The best quiet window air conditioners deliver high cooling capacity, performance, and energy efficiency at noise levels that won’t disturb work, sleep, and any other activity that requires a certain amount of quiet. The best air conditioners may be powerful, feature-rich, and efficient, but they aren’t necessarily the quietest.
Window air conditioners designed for low-noise operation are a superb choice for a small home office where you need as few distractions and extraneous noise as possible. Like quiet portable air conditioners and fine portable A/Cs for camping, they’re also a great option for recording studios, baby rooms, and entertaining rooms where a noisy air conditioning unit will affect the basic function the space is designed for.
While the quietness of a window air conditioner unit is measured in terms of decibels, there are other factors to consider when choosing a model, including efficiency (based on EER rating and Energy Star certification), cooling power in BTUs, extra features like a 24-hour timer, remote control, and WiFi connectivity, as well as design aspects that could affect noise levels regardless of decibel ratings.
Keep reading our buying guide to learn more about the best quiet window air conditioners and what they offer.
Top Quiet Window Air Conditioners
#1 Midea U Inverter Window Air Conditioner
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is ideal for users that value convenience of use. It is hushed and has WiFi connectivity for both voice and app control.
- Very quiet operation
- Allows for both App and Voice control
- Has a 24-hour timer
- Not easy to install
The Midea U inverter is a popular 8000 BTU window air conditioner that comes with some pretty exciting smart features and a design that allows for full window closure. Since the AC unit is Wifi enabled, those that wish to control it by voice will be able to hook it up to either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and those that would rather not also have the option of using the included remote or just controlling it through the Alexa or Google Assistant app. With a relatively low quiet noise output of only 42 decibels, most should be able to enjoy their sleep, however, some previous users have complained that the unit was pretty challenging to install.
With a capacity to cool up to 550 square feet, the Midea U inverter is a reliable unit for medium to large spaces, and its U shape design is also very efficient at blocking noise from outside. It also has a 24-hour timer that owners can use to program its functioning. The AC unit can be set to four different working modes, which include auto, cool, dry, and fan. Users will also be able to switch it to eco mode to keep energy costs from inflating.
#2 GE 6,200 BTU Ultra Quiet Window Air Conditioner
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is ideal for small spaces and has a very low noise operation. It has an easily removable filter and is also easy to install.
- Very energy efficient
- Can be set to a quiet mode
- Comes with an easy installation kit
- No smart features
This GE Electronic window air conditioner has a 6200 BTU rating, making it ideal for cooling spaces of up to 250 square feet. It has a compact design, and since it produces up to 42 decibels, it is quiet enough to ensure a peaceful night’s rest. The AC unit can be set to cool, fan, or dehumidify, and it also has an energy saver mode where it can be set to operate in a way that conserves electricity. It has a pretty sleek control panel that includes an LCD display and offers three different fan and cooling settings. Unfortunately, it does not have any smart features and is not WiFi enabled.
Installing this window conditioner is very easy to do since it comes with a fixed chassis and an EZ mount installation kit. It also comes with a remote for convenient use and can be set to sleep mode, where it gradually increases temperature during sleep for a more restful night. The AC unit also comes with a removable filter and a check filter indicator to notify users whenever its filters need to be changed. If you need a unit for a small space, there’s also the top portable air conditioner.
#3 Tosot Tranquility 8000 BTU Window Air Conditioner
Award: BEST FOR LOW NOISE
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is ideal for small spaces and produces very low noise. It is energy efficient, well designed, and has a filter cleaning indicator.
- Very low noise
- Energy efficient
- Remote has a sensor that picks up on temperature
- No smart features
The Tosot Tranquility 8000 BTU window air conditioner is a modern-looking, quiet and efficient air conditioner that guarantees silent operation and has an energy star rating for its energy efficiency. This makes it a top energy-efficient window air conditioner. The AC unit comes with slanted louvers that can direct airflow up to 20 feet away and also comes with a remote control for convenient operation. Its remote features a sensor that allows it to pick up on the exact temperature where the owner is seated and send a reading to the AC unit for it to adjust its functioning. Unfortunately, the AC unit does not have any smart features.
With a noise output of between 42 to 49 decibels, this AC unit is perfect for users who prioritize silence and comfort during their sleep. It is ideal for cooling areas up to 350 Sq ft in size and has a 6 ft long power cord that allows for some flexibility during placement. Besides cooling, the AC unit can also be used to fan or dehumidify, and since it also comes with a change filter indicator, users will always be notified whenever it needs to be changed.
#4 Emerson Quiet Kool EARC10RSE1H Window Air Conditioner
Award: BEST FOR ENERGY EFFICIENCY
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is ideal for its energy efficiency and features a remote for convenient operation. It comes with a 24-hour timer and 8-way louvers for good air circulation.
- Very energy efficient
- 8-way airflow louvers for efficient air circulation
- Three different fan speeds to choose from
- Touch controls can be finnicky
Much like its cousin, the Emerson air conditioner, the Emerson Quiet Kool window air conditioner offers great cooling with this model having a 10,000 BTU rating and is ideal for users that would want to place it in a room up to 450 Sq ft in size. Although there are several models ranging from 5,000 BTU to 15,000 BTU. It was awarded an Energy Star rating in 2020 for its energy efficiency and has 8-way airflow louvers that are ideal for efficient air circulation. It comes with a 24-hour timer for scheduled functioning and can be switched between cool, dry, fan, and auto mode. It has up to three different fan speed settings to choose from, but some users might not like its outdated design.
To save on electricity, users will have the option to switch to an energy saver mode. It also comes with a large digital display for easy readability. Users will be able to use its remote to avoid walking up to it when changing its settings. The air conditioner is also easy to operate as it is to install and has an auto-restart feature that allows it to restart with its previous settings in the event of a power outage.
#5 Homelabs HME020003N Window Mounted Air Conditioner
Award: BEST FOR EASE OF USE
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is very easy to use and install. It has two adjustable knobs that control temperature and fan speed and a long power cord for more convenient placement.
- Very easy to use and install
- Two easy to adjust knobs
- Long 6-foot power cord for easy placement
- No dehumidifying function
This HomeLabs 5000 BTU window-mounted air conditioner is excellent for anyone who might need to cool down their 150 Sq ft space. It has two easily-adjustable knobs used to separately regulate temperature and fan speed. It also has an extended 6 ft power cord that allows for more convenient placing and up to 7 different temperature settings for users to choose from. The unit also comes with a washable filter that can be reused, but unfortunately, it does not have a dehumidifying function.
This AC unit is 16 inches long, 12 inches wide, and 15.4 inches high. It is also pretty easy to install and has full-width two-way airflow louvers for good air circulation. Users will also appreciate its low noise level, as it will probably not create any disruptions at night and allow for a peaceful sleep.
#6 Soleus Air Exclusive 6000 BTU Over The Sill Air Conditioner
Award: BEST FOR INNOVATIVE DESIGN
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is ideal for not obstructing the field of vision, and its sensor comes with a remote for more accurate temperature adjustment. It is easy to install and operate.
- Has a modern and innovative design
- Remote has a sensor that picks up temperature
- Easy to install
- 80 pound weight might be difficult to move around
The Soleus 6000 BTU Saddle AC unit is designed as a mini-split hybrid that is very easy to install on a window. It does not require any window brackets, and it also has a super low noise output of only 38 decibels. The AC unit is perfect for a 275 Sq ft space and features an easy-to-use remote with a sensor that picks up on the temperature in any part of the room. The unit is perfect for anyone who would want to maintain a good outside view, however, some have complained that its 80-pound weight may make it challenging to move around.
The AC unit has a very sleek control panel, where users can have it cool, fan, or dehumidify a space. The unit offers three fan speeds to choose from and comes with an energy saver mode to keep costs manageable. It’ll work well for a window that has up to 11’’ of clearance and has a washable filter that is very easy to remove.
#7 Frigidaire FHWW083WBE Air Conditioner
Award: BEST FOR VOICE CONTROL
WHY WE LIKE IT: It is ideal for those that like to control their appliances with their voice. This model works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. It is easy to install and operate.
- Works with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant
- Easy to install
- The remote is small and flimsy
The Frigidaire FHWW083WBE AC unit is your standard window AC that is very easy to install. It does not require any window brackets. It is not the lowest noise level on our list at about 55 dBA, but the noise should not be bothersome. The AC unit is best for rooms up to 350 Sq ft and comes with a remote. However, it should be noted that the remote is flat and flimsy, and many users don’t like the design.
The AC unit is a reliable option with a standard design. You get the usual three fan speeds to choose from, as well as an energy-saver mode to help with running costs. It is also Energy Star Certified. The washable filter is easy to remove and clean, and the unit features a filter light, so you won’t have to worry about keeping track of the last time it was cleaned.
Beginner’s Guide to Quiet Window Air Conditioners
What Is a Quiet Window Air Conditioner?
A quiet window air conditioner is a window-installed air conditioner designed to operate at the lowest noise levels possible while still delivering maximum cooling power (rated by British Thermal Units or BTUs) and optimal efficiency (measured by Energy Efficiency Ratio and Energy Star status.)
Most window AC units that run at noise levels below 60 decibels are considered “quiet” models. While not every AC unit’s noise rating is listed in its product description, the most-quiet window ACs usually have the ranking visible since it’s a key feature for these types of models.
Decibel levels aren’t the only measure of how much noise an AC unit will make. The quality and construct of a unit’s chassis, its components (with the compressor being the noisiest component), and the BTU rating will all factor together to some degree. But these are harder to quantify from model to model, especially since conditions of use will vary from user to user. For this reason, a unit’s listed noise level in decibels is going to be the most reliable indicator.
Similarly, the quietest wall air conditioners and quiet portable AC units need to run below 60 decibels to be considered low-noise units.
Quiet Window Air Conditioners vs Other Models
While quiet window air conditioner units are fairly similar to comparable models, they’re not designed for ultra-quiet operation. Similarly, you’ll find this is true of units with high BTUs, including the best 12000 BTU AC. There are a couple of differences between quiet air conditioner window models built with this feature in mind.
A quieter unit usually has a higher price tag, but it also offers better sound insulation and improved motor design for even quieter operation than the average quiet window AC unit. The quietest window AC units are generally even more expensive due to their additional features, such as special noise-reducing components that ensure whisper-quiet operation.
First, it may seem counterintuitive, but lower BTU ratings mean a noisier unit for almost all air conditioners. There are several reasons this can be true, but a major reason is that the smaller, more compact chassis or casing of less powerful models means that its components are more likely to create noise by rattling or resonating against each other and the chassis. Lower BTU models are often (but not always) less expensive relative to cooling power, meaning the quality of construction is often lower. But, you’ll find great quality in this unit after reading our Anbber portable air conditioner.
The second major difference between quiet AC models and standard ones is in price. Low-noise operation is considered a major feature in an AC unit, and requires specific design choices and often higher quality components than in comparable, meaning such units have a slightly higher price point. A quiet 15000 BTU window unit will therefore be more expensive than a 15000 BTU window unit with otherwise similar features.
The efficiency of quiet models compared to standard ones isn’t necessarily better or worse. Here you can rely on EER ratings and Energy Star status to determine if a unit is efficient enough for you.
Aside from that, you should also consider the noise range and sound level ratings of an air conditioner before purchasing it. Noise ratings are measured in decibels (dB) and help to establish what sound level one can expect. Comparing different models’ sound ratings will give you a good indication of which unit will generate the least amount of noise.
How Quiet Window Air Conditioners Work
Quiet window air conditioners work the same way that all vented AC systems work- they remove heat and moisture from a room and replace it with cooled, dehumidified air. Although, there are great window air conditioners with heat that can be perfect for colder seasons.
The primary components — a compressor, a condenser, and an evaporator coil — convert a refrigerant gas to a liquid and back to a gas. First, the compressor pressurizes and heats the refrigerant and sends it to the condenser. There, the gas is converted into a liquid and sent to the evaporator coil, where it’s then changed again to gas, cooling the coil. Indoor air is blown across the cooled evaporator by the fan and is then sent back into the room.
Finally, the heated evaporated refrigerant returns to the compressor and is changed again into a gas state, and the entire cycle is repeated until the desired ambient air temperature is reached. In order for this process to work, the air conditioner should be properly insulated, if you already know how to insulate a window AC unit.
Why Should You Buy A Quiet Window Air Conditioner?
The quietest window air conditioner will be a good choice for you if you’ve got a home office where distractions like excessive appliance noise need to be eliminated. These units are also a splendid choice for a recording studio, podcast studio, or radio station where ambient noise can ruin work. Lastly, a quiet running unit is a good choice for a baby room or if you have sleep issues such as insomnia.
Is a Quiet Air Conditioner Worth Buying?
- You have a workspace that needs to be quiet: If you have a workspace or home office where noise would disrupt your work, a quiet running AC window unit is a good fit for your needs, like the LG model in our LG LP1217GSR review.
- You have a nursery to cool: If you’ve got a baby room that needs cooling without excessive noise that would wake an infant, you’ll want to look at quiet running units.
- You have sleep issues like insomnia and need to cool your bedroom: If you have sleep issues such as insomnia, a noisy, rattling AC unit is going to make it that much more difficult to sleep, meaning a quiet running unit is the best fit for you. There are definitely some quiet units suitable for small spaces like the 52dB AC unit in this LG LW1017ERSM review.
- You need to cool a recording studio or other audio workspace: Audio recording workspaces like recording studios, podcast studios, and radio stations need the least ambient noise possible and often need air conditioning due to the heat caused by audio gear, so a quiet running AC unit solves this problem.
Why a Quiet Air Conditioner May Not Be For You:
- You’re on a very tight budget: If you’d prefer a quiet running model but you’re on a tight budget and such a feature isn’t essential, keep in mind that quiet running units are often more expensive than comparable models in their BTU and feature classes. A basic air conditioner might be the smarter option for your wallet versus the quietest AC unit. Fans can also get the job done for a cheaper price, and some can both heat and cool like the unit in the Lasko FH500 review.
- You’re concerned about efficiency and carbon footprint: Though the difference in efficiency between quiet-running models and comparable standard models often isn’t huge, overall, quiet models have lower EER ratings than standard models. If you’re concerned about even minor differences in efficiency and their impact on your power bill and carbon footprint, it’s worth considering whether noise levels are a crucial factor for you. You can cool or heat your room faster and more efficiently with other types of air conditioners like the best mini split units. Additionally, you can check out our page comparing a ceiling fan vs ac to see if that may be a better option for you.
How Long will a Quiet Window Air Conditioner Last?
Most window air conditioner units, regardless of BTU class, have a lifespan of around 10 years, with most manufacturers offering warranties for up to five years covering repairs and replacements during that time with normal use.
That said, this lifespan can be shortened or lengthened depending on a few key factors:
Amount of Use
Air conditioners used every day or throughout the year will have a shorter lifespan than one used only seasonally or occasionally. Moreover, if you’re not insulating a window AC correctly, that’ll force it to work harder. Quiet running units follow this rule as well. A unit used constantly in a warm climate will have a shorter life than one used only during the summer in a temperate one. For further ease of use and optimal home comfort when using a silent window air conditioner, see if the unit features a nice LED display and responds to voice commands.
Cleaning and Maintenance
A regularly maintained and cleaned air conditioner will last longer than one that’s neglected. Clogged filters make an AC unit work harder to cool the evaporator coil and cycle air, increasing wear and tear on all components. Sometimes because of dirty air filters, some people notice their window AC is freezing up all of a sudden. Upkeep and maintenance when needed is key to keeping your AC unit running for a long time.
Regular exposure to direct sunlight for hours at a time can overheat an AC’s chassis and make the components work harder to cool a room, increasing wear and tear and decreasing a unit’s lifespan.
If at all possible, try to install your AC unit in a north-facing window that gets as much shade as possible.
How to Choose a Quiet Window Air Conditioner
Now that you’ve decided to purchase a quiet window air conditioner, consider a few additional factors and features that will help you choose the right model for you.
Best Quiet Window Air Conditioner Key Factors
1. What is your room used for?
Quiet window air conditioners are at least somewhat more expensive than comparable models and can be less energy efficient, especially if you’re not draining a window AC regularly. Therefore, it’s worth thinking about how much air conditioner noise levels matter to you if you’ve got a strict budget and if you’re willing to consider noisy window air conditioners. If you’re willing to spend the money, you can get a better night’s sleep with something quiet like the best 8000 BTU air conditioner. While a baby’s room or bedroom is somewhere you might need an ultra-quiet air conditioner for maximum comfort, other spaces, especially larger ones, don’t necessarily need one, especially if they face noisy areas, like streets or schools.
2. What’s the size of the room you’re cooling?
The price of a quiet-running air conditioner tends to increase exponentially with its BTU output. Check out this guide, if you want our take on the ideal BTU for an AC. This means that the difference in price between a quiet-running 5000 BTU model- which is good for a room of up to 150 square feet- isn’t going to be significantly more than the price of a standard 5000 BTU model (though it will be at least slightly more expensive. Refer to the type of window you have as well so you get the proper unit for it, like how the best sliding window air conditioner suits windows that slide sideways.
If you have a room larger than 600 square feet or so, you’re going to be looking at 15000 BTU models, and the difference in price between a quiet-running 15000 BTU and a standard one in that BTU class can be significant. In that case, if you’ve got a very large space to cool on a limited budget, you may want to consider how important low-noise operation is to you. Now if you want something in the middle, a unit like the best 10,000 BTU air conditioner could be your solution. Also keep in mind if your space can fit the size of the unit and support its weight too, in case you’re wondering about how heavy a window air conditioner is.
3. Is energy efficiency a priority?
While the differences aren’t always that significant, window air conditioners designed for low noise (under 60 decibels) operation tend to be less energy efficient than comparable standard units in their BTU class. Some of the quietest models like the one in this Honeywell MO10CESWK review feature a 24-hour timer to help you have more automated control over the quietest air conditioner and turn it off when you’re not using it, saving on energy and power consumption. However, if you’re on a very tight budget and/or you’re trying to minimize your carbon footprint wherever possible, you may want to decide if quiet operation is enough of a priority to take an extra hit to your power bill on a slightly less eco-friendly appliance. Ideally you’d want something that hits the sweet spot, like the quiet yet efficient best 6000 BTU air conditioner.
Nearly all home air conditioning units — including quiet window air conditioner units — measure energy efficiency with ratings created and enforced by the EPA and the U.S. Department of Energy. The following will tell you how models within the same BTU class differ in terms of energy usage efficiency:
- Energy Efficiency Ratio: A unit’s EER rating indicates BTUs per watt of power used per hour. A higher EER rating means a more efficient model. For all window units, the U.S. Department of Energy recommends an EER rating of 10.0 or higher.
- Energy Star status: An Energy Star sticker on an appliance means it’s guaranteed to use a minimum of 10% less energy than comparable models. The majority of U.S. states also offer rebates on Energy Star products. For tips on sealing a window AC to ensure maximum energy efficiency, check out our helpful guides.