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Your window air conditioner can make or break your summer.
It can be the difference between stuffy temperatures and a constant WHIRRRR, or kicking back in cool, quiet comfort. After suffering through a horrible old air conditioner, I promised myself I’d never go through that again. And you shouldn’t either.
In my research I put together this list of the quietest window air conditioners. Power. Decibel ratings. Build quality. Warranty lengths. Customer satisfaction. Prices. I’ve accounted for everything.
In 10 minutes I’ll help you find the air conditioner to keep you happy for 10 years.
Ready? Then let’s dive in!
Shortlist: Quietest Window Air Conditioners
In A Rush? Here's The Best One
I’m super excited to share my absolute favorite window air conditioner with you. It’s the 2019 Window Air Conditioner by TOSOT.
Why is it the best?
First off is the looks. No window air conditioner should look this good. Most other models are boring boxes that look like they’re from the 60’s.
With this model it’s all sleek. Between the glossy white finish, the subtle temperature display, touch controls, and modern grill design, this is probably the only ac in the world that will make your room look better, not worse.
Anyway. I’m not all about looks, and neither should you be. This model really performs.
As a 2019 release, it’s incredibly quiet and energy efficient – using the latest in air conditioner parts. For real silence it even has a sleep mode. This gives you minimal noise by maintaining on low and allowing a gradual temperature increase while you sleep.
A subtle white display lets you know the temperature without being overbearing or hard to see from a distance. And the grill at the top? It closes when not in use. Subtle.
My absolute favorite trick is that they put the thermostat in the remote control. Sounds crazy, but it works. The air conditioner runs until you are at the right temperature. Not the air around the unit.
All in all, this is just a fantastic air conditioner. Wrapped in an incredibly designed package. With near-perfect customer satisfaction and all for a very fair price tag. I can’t recommend it enough.
Before we dive into the details, here’s the criteria I used to select these top models.
- Noise Level – How much standard operating noise the model makes
- Functionality – Does it have multiple fan speeds / cooling modes
- Ease of Use – Is it easy to use; how intuitive are the controls
- Build Quality / Reliability – If it’s going to hold up over the years
- Size / Looks – Is it excessively large; will it be an eyesore to have in the room
- Value for Money / EER* – We agree that quality is worth paying for, but does the price reflect the value?
*energy efficiency ratio
The following are the 7 quietest, high-quality air conditioners I reviewed in my research. They’re arranged by power – from 5,000 up to 12,000 BTU.
The 7 Quietest Window Air Conditioners - Reviewed
Despite being light on power and without digital controls, Frigidaire’s 5,000 BTU model is the best selling window air conditioner on Amazon.com.
This goes to show that people don’t want always want an ac with all the frills and sparkles. They’d rather have a simple machine at an unbeatable price, which still does a great job.
This Frigidaire model is one of those rare appliances that hold onto the reliable build quality of the past. Think of the old appliances your grandma’s been using for decades without fail. This is one of those.
It’s got no electronic controls, no timers or digital thermometers, and no economy mode. What it does offer is great energy efficiency, a low price, good cooling capacity for it’s size, and reliability.
It’s a great model if you’re looking to keep a smaller room cool, or if you want to save money by reducing the demand on your central AC. Keep your central ac at low power while this Frigidaire model works to cool your main living space.
|Unbeatable Price – the lowest of any good quality window AC||No Modern Features – no remote or timer to switch it on before you’re home|
|Quiet Operation – one of the best to include in a bedroom||Low Power – works great in small rooms, but anything larger than 150 square feet is a challenge|
|High Energy Efficiency – cheap to run as well as buy|
|Small Size – fits snugly into almost any window|
It’s not the most powerful or the most modern, but I love this little runnerbecause of its simplicity and reliability.
It’s perfect for anyone who simply wants a bit of extra cooling power in their home, and isn’t bothered about hi-tech parts or features. An ideal budget buy that doesn’t lack in quality of parts.
This Keystone model is a great solution if you have a small space, but are worried that a 5,000 BTU machine might not cut it.
Even though it’s not got much power behind it, it’s fully featured. It stands up to modern standards like programmable timers and an included remote for your convenience.
There’s also plenty of adjustability between multiple cooling settings and fan speeds. It’s even got a sleep mode! This brings the room down to your preferred temperature, then lets it very slowly rise back up. This small increase means that the air conditioner doesn’t have to work nearly as hard, and will stay much quieter as you drift off to sleep.
To top it all off, the energy efficiency ratio is fantastic. Coming in at 10.7, it’s Energy Star Certified. This, coupled with a competitive price on Amazon, makes this Keystone model a great solution for any small-medium sized room.
|Fully featured – includes programmable timer, remote, etc.||Isn’t a huge jump in power from 5,000 BTU models|
|Great energy efficiency – saving on cost in the long term||Controls look a little dated (but work just fine)|
|Includes sleep mode – allowing for less noise at night|
|Very adjustable – multiple fan speeds and cooling settings|
This Keystone model is a great solution for anyone who’s not in need of a ton of power.
The full set of modern features and the remote control make it easy to use (with a broad range of settings). The energy efficiency is great and the price is fantastic for a modern appliance.
Ideal if you want the benefits of a modern machine without a high-powered price tag.
LG’s 8,000 BTU window air conditioner is a recommendation for a great, well-rounded and well-equipped AC.
It’s controls are easy to use and intuitive, with a high-quality filter that’s subtly tucked away underneath the LG logo on the front of the machine. With an 8,000 BTU capacity, it’s well-suited to any medium-sized room, and the 4-way adjustable gears to direct air flow mean that you can target the cooling to one area of your space.
In terms of the build quality – the air conditioner is solid.
I’ve heard a few horror stories of people reporting an extra large ‘clunk’ noise whenever the compressor turns on (more so than normal). However, in the cases where the customer contacted LG, they sent around a repairman free of charge; who fixed the problem (the compressor had come loose in shipping, and so was hitting off of another part inside of the machine).
If anything – this goes to show your warranty will be covered by a company who are keen to look after their customers.
|Easy to use controls||Looks are a bit.. big and chunky|
|Good energy efficiency ratio|
|Quality, well-hidden air filter|
|Four-way air direction control|
While I’m not big fans of the way this LG model looks compared to other high-end models, functionality-wise it’s top-notch.
All of the modern features are covered, the energy efficiency ratio is great, and the controls are easy to use. Well-suited to medium-sized rooms and from a company who’ve proven themselves at looking after customers, this is a great window AC for any modern home.
Next up on our list is a wild card – and if you’re after a truly modern air conditioner, you’ve hit the jackpot.
Frigidaire have brought out what they call a ‘smart air conditioner’. In other words, they’ve really upped the level on this one in terms of modern looks and features.
If there’s one thing window AC’s are not known for – it’s good looks. However, Frigidaire have somehow managed to pull it off here, with a model that looks more like a digital speaker than a window AC. This aesthetic is equally matched in the electronic display and controls, which are almost too sleek and futuristic to warrant being used on an air conditioner.
As well as looking great, almost every feature under the sun is in this thing.
On top of all the standard features (programmable timers, remotes, sleep and economy modes), this ac has WiFi and its own app for your mobile phone.
You can control it from anywhere. Even turning it on when driving home.
However. Pushing the boat out with technology often comes at a cost, and there’s a few common issues with the ‘smartness’ of this smart AC. One being that the digital thermometer display can sometimes be inaccurate. Second is that the mobile app, while a great idea, often encounters errors or have wifi issues.
Hopefully by the time you’re reading this, a few updates to the mobile application will have solved this.
|Incredible modern look – the best we’ve come across||Temperature gauge can be unreliable|
|Unbeatable features – including WiFi and a mobile app||Mobile app can be a bit grumpy on certain days|
|Top of the range energy efficiency – the innovation isn’t just in the electronic controls|
|Easy to use and maintain – the main body of the machine pulls right out for easy access|
This is an appliance you’ve probably decided on already. Whether it’s your kind of style or not.
For some, the hi-tech looks and features will be irresistible, despite a few working issues.
For others, the incredible looks won’t mean much if it comes at sacrificing some functionality and reliability.
Whether you love it or hate it, Frigidaire have really pushed this model to the front of the queue in terms of technology.
You’ve made it! You’ve stuck with me to what is surely one of the best window air conditioners in the world.
Yes, this one does look fantastic. The ultra-modern looks reflects it’s recent release date – Summer 2019.
Between the subtle display, the grill design, and the sleek white finish, this window air conditioner is absolutely state of the art. It’s guaranteed to have your friends saying ‘Wow! What is that?!’
One trick I absolutely love is there’s no thermostat in the air conditioner. None.
‘Okay, well how the heck does it work?!’
Good question. They actually put the thermostat in your remote control! That way, the unit will work to your temperature. Not just the colder air surrounding itself. Genius.
It’s state of the art in operation, too. The 10,000 BTU capacity is capable up to 450 sq. ft, and the ‘sleep mode’ is built to keep the noise low and your relaxation high.
There’s a dehumidifier built-in – of course – and customers are returning fantastic ratings and reviews. Sure, the parts warranty is only a year (compressor is 5 years), and despite being modern it isn’t on the WiFi. But these are minor issues in an otherwise fantastic package.
|Fantastic modern design||1-Year parts warranty|
|Includes remote control||Modern, but not on wifi|
|Energy Star Rated|
|Great price tag|
TOSOT may be a new kid on the block, but they are not pulling back any punches.
When you have a lesser-known company like this one, I find it either works two ways. One: their quality sucks. This is why they’ve never broken through as a brand. Two: they’re brand new and blow everyone else out of the water.
As far as this air conditioner is concerned, TOSOT are definitely the latter.
This window ac unit is quiet, modern, capable, and reliable. All that wrapped in a stunning design and offered at a fantastic price tag. I can’t recommend it enough.
While you can get monster-sized window AC’s that go up to significantly higher power capacities, 10,000 BTU is one of the highest you’ll need to go if you’re looking to cool a large room in a standard home.
Before the TOSOT above came around, this was my top recommendation for a quiet window air conditioner.
Mostly because of how high quality, and how easy to use this appliance is. The digital controls embedded onto this machine are state of the art in quality, and intuitive to use. Hooked into them is a very accurate thermometer, and on the top is an 8-way gear system to control the direction of the cool air.
The air filter is also top-notch, being easy to clean, but efficient enough to keep out any outside odors – leaving you with crisp and clean air.
There’s two alternative modes that you can run the machine in; sleep and economy. While the first quietens the machine by allowing a very gradual increase in temperature, the second saves you money by switching itself off once the temperature is sufficiently cool, and staying that way (for example, in the evening once the air gets naturally cool, it will automatically shut itself down and stop using electricity).
|Packs plenty of power – enough for almost any room size||Quite large (though looks good enough to not be an eyesore)|
|State of the art features – with a focus on accuracy and reliability; not just good looks||Fairly expensive, if you won’t be harnessing it’s full power|
|Quality, easy-clean filter – delivering crisp, clean air|
|Accurate, intuitive controls – with working sleep and economy modes|
|8-way adjustable air flow|
This model is perfect if you simply want to get your air conditioning problem solved – no questions asked.
It’s powerful, easy to use, fully-featured and reliable. Not to mention quiet – especially on sleep mode.
While it’s not the cheapest option, this Frigidaire model will provide you with an effective and efficient air conditioner that you can rely on for years to come.
Coming up last is this heavy duty MIDEA model.
It packs a ton of power – rated up to 550sq. ft. That’s enough to handle almost any open plan kitchen and dining/living area. Or to simply destroy any chance next summer’s heatwave has of making you sweat.
The design, while not as brand new as the TOSOT above, is still sleek and modern. I love the metallic band finish where the controls are.
Dehumidifier is in there as standard, and so is a handy remote control.
If you’re lucky enough to have an extremely large space, you’ll not find a better 12,000 BTU model out there. Quiet and powerful – for a great price.
|Tons of power||1 Year warranty|
MIDEA have really got the balance right with this one.
After 10k BTU, models can start to become very industrialized with horrible 70’s looks. Thankfully, not this model.
The metallic band along the controls keeps things looking good, which is rare for such a powerful unit. If you have a large space, there’s no better choice than this 12,000 BTU model.
It packs a real punch, without looking like an eyesore.
Window Air Conditioner Pros & Cons
For anyone looking for a one-room cooling solution, there’s three main options. Window, Portable, and Mini-Split Air Conditioners. So why go for a window ac?
Well, sometimes the easiest way to consider something is to look at the main pros and cons:
|Window AC Pros||Window AC Cons|
|They work! While portable air conditioners can be a bit hit or miss, a properly installed window air conditioner will comfortably keep your room cool.||Goodbye window room. While compact, these units aren’t small. You need to be okay with having the first foot or so of your window blocked out.|
|No floor space taken. By being placed in your window, these units barely take up any room. Perfect for a small space.||Not easy to move. Installation can be fairly quick, but that doesn’t mean you want to be doing it every week. Unlike a portable ac, where you could move it from room to room with you.|
|Value price tags. Compared to other air conditioners type, window air conditioners give you the best bang for your buck.|
|Easy to install.It may be intimidating at first, but a window ac can be installed in a pinch once you know what you’re doing.|
The Cost of Running a Window Air Conditioner
Knowing how much an air conditioner will cost you to run is important. So important that we have a full article covering research into window ac running costs.
In summary, it can cost anywhere from $40 to $100 per year to run a window air conditioner. This mainly depends on the wattage, which is a direct influence on the power of the unit. In addition, the efficiency (both of the air conditioner and how you use it) make a huge impact on your running costs.
After studying over 40 window air conditioners, here’s what I found:
|Power||Ave. Watts||Yearly Cost||Reviewed|
For a better idea, here’s a graph showing the data:
Want a more accurate answer? Throw your numbers into this calculator I made. It can’t predict it to the dollar, but it’s great for a ball-park number.
Understanding Air Conditioner Noise
You’re likely familiar with decibel levels – I’ve copied a common illustration of the scale below. It’s important to remember the scale is logarithmic, so the higher up the scale you go, the bigger the increase in noise.
I consider a window air conditioner to be quiet if it’s below 55 decibels. While that isn’t whisper silent, it’s quiet enough to not interrupt our day. No more blasting up the TV volume or shouting at each other to have a conversation.
What Makes An Air Conditioner Quiet?
There’s several things that make an air conditioner enjoy the classification of ‘quiet’. Mostly, these are all due to better build quality. Generally this does mean a price increase for the better materials and workmanship.
Insulation – One of the most important aspects in any heating or cooling system. The level (and quality) of insulation plays a huge role in noise dampening, as well as cooling efficiency.
Build Quality – The placement, quality, and durability of any moving parts is huge for preventing rattling or banging in the future. A cheap aircon might only leave a few mm between a fan and the exterior wall, which can easily disappear from a bit of wear and tear. Not to mention parts simply breaking or coming loose, like a piston, crankshaft, or other parts of the compressor.
Electronics Quality – Similarly, the quality of electronics can vary massive between good and bad models. If you hear a lot of clicking or buzzing, it may be from poorly installed (or worn out) wires and controls.
Ease of Installation – Providing a solid, durable window bracket is essential in making it easy for you to install the window air conditioner. Bad installation is a huge cause of rattling or vibrations.
10 Tips to Make Your Window Air Conditioner Quieter
Got yourself a window air conditioner? Is it making a bit of a racket?
There’s a few ways we can make your current window air conditioner quieter. These might be worth a shot before diving in and buying a new one.
Here’s 10 quick tips to help you keep the noise down.
- Be Smart About Using It – getting home and whacking the ac up to maximum power is going to make a hell of a racket. Instead, take advantage of programmed settings to have the room cool before you need it to be. That way your AC can operate on a lower, quieter power setting.
- Reduce Your Cooling Demand – there’s a ton of quick tips you can use to help keep your room cooler without an air conditioner. Check out our massive guide of 73 tips for some ideas. By reducing the load on your air conditioner you’ll also reduce the amount of time it runs on maximum power.
- Check the Installation Level – grab a spirit level and make sure the AC is sitting level. If it’s not there’s a much higher chance that it’ll be rattlin’ and rollin’ more than a 1950’s Blues Band.
- Check the Bracket – Most window units come with some fiddly sliders to fill in the rest of the gaps. If this is rattling around, then try using foam, pipe, or other DIY insulations instead. They’ll not only cut down the noise, but make your air conditioner more efficient, too.
- Check the Insulation – Insulation is the foundation of efficient heating and cooling. Your window ac will have some built in, just check that it’s not damaged or wearing away. Replacing or adding more can help boost cooling efficiency, meaning less power demand and noise.
- Check your power cord – If it’s damaged, the power supplied to your AC can be on the fritz. Bad power can mean internal vibrations, and constant stop/starts. Neither are fun to listen to!
- Keep the filter clean – During the hot season it’s worth giving a weekly clean to your filter. Not only will this help keep your air fresh, it’ll also keep your air con more efficient thanks to better airflow.
- Same with the condenser coils – Popping off the back to wipe down the condenser coils at the beginning of the season can help clear away a lot of mold and dust. Both will help increase it’s efficiency, as well as your air quality.
- Are the moving parts free? – Make sure the fans and any other moving parts have full freedom of movement. A fan knocking against the AC will drive anyone crazy. (Best to check this with the AC dismounted).
- Protect your window if it gets sunlight – Keeping your window air conditioner in the shade is an absolute must. Keep it protected by using an awning, or a makeshift cover. This will make it massively more efficient.
Quick Buyer’s Guide to Window AC's
While all window air conditioners are built with cooling in mind, different makes and models are better for different things.
To help, I’ve outlined the main aspects that change from model to model. Knowing what’s important to you makes it easier to know which AC will be the best for your own home.
First is the power of each machine, measured in British Thermal Units – or BTU. A BTU is simply a measure of how good the appliance is at converting warm air into cool air (or more specifically, the conversion efficiency of heat into electrical energy).
The power controls what size of room the window AC will work best in.
Check out the table below for an idea of what level of BTU’s you’ll need for the room you want to install the air con in. It’s worth noting that while getting an AC which has too low of a capacity won’t cool properly, getting one which has too high of a BTU count can also be a bad thing. If the air conditioner is too powerful, it can make the temperature drop too quickly for the moisture in the air to also be removed. This leaves a room feeling cool, but a bit clammy at the same time.
There are also a few things that can change the BTU Capacity you’ll be looking for:
- Add 10% to the amount of BTU’s you’ll need for if your room..,
- has higher than 8ft ceilings,
- has a lot of sunlight,
- is poorly insulated.
- If the room always has a lot of people in it, add around 600 BTU per person.
- If it’s a kitchen you want to keep cool while cooking, add 4,000 BTU.
- Finally, if the room is shaded from the sun, reduce the capacity by 10%.
The type of room can really influence the type of air conditioner you need. For example – a bedroom can actually benefit from a bit less power. Having the AC on low power all night makes for some good white noise. If it’s too strong, the sudden on/off noise from the compressor will likely wake you up.
Let’s talk about the quietness your air conditoner.
Unfortunately, most manufacturers still haven’t come around to the idea of posting up the maximum decibel levels of their machines. However, most modern machines worth purchasing (including all of the ones reviewed below) have brought down their operating noise to a minimum level. So while an air conditioner will never be whisper quiet, the ones we’ve recommended should only provide a low level of white noise.
That being said – there is a big factor that can help reduce noise to a minimum. Which is the level of modern features on an air conditioner – and how you use it.
Energy Efficiency Ratio
The energy efficiency ratio, or EER, is a top measure used to compare air conditioners. So much so that every modern window AC listed on Amazon.com has a certificate (included in its images) to let you know the energy efficiency ratio of the air conditioner.
The EER is a measure of how much power each machine needs to run at full capacity. It’s a measure that will let you know the approximate cost of using the air conditioner over an average year.
The higher the EER, the better. Look for a minimum of 13 to make sure your bills won’t get hot, either.
A quick note on window ac installation – which is to make sure that the model you’re purchasing will fit into your own window.
The majority of window air conditioners are designed for single and double-hung windows (vertically taller windows, which open vertically). However, there are also models which are designed for sliding or casement windows; these are typically much slimmer, but also taller. As well as making sure the model will fit your window type, it’s also worth giving the dimensions a quick check to make sure they’ll fit.
Despite being called window air conditioners, a lot of models can also be installed through the wall. If a wall installation is what you’re after, make sure to check in the manual (always available online) to check that it fits. And always give the dimensions a double check. Finally, unless you’re very handy with some DIY wall destruction, we recommend hiring out a professional to help you out.
Air Filter Quality
If you or any loved ones suffer from allergies, pay attention to the air filter on your air conditioner. While some have standard, run-of-the-mill meshes, you can get models with HEPA certified filters. HEPA filters are incredibly fine and can catch all levels of pet dander, pollen, mold, and dirt that would otherwise pass through your window.
As well as the features we mentioned that help reduce noise, there’s a few other aspects that can set one air conditioner apart from the rest. Including:
- Programmable Timers. These are fantastic for your quality of life, as well as your energy bills. Turning the AC on a lower power before you get home can make the space cool before you walk in. This can use less energy than being so hot you turn it on full blast until the room is freezing!
- Multiple Speeds. The more speed options, the more energy you can save by only using the power you need. It can also mean that you can use a quiet low-medium setting rather than choosing between low (quiet but hot) or high(cool but loud) power.
- Economy Modes. Common to almost any air conditioner, an eco mode simply switches the air conditioner to low power in order to maintain a temperature. Maintaining a temperature on low power uses much less energy than alternating high power on and off.
- Remote Controls. Nothing to explain here. Being able to control the temperature with your feet up on the couch is an amazing thing.
- Auto-Restart: This can be massive if you get any power cuts. It makes sure the temperature doesn’t rise too much, avoiding the high amount of energy to re-cool a space.
- Fresh Air Exchange: Although a window ac looks like a bridge between outside and inside, not all of them are. Most will just exhaust heat outside, but only recycle the inside air. This can leave the air feeling stuffy and with a lot of pollutants. Models with fresh air options will bring in air from the outside to give you fresh, crisp airflow.
There’s tons of good window air conditioners on the market, and many are very similar. But after a ton of research, I really believe these 7 are some of the best available.
The trick is to find the right one for you, personally. I hope that I’ve helped shed some light on what you may be looking for in the buyer’s guide, and that one of the recommendations has jumped out at you.
For an alternative cooling solution that’s focused on one area of your home, check out our guide to portable air conditioners – where we’ve focused on finding the most quiet portable air conditioners.
If this guide has helped you, please consider supporting us by checking out some more of our articles. We are entirely reader supported, and really appreciate any time you spend with us.
Thanks for reading, and have a great day!