Last updated: April 14, 2023.
Based on a definitive study, find out which is the quietest window air conditioner in 2023, see the quiet window AC noise range, plus get 11 effective tips to quiet a noisy unit, and more.
- Window air conditioner decibel levels range from 33 dB to 67 dB;
- On average, window AC units produce 56.4 dB, with 56 dB being the most common;
- The quietest window air conditioner is the 33 dB, 8000 BTU, Danby – DAC080B6IWDB-6 (see details on danby.com, here); and
- The quietest window air conditioner with heating functionality comes in at 49 dB – get more details, including the price, on Amazon, here.
Continue reading to get a list of the quietest window air conditioners, see how many decibels the most energy efficient unit produces, and get a definitive answer to: are portable air conditioners quieter than window units?
Note: the data in this article is based on 1,037 of the most energy efficient window air conditioners and 58 of the most popular units. The decibel (dB) ratings are based on the manufacturer listed figures – these predominantly refer to the noise produced in the quietest mode.
- Window air conditioner decibels
- Quietest window air conditioner
- How to quiet a noisy window air conditioner – 11 tips
- Final thoughts
Window air conditioner decibels
Window air conditioner decibels range from 33 dB to 67 dB, with 56.4 dB being the average and 56 dB being the most common.
To put this into perspective, window air conditioner noise ranges from as low as a whisper to as high as a normal conversation.
This difference in sound level is quite significant.
The Hearing Health Foundation notes: “each 10 point increase in dB equals a tenfold increase in sound intensity (energy), and this is perceived as twice as loud by humans.”
Given there’s a 34 point difference between the quietest and loudest window air conditioner, the perceived difference is actually substantial.
Window air conditioners with the lowest decibel level are nearly 7 times quieter, in terms of human perceived difference, than units with the highest decibel level.
Related: Window AC vs Portable AC vs Wall AC noise level comparison.
So, with this in mind, let’s take a look at the quietest window air conditioner.
Quietest window air conditioner
The quietest window air conditioner is the 33 dB, 8000 BTU, Danby – DAC080B6IWDB-6.
This unit’s inverter compressor, u-shape design, high energy efficiency, sleep mode option, along with other factors, makes this unit the quietest window air conditioner.
No other unit from the study of over 1,000 window air conditioners creates less noise than this unit.
Additionally, based on similar studies, the quietest wall AC and the quietest portable air conditioner have higher decibel ratings, coming in at 52 dB and 44 dB respectively.
This unit’s performance details can be seen on danby.com, here.
Related: Cost To Run Window ACs [1,037+ Studied | Cheapest Revealed].
The next quietest window air conditioner identified is this unit’s more powerful counterpart: the 36 dB, 10000 BTU, Danby – DAC100B6IWDB-6.
Both of these quiet window air conditioners are ENERGY STAR certified, and very comfortably make it into their “Low Noise” category.
So, how does the quietest window air conditioner compare with other low noise energy efficient units? Let’s take a look.
Energy efficient low noise window air conditioners
Relatively few window air conditioners make it into ENERGY STAR’s “Low Noise” category.
To make it into this category a window air conditioner must be energy efficient and meet the “ENERGY STAR Most Efficient noise performance requirement of 45 dBa in the lowest operational mode.”
The table below lists the sound levels, from low to high, of some of the quietest and most energy efficient “low noise” window air conditioners.
|Low noise window AC||Decibels (dB)||Link for more details||Cooling capacity (BTU)|
|Danby – DAC080B6IWDB-6||33 dB||Get details on danby.com, here.||8000 BTU|
|Danby – DAC100B6IWDB-6||36 dB||See features on danby.com, here.||10000 BTU|
|GE Profile – AHTR10AC||40 dB||See the latest price, here.||10100 BTU|
|GE – AHTR12AC||40 dB||Find the price, features, and more, here.||12000 BTU|
|Frigidaire Gallery – GHWQ083WC1||41 dB||See price on Amazon, here.||8000 BTU|
|Frigidaire Gallery – GHWQ103WC1||42 dB||Check it out on Amazon, here.||10000 BTU|
|Frigidaire Gallery – GHWQ123WC1||42 dB||Get details on Amazon, here.||12000 BTU|
|Midea – MAW08V1DWT||42 dB||Learn more on midea.com, here.||8000 BTU|
|Midea – MAW08V1QWT||42 dB||See the latest price on Amazon, here.||8000 BTU|
|Midea – MAW10V1DWT||42 dB||More details on midea.com, here.||10000 BTU|
|Midea – MAW10V1QWT||42 dB||Check it out on Amazon, here.||10000 BTU|
|Midea – MAW12V1DWT||42 dB||Learn more on midea.com, here.||12000 BTU|
|Midea – MAW12V1QWT||42 dB||See features and reviews on Amazon, here.||12000 BTU|
|LG – LW1817IVSM||44 dB||Check it out on Amazon, here.||18000 BTU|
|LG – LW1822IVSM||44 dB||More details on Home Depot, here.||18000 BTU|
|LG – LW2217IVSM||44 dB||Get details on lg.com, here, or Amazon, here.||22000 BTU|
|LG – LW1019IVSM||44 dB||Check it out on Amazon, here.||9500 BTU|
|LG – LW1517IVSM||44 dB||See the latest price on Amazon, here.||14000 BTU|
Related: Window AC Vs Portable AC [Efficiency, Cooling, Noise & More].
If you’re looking to find the quietest window air conditioner that suits your needs, simply follow these 2 steps:
- Use a window AC chart to match your room size with the recommended cooling capacity in BTU; then
- Simply, take that recommended BTU and find the corresponding quietest window air conditioner in the table above.
All of the units, in the table above, are the lowest noise producing ENERGY STAR certified (therefore energy efficient) window air conditioners.
Low noise was prioritized. But what if we prioritize energy efficiency?
Next, let’s take a look at the noise levels of the most energy efficient ENERGY STAR certified window air conditioners, by room size.
Noise levels of the most energy efficient window ACs, by room size
The table below shows how many decibels the most energy efficient window air conditioners produce, by room size.
|Room size||Most efficient window AC||Decibels (dB)||Link for more details||CEER|
|150 sq. ft.||Frigidaire – FFRE053WAE||50 dB||Check it out on Amazon, here.||12.1|
|250 sq. ft.||LG – LW6019ER||48 dB||Get details on Amazon, here.||12.4|
|300 to 350 sq. ft.||Midea – MAW08V1QWT||42 dB||See this product’s clever design on Amazon, here.||15|
|400 to 450 sq. ft.||GE Profile – AHTR10AC||40 dB||Find the latest price, here.||15.7|
|500 to 550 sq. ft.||GE Profile – AHTR12AC||40 dB||See the price, here.||15.4|
|600 to 650 sq. ft.||LG – LW1517IVSM||44 dB||Get details on Amazon, here.||14.7|
|700 sq. ft.||Keystone – KSTAW15CE||52.5 dB||See this product on Amazon, here.||12.1|
|1000 sq. ft.||LG – LW1817IVSM||44 dB||Check it out on Amazon, here.||14.7|
|1200 sq. ft.||No real standout performer||Not available||An example unit in this range can be seen on Amazon, here.||10.3 (max)|
|1300 to 1400 sq. ft.||LG – LW2217IVSM||44 dB||See price on Amazon, here.||14.5|
|1500 to 1600 sq. ft.||LG – LW2422IVSM||44 dB||Check it out on Home Depot, here.||14.3|
|1800 to 2000 sq. ft.||Friedrich – KCL28A30A||Not available||Get details on Amazon, here.||9.9|
|2250 to 2700 sq. ft.||Friedrich – KCL36A30A and KEL36A35A||Not available||Check them out on Amazon, here and here, respectively.||9.1|
Learn more about window AC energy efficiency, including CEER, and see how to choose the most energy efficient window air conditioner (in 3 simple steps).
Related: Noise levels of the most energy efficient wall ACs, and Noise levels of the most energy efficient portable air conditioners.
As you can see, many of the most energy efficient window air conditioners fall within the low noise category.
None of these efficient units offer heating functionality. Units that offer this tend to produce more noise. Let’s briefly take a look at this next.
Quiet window air conditioner with heat
Quiet window air conditioners with heat functionality have a decibel rating below 55 dB.
The majority of window ACs in the study do not offer heating functionality. Those that do produce more noise than their non-heat-providing counterparts, on average.
So which window air conditioner with heat was the quietest?
Quietest window air conditioner with heat
The quietest window air conditioner with heat is the LG – LW8021HRSM, which has a noise level of 49 dB.
With a CEER of 11 (11.96 is the average CEER for window air conditioners), this unit offers 7500 BTU cooling and 3850 BTU heating.
Get more details, including price, on Amazon, here.
At 49 dB, this unit falls just outside of the “Low Noise” category mentioned above.
But are there any silent window air conditioners?
Silent window air conditioner
Silent window air conditioners do not exist, technically. Even the quietest window air conditioner produces 33 dB.
The Danby – DAC080B6IWDB-6 is the closest-to-silent window air conditioner on the market.
Non-standard air conditioners do exist colloquially. They are simply devices that cool air.
They don’t use the same components or technology as air conditioners to cool the air, e.g. compressors. As a result, they tend to produce less noise.
However, they are still not silent.
These devices are generally referred to as air coolers, evaporative coolers, etc.
The most popular evaporative cooler on Amazon is the AGILLY – LL04-18JR. Check it out on Amazon, here.
This style of air cooler can be as loud as tower fans however, which have an average noise level of 42 dB to 56.4dB – a lot higher than the quietest window air conditioner.
Other air coolers can be quieter, but if they move air they’ll be at least as loud as a fan.
Ultimately, air coolers with fans and window air conditioners are not silent. But the quietest window air conditioners can be as quiet as a whisper.
And there are ways that you can make your window AC quieter…
How to quiet a noisy window air conditioner – 11 tips
Here are 11 effective tips to quiet a noisy window air conditioner:
- Secure the unit properly. Window air conditioner units can become loose over time, causing rattling and even clunking noises. Make sure the unit is fixed in place securely. Check that the screws are tight, seals are still in place, curtain panels haven’t come loose, etc. If filler panels or any additional fixtures were used, make sure to check them too. Consider looking up and following the manufacturer’s installation guidelines to make sure the unit is properly secure. This can be very effective at making a loud window AC quiet.
- Check the casing. Make sure that the unit’s casing isn’t loose. Loose casing can cause rattling and humming noises when, for example, it comes into contact with the window frame or the unit’s internal housing. Securing the casing can quiet a noisy window air conditioner.
- Don’t forget the window frame. Window air conditioners installed in a window frame of poor construction can be noisy. And the noise may not be from the unit itself. If the unit is secured to the window frame, vibrating and rattling noises may occur from the opposite side of the window frame. This is because movement caused by the unit may be transferred throughout the window frame and sill. Securing the window frame and sill may help keep noise levels low.
- Secure internal components (if you’re appropriately skilled, it does not void any warranty, it does not go against manufacturer guidelines, and if it’s safe, etc.) This is not for everyone. If you attempt this be sure to unplug the unit and remove it safely from the window frame. Vibrating and buzzing noises can occur when piping hits the unit’s casing and / or components. Similarly, screeching noises can occur when fans come into contact with inner housing. Separating and securing internal components can be a quick fix to window air conditioner noise pollution. However, this does come with risks.
- Consider lowering fan speed. Window AC fans can be noisy. If comfortable, try reducing the fan speed. This will help quiet your window air conditioner. To help move the cool air throughout the room more quietly, try using a ceiling fan if you have one. These are generally quieter and more energy efficient than other fan types.
- Consider increasing the temperature slightly. This will help reduce the unit’s workload, which reduces overall noise production. The increase in temperature may be offset by the addition of a fan in many cases. However, fans do produce noise too so the difference may not be substantial – this depends on your window AC and fan noise level. It’s worth noting again that ceiling fans are generally quieter and more efficient than other fan types.
- Change the mode setting, if comfortable. Eco, night, and sleep modes tend to produce a lot less noise. So consider changing your window air conditioner setting to a quieter mode, if it’s comfortable of course.
- Add extra insulation around the unit. Closing any gaps around the unit with foam, cloth or insulation will help reduce the ingress of noise from outside. Similarly adding insulation or extra material to window AC filler panels (i.e. those foldable frames that surround some window units) will also help – these are notorious for letting outdoor noise in. Be careful not to block the unit’s airflow.
- Keep it away from heat sources. This is usually covered in the manufacturer’s installation guidelines. They typically recommend installing the unit in a location that is out of direct sunlight. Window ACs should also be kept away from other heat sources such as cookers. This is because it causes the unit to work more, and as a result, run less efficiently and create more noise overall. So, to help reduce your window air conditioner’s noise level, keep it away from heat sources.
- Maintain your unit. Blocked vents, dirty condenser coils, and clogged air filters can increase window air conditioner noise levels. This is because efficiency is reduced, which makes units work harder, which in turn increases overall noise production. Follow your manufacturer’s maintenance guidelines to help keep your window AC quiet.
- Contact a specialist. Damaged or faulty window air conditioner components can create loud clunking, buzzing, grinding, popping, clicking and rattling noises. Some things require specialist support. Manufacturers usually offer warranty and support services. Unfortunately, you may need to get in touch with the manufacturer or authorized service technician if the tips above did not reduce the noise of your window air conditioner to a more comfortable level.
If the 11 tips did not quiet your noisy window air conditioner, consider upgrading to a quieter unit.
Window ACs with inverter technology and u-shaped designs tend to be quieter than their counterparts. But be sure to check the unit’s dB rating beforehand.
Also, don’t upgrade to an unnecessarily powerful unit – units with a higher cooling capacity tend to produce more noise.
The tables above should be helpful – they list the quietest window air conditioners and the noise levels of the most efficient units by room size.
You might also be interested in knowing the cost to run a window AC, which is based on the power consumption results from the same study.
OK, so now that we know how quiet window air conditioners are, which is the quietest, and how to make them even more quiet, let’s take a look at some frequently asked questions that cropped up during the study.
Are portable air conditioners quieter than window units?
No, portable air conditioners are not quieter than window AC units.
Portable AC units produce similar noise levels to window AC units.
The most common portable air conditioner noise level is actually the same as window units – both come in at 56 dB.
The noise range for window air conditioners is wider than portable air conditioners.
In other words, window air conditioners are both quieter and louder than portable AC units.
The quietest portable air conditioner is significantly louder than the quietest window air conditioner.
The difference being 11 dB.
This difference means that, in terms of human perceived noise, the quietest portable air conditioner is over twice as loud as the quietest window AC unit.
However, portable air conditioners have a slightly lower average decibel rating, specifically 1.8 dB lower.
On average, window air conditioners produce 56.4 dB while portable air conditioners average 54.6 dB.
Ultimately, however, portable air conditioners are not quieter than window ACs.
They may have a very slightly lower average noise level, but they can be both quieter or louder than window units – it all depends on the models being compared.
If you are looking for the quietest AC unit and don’t have a preference for either style, then window air conditioners offer a range of units that produce less noise.
See above for the quietest window air conditioner, and here for the quietest portable air conditioner.
And, don’t miss this more detailed direct comparison between window ACs and portable ACs, and this high level comparison of all AC noise levels.
Danby quiet window air conditioner
The quietest Danby window air conditioner creates 33 dB of noise.
The 8000 BTU, Danby – DAC080B6IWDB-6 is the lowest noise producing window air conditioner identified in the study of over 1,000 different window units.
This unit’s details can be seen on danby.com, here.
Danby also offers the second quietest window unit, which comes in at 36 dB.
It’s no surprise that it’s a similar, but slightly more powerful model, the Danby – DAC100B6IWDB-6.
Frigidaire quiet window air conditioner
Frigidaire offers quiet window air conditioners, with the lowest identified being 41 dB.
Frigidaire has three quiet window air conditioners that make it into the ENERGY STAR “Low Noise” category.
Coming in at 41 dB is the 8000 BTU, Frigidaire Gallery – GHWQ083WC1. See the features and latest price on Amazon, here.
The two remaining quiet Frigidaire window air conditioners, that made it into the “Low Noise” category, are similar but slightly more powerful models.
Both the 10000 BTU Frigidaire Gallery – GHWQ103WC1 and the 12000 BTU Frigidaire Gallery – GHWQ123WC1 have a 42 dB noise rating.
Check them out on Amazon, here and here, respectively.
Only Danby and GE offer window air conditioners that are quieter.
GE quiet window air conditioner
The quietest GE window air conditioner has a 40 dB noise rating.
Both the GE AHTR10AC and AHTR12AC models come in at 40 dB.
See these quiet GE window air conditioners, here and here, respectively.
The key difference between these two models is the cooling capacity.
With a CEER of 15.7, the GE AHTR10AC model is the most energy efficient window air conditioner – see the latest price, here.
Only Danby offers window air conditioners that are quieter.
LG quiet window air conditioner
LG offers several quiet window air conditioners. The quietest LG window air conditioner has a 44 dB noise level.
Actually, all of the quiet LG AC units produce 44 dB. 5 LG units make it into the ENERGY STAR “Low Noise” category.
These quiet LG units, along with links for more details, are as follows:
– LG – LW1817IVSM, check it out on Amazon, here;
– LG – LW1822IVSM, more details on Home Depot, here;
– LG – LW2217IVSM, get details on lg.com, here, or Amazon, here;
– LG – LW1019IVSM, check it out on Amazon, here; and
– LG – LW1517IVSM, see the latest price on Amazon, here.
It’s worth noting that the lowest setting achieves the 44 dB rating. The manufacturer may list dB levels for different / several settings.
All of these units appear in the ENERGY STAR “Low Noise” category, confirming that they can achieve a sound level of 45 dB or lower.
Quietest window air conditioner brand
Danby takes the title of Quietest Window Air Conditioner Brand.
Based on a study of over 1,000 different units, no other brand offers window air conditioners that are quieter.
Danby takes both the quietest and 2nd quietest window AC spots.
The quietest window air conditioner is the 33 dB Danby – DAC080B6IWDB-6, followed by the slightly more powerful 36 dB Danby – DAC100B6IWDB-6.
Window air conditioners are not quiet. But some can be as quiet as a whisper.
I hope that the shortlist of the quietest window air conditioners, along with the noise level of the most efficient units, is a useful resource for you.
I also hope that the 11 tips to quiet your window air conditioner helps you reduce your unit’s noise level.
Finally, if you found the insights into the noise level study of over 1,000 window ACs interesting, don’t miss:
- Are Portable Air Conditioners Quiet? [Quietest Revealed | 13 Noise Reducing Tips];
- Quietest Wall AC Revealed [Latest Noise Level Study Results]; and
- Quiet Air Conditioner: The Ultimate Study [1,323+ ACs].
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James, Eco Cost Savings co-founder and Editor-in-Chief, is also our experienced in-house energy management and sustainability expert, and manager of our network of sustainability consultants.
Before his journey into sustainability, James studied engineering. Additionally, he has experience in HVAC installation, and data analysis. A self-proclaimed practical environmentalist, and avid penny pincher, James established Eco Cost Savings to share his and his colleague’s expertise with the aim of helping to reduce energy bills and carbon footprints at scale.