9 Quietest Portable Air Conditioners (Ranked By Decibels)

Josh Mitchell

Written By

Josh Mitchell

Expert Reviewed By

Holly Curell

Last Updated On

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Need a portable AC but worried about the noise? You're not alone. I have worked with thousands of air conditioners and know how noisy they can be.

I want every homeowner to have access to high-quality portable ACs that doesn't disrupt their home life. That's what inspired me to research and create this list.

In this guide, I'll show you the 9 quietest portable air conditioner models on the market that I have tried and tested. There is a quiet portable air conditioner for everyone, and this guide will help you find the perfect AC for your home.

Quick Glance - My Recommendations

Midea Duo 12,000 BTU (10,000 BTU SACC) High...

Midea Duo MAP12SS1TBL

Editor's Choice

SereneLife SLPAC8 SLPAC 3-in-1 Portable Air...

SereneLife SLPAC8

Best Budget

BLACK+DECKER 8,000 BTU Portable Air...

BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT

Best Value

9 Quietest Portable Air Conditioners For Silent Cooling

1 - Midea Duo MAP12SS1TBL

4.3

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4.5

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4.2

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4.2

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Who is the Midea Duo best for?

The Midea Duo is ideal for homeowners who need to cool a whole apartment or large living area. It covers large areas without all the noise of a larger model.

Pros
  • Extremely quiet for a powerful AC
  • Fast cooling
  • Built-in dehumidifier
  • Very energy efficient
  • Sleek design
CONS
  • Hard to angle in different directions
  • Slightly longer assembly time

The Midea Duo is my top pick and, in my opinion, the best quiet portable AC around.

This whisper-quiet portable AC unit performed well in every category, showing that a premium AC does not have to be loud.

If you want a powerful cooling without any disruption, I recommend this unit.

The main reason it is so effective and quiet is the inverter compressor. It runs differently from your standard rotary compressor unit and basically never shuts off.

Instead, the inverter compressor runs continuously and continuously adjusts the speed.

The real benefit here is that there is no loud starting or stopping from the compressor. Instead, it maintains a consistently low noise level.

I tested the Midea Duo on the highest and lowest settings to compare the decibels. On the highest fan speed, it reached about 58 decibels, but on the lowest, it maintained around 40-45 decibels.

Midea Duo MAP12SS1TBL noise

That's incredibly quiet for a home AC unit, and it's actually quieter than a normal conversation.

Don't let the quiet operation fool you, though, because the Midea Duo has more cooling capacity than most portable air conditioners.

The BTUs are impressive, but the cooling power comes from the dual hose unit.

The thick exhaust hoses funnel cold air in quickly and hot air out.

During testing, it cooled my medium-sized living room in under 60 minutes and then maintained the exact temperature continuously.

It was impressive for any AC, but even more so for a portable air conditioning unit.

The Midea Duo also has all the modern features to make it easier to use.

There are a range of cooling modes, 4 different fan speed settings, a timer, and a remote control. There is even an App so you can control it through your Wi-Fi.

The App itself is good, but it took me a while to connect, so I would allow some time to set it up.

The Midea Duo also has a built-in dehumidifying mode.

t's better than the dry mode on most portable ACs and can maintain a relative humidity of around 50%. This is an added bonus for anyone living in a hot climate.

The noise level, features, and functionality are all good, but what really impressed me about the Midea Duo was the energy efficiency.

It has a high EER rating and is much more energy efficient than even the SereneLife or Delonghi ACs.

The efficiency makes it a great choice for any homeowners who need continuous cooling during the hot summer months because you can run it cheaply.

The only slight issue I had with the Midea Duo was the positioning. The thick exhaust hoses make it difficult to direct properly, so it's harder to target one part of the room.

However, the fan is so powerful it doesn't matter too much.

The AC will blow a powerful stream of air 20 feet, so if you direct it into the middle of the room, it will still have a big impact.

The Midea Duo is not your standard portable AC.

It can cool a room much more quickly than other models, but the high-quality design also limits the noise.

This makes it the perfect choice for homeowners who don't want a loud portable air conditioner ruining the peace at home.

This is the quiet portable AC I recommend to anyone, particularly those who live in a hot climate and need continuous cooling.

Feature

Details

BTUs

12,000

Cooling Area

450 sq. ft.

Dimensions (Inches – WxDxH)

19.53 x 16.73 x 34.48

Noise Level (dBa)

40-60

Weight

72.8 lbs.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

12.3


2 - SereneLife SLPAC8

Best Budget AC + Dehumidifier Combo

4.2

Overall Score


Ease Of Use

4.5

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4.0

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4.0

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Who is the SereneLife portable air conditioner best for?

The SereneLife is best for homeowners on a tight budget. It’s as much a dehumidifier as an AC and works well in hot basements or garages with high humidity.

Pros
  • Great dehumidifier built-in
  • Swing mode to cool room more quickly
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Easy to install
  • Simple controls
CONS
  • Less durable than other portable units
  • Not suitable for larger rooms

I am often skeptical of combo air conditioner models because they often struggle to cool AND dehumidify a room, but the SereneLife portable AC is one of the exceptions.

I recommend this model to any homeowners that need cooling and dehumidification.

This 3 in 1 model doesn't have the same cooling capacity or coverage as the Midea Duo but can still manage a small-to-medium-sized space. 

The single exhaust system offers a good amount of cooling capacity, and during testing, it reduced the temperature from 95 to 75 degrees in just 3 hours.

It isn't the quietest portable AC unit on the list, but it still has low noise levels.

It will reach about 62-64 decibels on the highest setting, but it should typically run at 52-55 decibels. That's roughly the same as background music or a quiet conversation.

SereneLife SLPAC8 energy

This makes the SereneLife the perfect quiet portable AC for offices, living rooms, or even bedrooms.

This air conditioner has all the features you would expect, including a timer, various fan speed settings, and an auto temperature mode.

I was slightly disappointed that there’s no App controller option, but there is a standard remote control.

I really like the swing mode fan setting. This allows the AC to direct air around the room and provides faster cooling.

Undoubtedly, the best feature of this portable air conditioner is the high-quality dehumidifier. This is much more efficient than most portable combo units and can remove 1-2 pints of moisture from the air every hour.

I tested it in my bathroom, and it was able to maintain a relative humidity of around 40%, which is more than some portable dehumidifiers can achieve.

My one criticism of SereneLife is the quality.

It’s not bad by any means, but it’s not as high quality as the Whynter, Delonghi, or Midea portable units.

It should still work well for at least 2-3 years but don't expect it to last as long as some other models.

SereneLife is the solution to your heat and humidity problems. It isn't the biggest or toughest AC, but it works well in smaller rooms. 

I recommend it to any homeowners who want to replace separate AC and dehumidifier appliances with one.

Feature

Details

BTUs

8,000

Cooling Area

250 sq. ft.

Dimensions (Inches – WxDxH)

14.6 x 13.8 x 27.2

Noise Level (dBa)

52-64

Weight

46.3 lbs.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

9.8


3 - BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT

4.7

Overall Score


Ease Of Use

5.0

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4.5

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Who is the Black & Decker air conditioner best for?

The Black & Decker portable AC is best for homeowners with offices, studies, or other small rooms that get hot and stuffy. It's great for moving between rooms to provide cooling where needed.

Pros
  • High quality with low cost
  • Sleek and compact design
  • Self-evaporative dehumidifier - nothing to empty!
  • Maintains temperatures accurately
  • Simple to use
CONS
  • Not a great air filter
  • Less energy efficient
  • It takes longer to install

Black & Decker is one of my go-to brands, and I often recommend their home appliances. Their portable AC doesn't disappoint and provides quiet cooling at a low cost.

The Black & Decker AC runs between 52 and 60 decibels (depending on the fan speed setting), which is around the same sound level as a quiet office. 

It isn't as quiet as the Midea Duo, but it is still far below the industry average decibel rating.

BLACK + DECKER BPACT08WT noise

It has an integrated timer, remote control options, and simple controls.

I love simplicity, and I like that it's straightforward enough that you don't need to use the manual to get started.

The installation of the Black & Decker wasn't the easiest, and you should allow some time for it.

It took me about 30 minutes, but once I had the exhaust connection figured out, it was easy to set up and move as needed.

The whole unit is lightweight and easy to grip too. This made it easy to move between rooms, and it's definitely one of the best models for homeowners who need to move their AC frequently.

One thing that stood out for me during testing was the accuracy of the internal thermostat. 

It reduced the heat from 93 degrees to 72 degrees in about 6 hours, which is fairly good, but it then maintained that temperature consistently.

If you love your home at a consistent temperature, then this AC will work well for you.

The Black & Decker air conditioner comes with a dehumidifier mode too.

It's not as impressive as the SereneLife AC, but it works well. It isn't powerful enough for extreme humidity but will regulate moisture levels up to 55% with minimal effort.

There are two things that really stood out for me with the Black & Decker portable AC unit.

Firstly, the design. It has a small and sleek design which is much shorter than other models. This allows it to fit inconspicuously into most rooms so that you can place it anywhere.

Secondly, the quality. The outer casing and internal components are all high quality, and they will stand up to heavy use. 

Given that you can pick up this air conditioning unit for $300, it offers excellent value for money.

The only minor issue with this air conditioner was that the air filters didn't seem very effective at improving the air quality. It's not a big issue for an AC, but this unit is definitely no replacement for an air purifier.

Still, the combination of design, durability, and simplicity make this one of the best portable AC units. 

If you don't have much experience with portable AC units and have a limited budget, then I would recommend the Black & Decker.

Feature

Details

BTUs

8,000

Cooling Area

450 sq. ft.

Dimensions (Inches – WxDxH)

26 x 16.5 x 11.5

Noise Level (dBa)

40-60

Weight

45.8 lbs.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

5.4


4 - Whynter ARC-122DS

4.2

Overall Score


Ease Of Use

4.0

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4.0

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4.5

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Who is the Whynter air conditioner best for?

The Whynter portable AC is best for homeowners who need AC, heating, and dehumidification in one. It works well in medium-sized rooms that get hot and cold.

Pros
  • Heating, cooling, and dehumidification
  • Long exhaust hose
  • Simple controls
  • Auto restart feature
  • 3 year warranty
CONS
  • Needs regular cleaning & maintenance
  • More expensive model

I love efficiency, so I was excited to test the Whynter air conditioner and see if it could heat, cool, and dehumidify a room properly. 

I wasn't disappointed; I can see why this is one of the most popular portable air conditioners.

The Whynter AC functions like a cheaper and more portable mini split. The dual hose system cools quickly and effectively regulates the room temperature. 

I found the AC more effective than the heating, but the heat pump can still get the temperature up to 105 degrees.

It's also got a powerful dehumidifier built in. The specs say it can pull 82 pints of moisture from the air a day, which I think is slightly exaggerating, but it can still pull 60-70 pints a day with no issues. 

I recommend installing a drain line if you want to use the dehumidifier setting regularly, or you will need to empty the tank a lot.

Even though it's a dual hose, the installation is fairly straightforward. It took me about 20 minutes to set it up with the intake and exhaust vents, and the instructions were clear.

Just make sure you leave the unit for 24 hours after it arrives so the coolant can settle. This will prevent any damage to the refrigerator coils.

What impressed me most about the Whynter portable unit was how the noise level stayed low.

The heating mode was the loudest at around 60 decibels, but the air conditioner runs at only 50-55 decibels.

It’s not as quiet as the Midea Duo, but the relatively quiet operation means you can use this portable unit in living areas or even bedrooms without causing any disruption.

Whynter ARC-122DS remote

The only drawback of the Whynter AC unit is that you need to clean the washable filter regularly. If you let the filter in these portable AC units get dirty, the noise level will increase noticeably. 

However, if you stick to a good cleaning and maintenance routine, this quiet air conditioner should stay quiet.

This is an all-in-one solution that I recommend for homeowners who experience high and low temperatures.

It works well in basements or garages, but it is also quiet enough for use in living areas or bedrooms.

Feature

Details

BTUs

8,000

Cooling Area

450 sq. ft.

Dimensions (Inches – WxDxH)

26 x 16.5 x 11.5

Noise Level (dBa)

40-60

Weight

45.8 lbs.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

5.4


5 - DeLonghi PACEM370 WH Penguino

4.2

Overall Score


Ease Of Use

4.5

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Cooling Ability

4.0

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4.0

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Who is the Delonghi air conditioner best for?

The Delonghi portable AC is best for homeowners who need AC in a variety of places. The range of settings makes it suitable for RVs, bedrooms, living spaces, or really any part of your home.

Pros
  • Versatile and suitable for various rooms
  • Good coverage
  • Ultra quiet sleep mode
  • Very low running costs
  • Easy to install and move
CONS
  • Can’t reach very low temperatures
  • No backlight in the remote

The Delonghi is one of the most versatile portable AC units I have ever tested, and the range of programs and settings make it suitable for any part of your home. 

If you frequently move your AC to cool different rooms, the DeLonghi is perfect for you.

The versatile nature of the AC starts with the installation process. It's very simple and far easier than some other portable ACs. 

The single exhaust hose is almost 6 feet long, which means it can reach anywhere in your home.

This means you can place the AC in the best position to limit the noise and have the best impact.

The DeLonghi isn't as light as the compact Black and Decker, but the small dimensions still make it easy to move. The caster wheels are also good quality and can roll between rooms as needed.

It comes with a standard timer, programmable thermostat, and automatic cooling features that you would expect - and they all work well. 

There is a remote control, but it's very sensitive and didn't work well for me. 

Thankfully, the on-screen controls are easy to use, so I recommend just using those.

I like that the DeLonghi has a wide variety of settings, but I love that it stays whisper-quiet for all of them. 

Sleep mode impressed me the most, and when I tested it, it produced just over 40 decibels (which is extremely quiet). Plus, the sleep mode draws even less power.

This feature makes the DeLonghi perfect for nighttime AC and great for anyone who wants to maintain a consistent temperature in their bedroom.

My only criticism of the DeLonghi is the cooling performance. It works well in a small room, but I found it could only consistently reach 62-64 degrees and no lower.

Most portable ACs won't go much lower than this, and it's generally cold enough for most people. 

However, if you want an extreme cooling performance, I recommend you go with the Midea Duo or the SereneLife instead.

DeLonghi PACEM360

The Delonghi doesn't have Wi-Fi connectivity or all the impressive features of other models.

However, it has some great pre-set running modes, and it runs so quietly that you won't even notice it.

If you want an AC for use in a variety of big or small rooms, this is the perfect solution.

Feature

Details

BTUs

11,500

Cooling Area

500-600 sq. ft.

Dimensions (Inches – WxDxH)

16.7 x 13.6 x 27.6

Noise Level (dBa)

38-50

Weight

45.8 lbs.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

7.3


6 - DuraComfort DP08CWM

No products found.

Lowest Maintenance Cost

4.3

Overall Score


Ease Of Use

4.5

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Cooling Ability

4.2

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Value For Money

4.2

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Who is the DuraComfort air conditioner best for?

The DuraComfort portable AC is best for cooling small apartments or large living spaces. This low-maintenance AC gives you effortless cooling in any large space.

Pros
  • Covers a large area
  • Easy to use with simple controls
  • Dual motors for improved efficiency
  • Precise temperature control
  • 30-day money-back guarantee
CONS
  • Not very energy efficient
  • Flimsy casing

I love simple appliances, and that is just what the DuraComfort portable air conditioner offers. 

This air conditioner is low maintenance and gives effortless cooling, perfect for homeowners who want a set-it-and-forget-it AC.

Installation is a breeze with the DuraComfort, and I had it set up within 5 minutes of it being delivered. 

The instruction manual was one of the clearest I have ever used, and it's the perfect model for anyone nervous about installing an AC for the first time.

The simplicity keeps going with the operation too. It has a simple digital display which makes it easy to program the AC as needed.

 I tend to use the automatic thermostat mode, but there is a timer too.

It also has a remote control and a Wi-Fi-enabled app to control it from a distance.

The DuraComfort has a BTU rating that makes it suitable for larger spaces, but the real cooling power comes from the dual motor system. 

This massively improves the efficiency, and during testing, it took just 4 hours to reduce the temperature from 96 to 70 degrees. That's better than some fixed AC units can do.

The dual motors help to keep the noise level down too. The improved output and efficiency help to limit the strain on the air conditioner and keep it running smoothly.

It runs at around 52 decibels, but it can go below 50 decibels if you have it on the lowest setting.

That's about as quiet as light rain on your window, so it shouldn't disturb you.

One feature I really liked with the DuraComfort was the 'follow me' function. This allows the remote control to act as a thermostat, and the AC will adjust its settings accordingly. 

This gives more precise temperature control and helps ensure that the unit is cooling the whole room to the right level.

I did notice a few small issues with the DuraComfort model during testing. The App is difficult to connect to, the remote is fairly poor quality (except for the 'follow me' function), and the outer casing is quite flimsy.

However, these are genuinely all very minor problems, and they don't impact the performance at all.

The DuraComfort AC is an affordable option that offers powerful cooling. It's a valuable asset for homeowners who want to quickly cool an apartment or large living space.

Feature

Details

BTUs

12,000

Cooling Area

450 sq. ft.

Dimensions (Inches – WxDxH)

14.06 x 16.5 x 27.09

Noise Level (dBa)

48-55

Weight

56.1 lbs.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

5


7 - LG LP0621WSR

4.2

Overall Score


Ease Of Use

4.5

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Cooling Ability

4.0

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Value For Money

4.0

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Who is the LG air conditioner best for?

The LG portable AC is best for cooling RVs, small bedrooms, or offices. It offers intense cooling and runs quietly, so even in a small area, it's unnoticeable.

Pros
  • Cools in minutes
  • Consistently quiet
  • Easy to install
  • Low maintenance
  • Very portable
CONS
  • Basic functionality - only 2 fan settings
  • Exhaust hose gives off heat

I've used a lot of LG air conditioners over the years, and I know they work well. What I didn't realize is just how quietly some of their smaller models, like this one, run. This combination of quiet and effective cooling is why it's on the list.

The LG runs at around 50-55 decibels, so it isn’t as quiet as the Midea or SereneLife units, but it is still quiet. 

The blowing air actually acts like white noise and creates an almost unnoticeable background sound.

The LG is also a bit of a beast when it comes to cooling. The BTU rating isn’t the highest, and it won’t cover as big an area as the Delonghi AC, but it can make a big difference in a small room.

It creates a powerful stream of cold air that you can feel about 10-15 feet in front of the unit, and you can set it to oscillate. This improves indoor air circulation and flows surprisingly quickly. 

During testing, it reduced the temperature from 93 to 78 degrees in just 2 hours which is a testament to the quiet power.

Like other models on the list, it has a 3 in 1 operation with AC, fan, and dehumidifier settings. 

They all work well, but the dehumidifier setting can't handle extreme moisture, so I wouldn’t recommend it for very humid climates.

What I like most about this LG appliance is that it's very low maintenance. The installation is a breeze (it took me just 2 minutes to set up), the controls are basic, and it doesn't need much cleaning or upkeep.

In fact, the LG is one of the lowest-maintenance models out there. It’s perfect for busy homeowners who don’t have time to constantly check their appliances.

One thing to remember with this AC is that the exhaust hose gives off a lot of heat. I didn't notice it at first, but after an hour, I could feel the heat coming back from the exhaust into the surrounding air and back into the room.

LG LP0621WSR area

I would recommend getting an insulation sleeve and fitting it over the exhaust. This will keep the heat flowing out of the room and improve the overall efficiency of the unit.

The LG is a powerful appliance in a small space. The small dimensions and noise output make these quiet units perfect for RVs, studio apartments, small bedrooms, or offices.

I would recommend this AC to those with small rooms that get very hot and stuffy.

Feature

Details

BTUs

6000

Cooling Area

200-250 sq. ft.

Dimensions (Inches – WxDxH)

13.27 x 17.32 x 27.36

Noise Level (dBa)

50-54

Weight

54 lbs.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

6.5


8 - HOmelabs ‎HME020235N

4.2

Overall Score


Ease Of Use

4.5

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Cooling Ability

4.0

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4.0

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Who is the hOmelabs air conditioner best for?

The hOmelabs portable AC is best for cooling large, open spaces quietly. It works best in big living areas, open-plan areas, or whole apartments.

Pros
  • 10-minute installation
  • Covers a large area
  • Tough and durable
  • Sleek design
  • Consistently quiet
CONS
  • Drain line is tricky to fit
  • Heavy and less portable
  • Remote control can get out of sync

hOmelabs make user-friendly products that last, so I was eager to put this AC through its paces. 

I wasn't disappointed, and the high performance over large spaces is why I recommend it for homeowners who want powerful cooling without the noise.

The first thing I noticed about this model is the design. I know it's just an appliance, but the hOmelabs AC has a minimalist and sleek look that seamlessly blends into a modern home.

It isn't as small as the Whynter, but the design makes it easy to forget it's even there.

It's the kind of AC you don't feel the need to store either because it just fits in the space.

The quiet operation also helps to make this AC very unnoticeable. I tested it on all fan speeds and the dehumidifier mode, and the noise levels stayed low.

On the highest setting, it gave off about 55 decibels which is slightly higher than the specifications say). 

However, on the lowest, it was a whisper quiet 45 decibels. This means you can place this AC anywhere, and it shouldn't disturb you.

HOmelabs ‎HME020235N dimensions

What I love about the hOmelabs portable AC is that even though it’s small and quiet, it can still cover a big area. 

It doesn’t have the same BTU output as the DeLonghi or DuraComfort, but it can cover almost the same size rooms.

I tested it in my open-plan kitchen living area (about 500 square feet), and it reduced the temperature from 93 to 75 in 5 hours. 

That is powerful enough cooling for any home.

This powerful efficiency is because it has a larger exhaust pipe. This funnels more cold air into the room, reducing the temperature quicker than standard portable ACs. 

Plus, it has an auto-swing mode so that the supply of cold air is circulated faster.

All of this makes it one fast-acting air conditioner.

What stood out for me about the hOmelabs portable AC was the quality. It has a tough outer shell and solid caster wheels, and the internal components are high quality. 

It is clearly well-made and a big step up from your standard cheap, flimsy AC.

This means it will last longer and should keep running quietly throughout its lifespan with no creaking or rattling.

To be honest, my only criticism of the hOmelabs portable AC was in the installation. Most of it was straightforward, but I found the dehumidifier drain line difficult to attach. 

The instructions are ok, but I actually had to remove the exhaust pipe to fit the drain line.

This is a minor issue, but I advise you to take your time to set it up properly, especially if you want to use the dehumidifier a lot.

The hOmelabs portable AC performs well and is a cut above your standard portable. The variety of settings, large coverage, and high build quality make it an asset in any home.

If you're a homeowner who wants a long-lasting portable AC to help you stay cool, this model is for you.

Feature

Details

BTUs

8,600

Cooling Area

500 sq. ft.

Dimensions (Inches – WxDxH)

17.91 x 15 x 30.7

Noise Level (dBa)

45-55

Weight

72 lbs.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

2.6


9 - Airo ACO08MWS

4.1

Overall Score


Ease Of Use

4.3

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Cooling Ability

4.0

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Value For Money

4.0

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Who is the Airo air conditioner best for?

The Airo portable AC is best for homeowners that need to manage intense heat in small or medium-sized rooms. It's tough enough to work in any environment but quiet enough that there's no disruption.

Pros
  • Can handle very high temperatures
  • Simple window installation kit
  • Oscillating vents to improve efficiency
  • Silent running sleep mode
  • Great customer service
CONS
  • Thermostat isn’t precise
  • Short exhaust hose

The Airo Comfort is one of those small portable ACs that packs a punch. It offers reliable cooling but is small and quiet enough for use in bedrooms, RVs, and other small rooms.

The Airo Comfort looks unassuming, but don’t underestimate the cooling power that it can produce.

It doesn’t have the coverage of the DeLonghi, but in a small-medium sized room, it will lower the temperature quickly.

I tested it in my bedroom, which had soared to 97 degrees, to see how it would perform. It brought the temperature down to 85 in just 3 hours and then down to 78 in another 3. 

That is impressive cooling from such a small model.

It comes with a window installation kit that's simple to hook up, and it's perfect for beginners. It shouldn't take more than 10 minutes to set up, even if it's your first time.

The exhaust pipe is fairly short, which can limit the placement of the AC, but in a smaller room, it shouldn't be a big problem.

The Airo Comfort is one of the lighter units, and it's easy to lift from room to room. It has good-quality wheels on the bottom, too (unlike many cheap portable units), so you can roll it if you prefer.

This, combined with the easy installation, makes it one of the most portable options.

It has 3 different fan speed settings, a dehumidifier, and various running modes. These all perform well, but I found the sleep mode the best. 

Airo ACO08MWS noise level

It runs virtually noiselessly (about 45 decibels), but you can still feel the cold air. If you're a light sleeper in a hot room, this is the AC you need.

Airo has installed oscillating vents on top of their device to spread cold air faster. This stops the cool air from only blasting in one direction and improves the overall efficiency of the appliance. 

I also found that I didn't have to run it for as long to feel the cooling effects, which means you save money on energy bills!

What I like the most about the Airo Comfort is the consistency. It doesn't matter if it's cooling an 80-degree room or a 100-degree room; the performance stays the same. 

In fact, it can manage temperatures above 110 degrees (hotter than most other portable ACs can manage) without overheating.

This makes it the perfect AC for homeowners living in very hot climates.

The consistency of the Airo is also clear from the noise level. I tested all the fan speed settings and modes and found that it never got above 55-58 decibels. 

It isn't as quiet as the Midea Duo, but the sound level stays the same regardless of how it's being used.

My one criticism of the Airo air conditioner was the thermostat. It’s not very precise, and it’s only accurate to about 3 degrees on either side. This can mean that your AC is running for longer than it should be.

It's not a huge problem, but it does make the AC slightly less efficient. You may also want to manually control the air conditioner a bit more.

However, I can’t fault the Airo portable AC’s performance or design. It is clearly well made, and no matter what I threw at it, it just kept working.

This AC is perfect for hotter temperatures and works well in bedrooms or offices. I recommend it to any homeowners who want an AC that keeps working no matter what.

Feature

Details

BTUs

8,600

Cooling Area

300 sq. ft.

Dimensions (Inches – WxDxH)

17.8 x 15 x 30.5

Noise Level (dBa)

45-52

Weight

51.2 lbs.

Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER)

2.6


Portable AC Comparison Table (By Noise & Size)

Preview

Name

Rating

BTUs

Noise Level (dBa)

Price

Midea Duo 12,000 BTU (10,000 BTU SACC) High...

Midea Duo MAP12SS1TBL

4.3

12,000

40-60

SereneLife SLPAC8 SLPAC 3-in-1 Portable Air...

SereneLife SLPAC8

4.2

8,000

52-64

BLACK+DECKER 8,000 BTU Portable Air...

BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT

4.7

8,000

40-60

Whynter Elite ARC-122DHP 12,000 BTU Dual Hose...

Whynter ARC-122DS

4.2

8,000

40-60

DeLonghi America PACEM370 WH DeLonghi...

DeLonghi PACEM370 WH Penguino

4.2

11,500

38-50

No products found.

DuraComfort DP08CWM

4.3

12,000

48-55

LG 6,000 BTU (DOE) / 8,000 BTU (ASHRAE)...

LG LP0621WSR

4.2

6000

50-54

hOmelabs Portable Air Conditioner 14000 BTU -...

HOmelabs ‎HME020235N

4.2

8,600

45-55

AIRO COMFORT Portable Air Conditioner 8000...

Airo ACO08MWS

4.1

8,600

45-52


What To Think About In Terms Of Noise

A noisy portable air conditioner can be more trouble than it's worth. 

If noise levels are one of your primary concerns when you're shopping for an AC, then there are 3 things you should know:

  • Air conditioners are noisiest when they turn on and off. As the compressor hums life or shuts off, it can be 10-15 decibels higher for a few seconds. Therefore, the noise levels will vary.
  • The decibel rating given by manufacturers is not always accurate because it's from test conditions. The actual decibel level will be influenced by environmental factors and how hard the AC has to work. The rating they provide will give you a rough indication but not a completely accurate gauge of the noise levels.
  • The positioning and environment in your home can make a big difference to the noise level.
I considered these important factors when I created my list, and the 9 I have selected are all genuinely quiet portable air conditioners. 

However, if you want to find your own, these are my top 4 recommendations for finding the quietest portable air conditioner:

1. Look For The 'True' Decibel Rating

Ideally, you want a portable AC that runs below 55 decibels. The decibels should be clearly advertised, but it's not always completely accurate.

Use it as a guide, but check the reviews and see what other users have said about it. If possible, test it on the highest fan speed setting to see how loud it really gets.

Many manufacturers now offer a money-back guarantee in the first 30 days.

Don’t be afraid to go back to the manufacturer if the AC noise output is higher than you expected.

TL;DR: Do not rely on manufacturer's decibel rating. Look for reviews and customer experience to figure out the 'True' decibel rating.

2. Consider The Current Noise Levels In Your Home

The recommended decibel rating in urban areas is 45-55 decibels, but it can vary massively [2].

How much noise there is around you will determine how many decibels an appliance can produce before it’s noticeable.

If you live in a quiet neighborhood with low levels of ambient noise, then an AC can be even more noticeable. 

If you live in a quiet area, I recommend portable air conditioners that run below 50 decibels.

If you live in a noisier home or area, then it won't be as important, and you may not need the absolute quietest portable air conditioner.

TL;DR: If you live in a quiet neighborhood, the AC's noise will be more noticeable. If you live in an urban environment, the noise will not be as noticeable. Recommended noise is still below 50 dB. 

3. Buy A Quality Product

Low-quality portable air conditioners tend to have thin frames and poorer-quality internal components. 

They can become damaged more easily, leading to rattling and additional noise.

Higher-quality portable air conditioners are made with thicker casings and more durable components. They also have more noise insulation to make the appliance quieter.

All the quietest units selected for the list above are good quality, durable, and long-lasting.

This will make them quieter in the long run. If these aren't for you, then I recommend finding a good quality, quiet portable air conditioner if you want it to keep running quietly throughout its lifespan.

It may cost a little more, but it's worth it in the long run.

TL;DR: Do not sacrifice quality in an attempt to find a quiet model. 

4. Consider The Placement - Use Carpet & Rugs

This isn’t necessarily a factor in helping you choose quiet portable air conditioners, but considering how and where you place it will have a significant impact on the noise levels.

Firstly, placing the AC away from obstructions will allow air to flow freely in and out of the appliance. 

This will make it easier for the portable air conditioner to work and limit the noise.

Secondly, placing the portable air conditioner on a soft, carpeted floor will lower the noise output [3]. 

The noise echoes a lot more from hardwood or concrete floors and walls, and in a small space, it can cause an echo chamber that amplifies the sound.

The portable air conditioner may also vibrate slightly, giving off even more sound.

Not every room has carpets, but I recommend placing a small rug underneath the appliance to reduce the noise.

Thirdly, consider the distance from you or other people in the room. 

The further away the AC is from you, the less noisy it will seem. Try to choose an AC with a long exhaust hose so you can place it wherever you want in the room and limit the noise.

TL;DR: Placement heavily impacts the noise levels coming out of the unit.


How We Found The Quietest Portable ACs

I have worked with AC systems for years, and it's an incredibly crowded market. 

There are a lot of quiet AC units out there, but finding them isn't always easy. Finding a high-quality, quiet, portable AC is even more challenging.

I focused on finding portable ACs that are under 12,000 cubic inches and create less than 60 decibels of noise.

I searched online through big retailers and marketplaces and ended up with a list of about 80 different models.

Over the next 36 hours, I looked closely at their specifications and other features to look for the best units.

I then used over 100 expert and user reviews to narrow down the list. The user experiences let me see the areas where the manufacturer's specifications weren't accurate and gave me a clearer idea of the true sound level.

Eventually, I was left with 23 air conditioners to test myself.

During this hands-on testing, I looked at all aspects of each AC, but the key focuses were: 

  • The decibel levels at the highest and lowest settings
  • How quickly they cooled an area and what their true range was
  • Their portability, design, and dimensions
  • The specific features and running models
  • Ease of installation and use
  • Overall quality and durability
This ‘real world’ testing really let me get to grips with the strengths and weaknesses of each model. 

This left me with 9 of the best, quietest portable air conditioner models on the market, and these are the ACs included on the list above.

Many of the final 9 have similarities, but I tried to include a mix of models that would work in various homes. 

The Midea Duo performed the best and stood out for me, but I would recommend looking through the whole list to see if there is one which is better for you.

How We Review & Rank Our Product List

At Air Conditioner Lab, our team follows a similar process when evaluating all products reviews before formulating our final lists for readers.

We begin by gathering data sources directly from brands, e-commerce platforms, online retailers and press releases.

These are then added to a master file we use to compare features specifications from all Portable AC models. You can access this Portable ACs Sheet Here.

Next, we narrow down all the products on the market by evaluating user reviews, ratings and feedback from a wide variety of online and in-person sources.

Our team then discusses and co-ordinates our first hand experiences using these products, as well as gather independent opinions and feedback through Youtube and customer reviews.


What Else To Look For When Buying A Quiet Portable ACs

Size Dimensions – Smaller = Quieter

The physical dimensions of your portable air conditioner will determine where you can place it. They will also impact the noise levels of the appliance.

A smaller air conditioner will generally create less noise and can be placed in an area of the room to minimize sound. 

Choosing a smaller model will therefore keep the portable air conditioner noise to a minimum.

All of the portable air conditioners on the list are compact and quiet. The Black & Decker AC is the smallest, and I would recommend it to anyone with limited space in their home.

TL;DR: A smaller less powerful unit generally creates lower noise as compared to larger units.

Pay Attention to the Coverage Area

Portable air conditioners are designed to cover a specific area. This is different for every model and is usually on the side of the box or in the air conditioner specs.

An AC needs to be appropriately sized to manage the area you use it in.

An AC like the SereneLife can cool a 250-square-foot area, but if it's used in a 500-foot space, then the appliance will be under strain.

This will cause it to overwork and create more noise, or it could even damage the appliance, which can make it run more noisily.

Generally, the larger the AC, the more noise it will generate. If your portable air conditioner is noticeably too large for the space, then it's probably going to generate more noise.

You should carefully check the square footage of the space you want to cool and then find a portable air conditioner that matches it.

Bear in mind that tested ratings are based on standard 8-foot ceilings, but if yours are higher or lower than average, factor that into your measurements.

Energy Star Savings Table Air Conditioners

Source: ENERGY STAR

Remember: Always leave yourself some margin of error between what your machine can do and what you actually need!

Just because a portable air conditioner can technically handle 500 square feet, you don't necessarily want to force it to.

By running one of these machines at the edge of its capabilities, you'll burn it out faster and end up with a machine that's constantly at its highest speed (which will make it anything but quiet).

So, round up slightly when you're deciding between sizes of portable air conditioners!

TL;DR: The larger the coverage are that needs cooling, the more powerful a portable AC you need.

Cooling Output – Lower BTU Rating = Quieter

The output of a portable air conditioner is measured in BTUs (British Thermal Units).[4]

ACLAB Note:

The British Thermal Unit rating is closely linked to the coverage, and the higher the BTUs, the more cooling power they can provide. Generally, the higher the BTU, the more sound the appliance makes.

The BTU rating of your AC should be influenced by how much cooling you need in the space. 

However, if you pick a portable air conditioner that has slightly more BTU than is needed, it can reduce the noise.

This is because the more powerful portable air conditioner will be able to run on lower settings and run for less time to reduce the temperature. 

This higher efficiency means it will create less noise overall.

TL;DR: ACs with lower BTU are less powerful and thus generate lower noise. However, you should match the BTUs of the AC with the coverage area.

Energy Efficiency (High EER Is Best)

Portable AC units are much cheaper to run than most large air conditioners.

However, they can still cost as much as $0.20 an hour and impact your energy bills. Energy-efficient units can lower those costs and save you hundreds of dollars.

The efficiency of a portable AC is defined by an EER, SEER (seasonally adjusted cooling capacity), or CEER (combined energy efficiency ratio) rating.[5] The higher the EER, the more efficient the model and the less you will pay to run it.

I recommend looking for quiet portable air conditioners with an EER of at least 5.5

Some of the quietest portable air conditioners on the list above are even more efficient than that, like the Midea Duo with a rating of 12.3, but they don't have to be that efficient.

5.5 Energy rating

All the portable air conditioner models listed are at least fairly energy efficient and will provide cooling without any huge running costs.

TL;DR: Look for portable ACs with a higher energy efficiency rating in order to save up on running costs.

air purifier for smoke

Drainage Options - Single Vs Dual Hose

A standard portable air conditioner needs window ventilation to function. 

They will either use a single exhaust hose to bring in cold air or a dual hose design that vents hot air and pulls cooled air into the room.

Dual hose ventilation kits can be more complicated to install and make your AC less portable.

They can also create more noise as there is more airflow, and the quietest portable AC units are single-hose models.

However, dual hose designs are also more efficient and can cool a room more quickly.

Most homes will be fine with a single-hose portable air conditioner. However, if you have very hot conditions, you would be best with a dual-hose AC like the Midea Duo.

In all cases, I would recommend looking for a model with a long exhaust pipe so you aren't limited in where you place the AC.

TL;DR: Dual hose ACs are more powerful and efficient, but single-hose ACs are cheaper to procure.

SINGLE VERSUS DUAL

Warranty Length And Support Do Matter

Portable air conditioners can be easily damaged, especially if they are moved frequently. This damage can cause internal faults that can lead to annoying noise and rattling.

A warranty helps to protect against this by offering you a guarantee on the product. If something does become damaged, you can contact the manufacturer and have it repaired free of charge. 

This won't just keep the appliance running quietly; it will give you better long-term value for money.

The warranty on portable air conditioners can vary. Some models, like the Whynter AC, have a longer warranty, but the standard is generally about 12 months.

Some manufacturers allow you to purchase an extended warranty, but I would not recommend buying one.

The general consensus is that they are usually a bad deal and only offer limited protection.

TL;DR: Look for units with long standard warranty period. The average for most is 12 months.

Aim For Easy Installation

Portable air conditioners should be easy to set up and use.

Some of the best portable models can just be plugged in and used immediately, and all of the models I’ve selected can be set up in less than 10 minutes.

The simplest is the DuraComfort AC, but you shouldn’t have difficulty with any of them.

Having a model that’s simple to install will make it easier to move and store as needed.

I highly recommend an easy-to-install air-quiet portable air conditioner, especially if you don’t have as much experience with home appliances.

TL;DR: Ease of installation is important to get the portable AC up and running quickly.

Portability For Easy Setup

Portable air conditioners should be easy to set up and use.

Some of the best portable models can just be plugged in and used immediately, and all of the models I’ve selected can be set up in less than 10 minutes.

The DuraComfort AC is the easiest to install, but you shouldn’t have difficulty with any of them.

Simple installation makes it easier to move and store the appliance as needed.

I would highly recommend an easy-to-install air-quiet portable air conditioner, especially if you don’t have as much experience with home appliances.

TL;DR: If you wish to use the AC in different rooms frequently, make sure it is mobile and lightweight with easy installation.

Additional Dehumidify Mode Is Preferred

Heat and humidity go hand in hand.

Air conditioners can cool a room, but only a dehumidifier can remove the warm moisture from the air and leave you feeling comfortable too.

Many modern air conditioners have a dehumidifier mode which gives you dehumidification and air conditioning in one. 

This helps you to fully control your indoor environment and removes the need for two separate appliances.

Ultimately, this will save you money in running costs and remove the noise that a separate dehumidifier would cause.

Almost all of the 9 models listed have a Dry Mode to tackle humidity. The SereneLife AC has the best dehumidifier and can manage very moist conditions.

If you live in a humid area, I recommend choosing an AC with dehumidifier mode as standard.

TL;DR: A dehumidifier can help extract excess moisture from the air WITHOUT sky rocketing your energy bills.

Smart Features Are Optional

Timers, thermostats, and remote controls are all features of modern portable air conditioners. 

Many new portable air conditioner units are also Wi-Fi enabled and allow you to control the appliance through an application on your phone.

These features make the device easier to use and help it to run more efficiently. They can also help you control the noise level.

A thermostat allows your portable air conditioner to function automatically and only activate when needed.

A timer also lets you control when the AC runs.

These smart features allow you to use the portable air conditioner as and when you choose. This can reduce the running costs and allows the AC to run less frequently.

Ultimately, this means it will generate less noise in your home.

TL;DR: Portable ACs with smart features make it easier to use the device. However, the more features a unit has, the more expensive it would tend to get.

Honeywell thermostat wall

FAQs

Is There Such A Thing As A Quiet Portable AC Unit?

Yes, even though there are a lot of loud portable air conditioners, it is possible to find a high-quality, quiet portable AC.

All the portable air conditioners on the list above run quietly and should give you cooling with minimal disruption.

Are Portable Air Conditioners Louder Than Window Units?

Portable air conditioners can appear to be louder than window units, but that is usually because window units direct some of the sound out of the building.

However, quiet portable AC units will usually produce less noise output than window air conditioners.

How Can I Make A Portable Air Conditioner Quieter?

You can make portable air conditioners quieter by cleaning the filters and running them on a lower setting.

You can also place them on carpets or rugs, which will absorb some of the sounds and limit how many decibels reach you.

Is A High BTU Portable AC Noisier?

Yes, a higher BTU portable AC unit will generally be louder than a low BTU model.

However, portable air conditioner noise levels are influenced by a number of other factors, and some high BTU models can run quietly.

Summary – Which Is Best?

Finding a quiet but high-performing portable AC unit isn't easy. That's why I've done the hard work for you.

All of the models on the list above have a low noise output but are still effective, and there is something on the list for everyone.

If I had to recommend one quiet portable air conditioning unit, it would be the Midea Duo. It cools a room quickly, has smart features, and is easy to use.

It's also an energy-efficient model that's cheap to run.

If you want to cool your home without disruption, the Midea Duo is the portable AC for you.

My #1 Recommendation
Midea Duo MAP12SS1TBL

  • Extremely quiet for a powerful AC
  • Fast cooling
  • Built-in dehumidifier
  • Very energy efficient
  • Sleek design

References: 

  1. https://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0042085915613555
  2. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3531357/
  3. https://www.carpetinstitute.com.au/residential/carpet-noise-pollution-reduction/
  4. https://www.eia.gov/energyexplained/units-and-calculators/british-thermal-units.php
  5. https://www.energy.gov/energysaver/room-air-conditioners
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Josh Mitchell

Founder

Josh Mitchell
My name is Josh and I am obsessed with home appliances. From portable AC units to heaters and air purifiers, I enjoy testing, learning and using these devices to improve the air quality inside my family home.

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Midea U Shaped Window Air Conditioner

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