One of the most important appliances in any house is the air conditioner. It is even tough to describe a place devoid of air conditioning. Americans love their AC so much that US household demand more energy for AC than the rest of the world combined (87% percent of US household have AC). This is specifically to do with the climate in the USA, but that is another topic for another day. But one of the most important questions for one of the most important appliances is split or window? Even though each has its own Pros and Cons but people generally prefer window AC because; 1. they cost less 2. easier to service and install 3. they do not need refilling of gas. But the biggest problem with window AC is the noise level associated with it. So what we are going to do today is review the quietest window AC over a range of prices. Read on to find more…
Things to Consider When Buying a Window Air Conditioner
When you look over the specs of a window AC unit, no other metric is nearly as important as cooling capacity. This will almost always be measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs) per hour. An AC unit that has too little BTU power might actually make more noise and use more energy over time because it will run continuously as it tries to cool a large space. On the other hand, if the cooling capacity is too high it won’t cool and dehumidify your room evenly.
In general, a 5,000 BTU AC unit is good for up to 150 square feet of floor space. You’ll want to add an extra 1,000 BTUs for each additional 100 square feet.
Energy Star Rating
You’ve probably seen Energy Star stickers on so many types of appliances that you barely notice them any longer. However, they’re actually still quite meaningful when buying a window air conditioner. Any recent model Energy Star-rated room AC unit is required to include the latest cooling technology, which can translate into energy savings of up to 10 percent. In many cases, this also means that they’re a much more quiet window air conditioner than the competition.
Multiple Cooling Speeds
Some higher-end models actually let you throttle back the compressor and motor. Running them on the lowest setting might make considerably less noise than running them closer to full. This kind of feature is also quite useful if you’re sensitive to having cold air blown directly on you.
Digital Thermostats & Timers
AC units don’t make any noise when they’re not running, so if you’re really concerned about the sound you’ll want to do whatever it takes to reduce the amount of time your unit runs in the first place. Digital thermostats are very easy to set and are quite accurate, so you’re less likely to set a target that’s too far off the mark. A timer can ensure that the system never stays on more than it has to. Reducing how long your new AC runs can also have a huge impact on energy usage.
Haier ESAQ406T-H Window AC Unit
• On average 11½ dB quieter than a regular window unit
• Makes only 43.4 dB of noise
• Effectively moves air with a horizontal fan
• Can be difficult to clean
• Side panels can be finicky
With an 11.2 EER rating and an automatic sleep timer, this Haier AC unit is designed primarily to save power. In the process, it also generates relatively little in the way of noise. It offers three different fan speeds and four modes, so you can strike a balance between silence and cool fairly easily.
When this model was revised last year, they installed a special muffler that helps to cut down on noise from vibrations. You’ll have to make sure to install the side panels properly to get it to work right. Once you do, however, the ESAQ406T-H should run relatively quietly. Unfortunately, the design has Hammacher Schlemmer’s name attached to it and the price has risen to reflect this.
Emerson EARC5RD1 Window Air Conditioner
• Airflow can go in any of 8 different ways
• Among the quietest currently on the market
• Fan speed can be controlled remotely
• Must be installed a certain way to drain properly
• Uses more power when starting up
Emerson’s EARC5RD1 is a traditional 5,000 window unit with a twist. It cools up to 150 square feet like any other small unit in its size. The unit can also fit in most regular-sized windows. What makes it different is the way the blower’s designed to produce very little noise.
Many air conditioners are quiet because of a couple of solid design choices. This unit is quiet because it’s designed from the ground up to be. While this did add a bit to the price tag, the EARC5RD1 is ideal for those who are particularly sensitive to noise or have pets. It features a full digital display with chiclet keys on the front that let you dial back the motor to make it even quieter. Unfortunately, its size prevents it from being used to cool more than one room. It also sometimes cycles on and off for just a few moments.
Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Air Conditioner
• Fits in a 12-inch window
• Removes 1.1 pints of humidity every hour
• Dual fan speeds
• Side panels are difficult to install
• Uses mechanical dials
If you’re shopping for a quiet air conditioner window unit on a budget, then Frigidaire’s FFRA0511R1 could do the trick. By throttling down the dual-speed fan, you’ll be able to cut the amount of noise it makes in about half. It’s quite light at only 41 pounds, so it won’t weigh down your window or cause any noticeable damage to the frame.
There are a few drawbacks to the design. You need to install the side panels properly or it’ll vibrate and make extra noise. The mechanical dials also seem a bit dated. Otherwise, though, this is a solid unit that works with any standard interior electrical outlet.
Koldfront WAC12002WCO Window AC Unit
• Features 4-way directional louvers
• Timer offers 24-hour scheduling
• Includes a remote control
• Very powerful, so it’s not ideal for small bedrooms
• Needs at least 15½” high window to sit-in
Koldfront’s newest window unit is one of a handful of air conditioners that meet newer more stringent EPA rules. It offers a number of automation features to keep you from leaving it on continuously. It even restricts the temperature range you can set it to. You’ll only be able to configure the thermostat between 62°-86°F.
Since this model is so energy efficient, it’s also a relatively quiet window air conditioner. Keep in mind that it’s quite large. It’s designed to cool around 500 square feet of floor space. This means it makes more noise than smaller ones. However, it won’t generate the pulsating sounds that most models in this size range do. It’s an ideal option for those who live in studio apartments. Owners of manufactured homes or those who dwell in a duplex should get plenty of use out of it too. It weighs less than 71 pounds, which is decent for how large it is. Budget-conscious consumers shouldn’t get too much sticker shock either.
Frigidaire FFRE0633U1 Compact AC Unit
• Quickly cools up to 250 square feet
• Offers 6,000 BTUs of cooling capacity
• Weighs around 51 pounds
The FFRE0633U1 is the newest digital compact window AC unit from Frigidaire in its size, and it’s a very different beast compared to any of their models that use mechanical dials. While it can still get power from a standard 115V electrical outlet, this unit is quite powerful. It can dehumidify up to 1.3 pints per hour. It even comes with a full-function remote control, so you can dial it back without even having to get up. This is perfect for reducing the noise level when you first walk into the room.
It’s a bit heavy for its size, so you’ll want to prop it up if you have it in a smaller window. While it does have a slightly higher upfront cost than some of Frigidaire’s other similar models, it features a 12.2 EER so you might end up making up for it fairly quickly.
Haier Serenity Series Window Air Conditioner
• 12.2 EER rating
• The dehumidifier can run independently from AC unit
• Can weigh up to 56 pounds depending on how it’s installed
Haier always seems to be revising their units with new add-ons. The so-called Ultra-Quiet sound package is a heavy housing that helps to slash how much noise the unit makes. It comes with a full-function remote control and a button lock, so you won’t end up running it more than necessary. It even features light.
Narrow windows won’t fit this AC unit. You’ll need something that’s over 26 inches at least. Something close to 30-35 inches will actually suit you better. Haier’s name has also helped to raise the price of the unit, though it still remains relatively affordable. That being said, it’s a great option if you have to cool a slightly bigger area and can’t afford to generate more than a minimum of sound while doing so. It should definitely outperform most units in the 5,500-6,000 BTU range. This makes it perfect for a master bedroom.
Frigidaire’s FFRE0633U1 is the most well-rounded unit on this list, and it works quite well in rooms up to 250 square feet. As long as you don’t mind propping it up, it should fit in most windows and not vibrate. This means you’re already starting off with less noise. Users have complete control over it with the remote, so you can always tweak a few settings if it’s too loud.
If you’re in a large studio apartment or single-room duplex, then you might want to look into the WAC12002WCO by Koldfront or another similar larger design so it doesn’t run incessantly. Owners of small homes might want to look into the Emerson Quiet Kool for the most silent operation. Either of Haier’s options might go well in these settings too. Otherwise, though, Frigidaire’s latest offering should prove to be a very quiet window AC unit under normal stress.