What Is The Best Quiet Air Conditioner?

AC condenser unit
Last updated: 11/28/2023 

At Aire Serv, we know a noisy air conditioner can be a nuisance, so we’re here to fill you in on some better options.

Why Is My Air Conditioner So Noisy, Anyway?

Window Units

Window units are naturally noisy, however, certain conditions can result in over-the-top noise levels:
  • Poor mounting. If not mounted snugly and correctly, the unit will touch the sides of the window frame, causing excessive vibration.

  • Loose front grille. If the air filter is cleaned and the front grill is not locked properly back into place, it can vibrate and cause a lot of noise.

  • Foreign objects or pests in the unit. If your system suddenly starts making a loud noise, a foreign object may have fallen into it – or worse… Mice, rats, lizards, and other pests can infiltrate and obstruct window units.

  • Bent fan blades. Fan blades that have been bent by a foreign object can make a great deal of noise.

  • Insufficient lubrication. 

    A fan motor lacking proper lubrication will create a loud, persistent noise… that could be followed by motor damage if left unchecked.

Split & Packaged Systems

Split HVAC systems usually aren’t noisy (outside of typical air distribution background noise) unless there’s something wrong. What’s that sound you’re hearing?

  • Squeaking. Debris, damaged blades, and dirt buildup resulting in imbalance can cause noisy fan motor operation.

  • Banging. A fan blade scraping the fan cage due to damage/imbalance (above).

  • Grinding. Grinding sounds are bad news: Impending bearing failure. Call for help. Fast.

  • Rattling.mSomething’s loose. Find it fast before it causes more damage. Note: If this happens only during operation, it could be loose ductwork or duct leakage. This is a pro problem requiring more than a duct tape solution.

  • Hissing. 

    This could be leaking freon, a serious issue, or loose ductwork.

What’s the Best Quiet Air Conditioner?

Ductless Mini-Splits

Mini-split or ductless air conditioning systems such as those by Fujitsu, Mitsubishi, and LG are among the quietest heating and cooling systems on the market, with an average noise level of 32 decibels. They also offer some of the highest SEER ratings available, with top-of-the-line systems pushing 30 SEER. But these benefits come at a cost: A higher initial investment.

Split & Packaged Systems

As opposed to windows units, which emit sound levels of 50-60 decibels within your home, today’s central air conditioners are packed with noise-reducing features, with components carefully designed for quieter operation. Located outside your home and coming in at decibel levels of 69-72, on average, the isolated location of the outdoor components of split systems greatly reduces noise levels within the home. In fact, homeowners who upgrade to split systems just 10 years old are often surprised at how much quieter newer units operate. Some of the quietest models on the market are even lower than average.

Contact Aire Serv for AC Maintenance

Have an HVAC headache? We’ve got the cure. Contact Aire Serv to learn more about upgrading your air conditioner today.