dries the air without cooling it.
Window requirements: Width window opening – minimum of 22”. Height of opening, minimum 13 ¾”.
Weight: 64 pounds
Best Use: Living room, bedrooms, offices. And if your kitchen faces south or west, it probably gets really hot if you’re cooking in the afternoon or evening. If your central AC can’t cool the space, give it a boost with this Energy Star certified model, one of the quietest 10000 BTU window air conditioner choices.
Soleus Air 6000 BTU Saddle AC & 8000 BTU Saddle AC
Best Quiet Low-profile Window Air Conditioner
This is an easy one. This unit fits over the windowsill, so most of it is outside and out of sight. This gives you the lowest profile of any window air conditioner, so you can enjoy your view of the great outdoors. And you can easily open the window too, without risk of the AC falling out.
The 6K BTU unit is the quietest 6000 BTU window air conditioner made today. And yes, the 8K BTU unit is a super quiet 8000 BTU window air conditioner
Noise Range: 38 decibels on low; 49 on high.
Size & coverage: Up to 275 square feet.
Features: WiFi, Alexa and Google voice control. 3 modes – AC, Dry and Fan-only. Energy Star efficiency. Full-feature LCD remote with a temperature sensor in it, so the air stays cool where the remote is, not just near the AC. This is available in 6000 and 8000 BTU models with and without WiFi. Select the Price button, and choose your options.
Window requirements: Minimum window opening of 24” wide (maximum 48”); minimum window height opening, 16”.
Weight: Not available.
Best Use: Living areas of your home or the kitchen where you really enjoy looking out the window at a pretty landscape. It also makes sense in windows overlooking busy roads, because it allows the window to close most of the way, shutting out unwelcome noise. If you want a quiet low-profile window air conditioner, this is your best choice.
How To Make Your Noisy Window Air Conditioner Quiet?
These should work to quiet various aspects of a noisy AC:
- Put weatherstripping foam between the AC and the window frame and sash to dampen sound and quiet any vibrations
- Make sure the window sash is closed tight against the unit
- Replace the plastic side panels with rigid foam insulation
- Use household oil to lube moving parts (you’ll need to take off the outer cover to do it)
- Tighten any bolts or other loose parts that could be rattling or vibrating
We’ve also heard of using a long tie-down strap or leash around the entire unit to hold it together really tight to prevent some rattling – but we can’t say we’ve checked out that method
***If those options fail, a noisy window AC will become very quiet if you turn it off, unplug it and sell it or take it to recycling : ) You’ll never hear it again!
Then you will have window space for a brand-new quiet window AC from the list and reviews above of the quietest window air conditioners made today from LG, GE, Soleus Air, Midea and others.