9 Quietest Window Air Conditioners to Beat Summer Heat

Josh Mitchell

Written By

Josh Mitchell

Expert Reviewed By

Holly Curell

Last Updated On

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Window air conditioners tend to be loud — but they don’t have to be.

A good quiet window air conditioner can cool your home efficiently while sounding like a white noise machine. You have to pick your unit carefully, though, if you want to ensure quiet operation.

I penned this guide to help you find the quietest air conditioner that can keep your home comfortable.

Quick Glance - My Recommendations

Midea 8,000 BTU U-Shaped Smart Inverter Air...

Midea U-Shaped

  • Lowest decibels = 32 
  • Windows can be opened
  • Powerful at cooling
  • Several modes available

Dreo Window Air Conditioner, 8000 BTU...

Dreo Arctic One

  • Lowest decibels = 42 
  • Cools large rooms effectively
  • Low cost to run
  • Slim, good looking design

TOSOT 8,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner -...

Tosot Tranquility

  • Lowest decibels = 42 
  • Automatic thermostat
  • Drainage hole included
  • Top value for money

9 Best Quiet Window Air Conditioners With Low Decibels

1 - Dreo Arctic One DR-HAC002

4.5

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.75

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Cooling Ability

4.0

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Value For Money

4.25

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Noise Reduction

5.0

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DB Low

42db

DB High

42db

SEER

15

Inverter

Yes

Who is Dreo Arctic One DR-HAC002 Best For?

Dreo Arctic One is the best choice for quiet and energy-efficient cooling for medium-sized to large rooms.

Pros
  • The inverter compressor keeps the noise level low
  • Good cooling power for even larger rooms
  • Amazing energy efficiency keeps bills low
  • Sleek design
CONS
  • Some reliability issues
  • No lights on the remote

The best window air conditioner is one that just works (at least in my books).

Should you agree, Dreo Arctic One will provide you with the straightforward, quiet cooling you seek.

Arctic One’s secret lies in its inverter compressor — a feature it shares with the Midea unit. Thanks to its constant operation, this unit avoids regular compressors’ noisy spin-up and shut-off steps.

As a result, Arctic One runs at a quiet 42 dB, losing only to Soleus and GE in the noise department. I’m sensitive to noise in my bedroom, but this thing won’t wake me up.

Dreo Arctic One DR-HAC002

The low noise doesn’t compromise cooling capacity. At 8,000 BTU, Arctic One has the chops to effectively cool a 350-sq-ft room — or bigger. This unit punches above its weight class and works well in an even bigger space.

An additional benefit of the inverter compressor is low energy consumption. Together with the Midea, this is the most energy-efficient window AC unit.

With a five-star Energy Star rating and a 15 EER, you'll barely notice an increase in your energy bill.

Arctic One has five different user modes, at least one more than other units on my list. You can control the unit easily with either the front panel or remote. There’s no energy saver mode, but with this EER, do you even need it?

This is a (relatively) light unit as well. Unless you’re Macho Man, you will need two people to lift it, but installing Arctic One is easier than with many other window ACs.

Speaking of installation, this AC doesn’t need a separate support bracket. It screws directly into the window frame to stay sturdily in place. 

The installation kit also includes a safety bracket that locks the window panel to keep burglars out.

That said, if you rent your home, you might want a different unit. Your landlord may not want screw holes in window frames.

As a cherry on top of this sundae, Arctic One looks good. I wouldn’t call it (or any AC) beautiful, but it has a sleeker look than 99% of other quiet window air conditioners.

It's not perfect, though, and there are some reliability issues with the compressor. Fortunately, Dreo's customer service is pretty dang good and offers a great 30-month warranty. 

I do wish they could install a backlight into the remote, too — it's impossible to see what you're doing in a dark bedroom.

Still, thanks to the great balance between power, price, and energy efficiency, I dub this unit Sir Best Choice for Quiet Window Air Conditioner.


2 - Midea U-Shaped MAW08V1QWT

4.3

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.5

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Cooling Ability

4.0

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Value For Money

4.4

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Who Is Midea U-Shaped MAW08V1QWT Best For?

This Midea U-Shaped unit is ideal for homeowners who want excellent cooling performance and to be able to open their windows.

Pros
  • Unique U-design lets you open the window
  • Powerful and energy-efficient cooling performance
  • Wi-Fi connectivity with smartphones and voice controls
  • Lots of user modes and features
CONS
  • Lousy installation instructions
  • Poorly placed drain hole

One of the biggest downsides of window air conditioners is that they prevent you from opening the window. Midea MAW08V1QWT solves that problem with its genius U-shaped design.

This unit's compressor and AC section are separated by a gap that allows the window panel to slide between them. You no longer have to pick between having a window AC or a usable window — you get the best of both worlds.

As an additional benefit, the window panel acts as a sound barrier between the compressor and your home. 

Together with an inverter compressor (like that on the Dreo machine), this is a very quiet AC unit.

I would've expected it to make even less noise, though — the other U-shaped machine on my list achieves a quieter running noise.

In addition to noise, the Midea matches the Dreo in cooling power with an 8,000 BTU rating. 

Like its competitor, it works well even in rooms bigger than the officially stated 350 sq ft. Be prepared to have people ask, “Why is it so cold here?”

Midea’s energy efficiency is also identical to the Dreo at 15 EER. You can keep your bills low and enjoy an efficiently cooled home.

Midea U-Shaped MAW08V1QWT app

What the Midea has that Dreo doesn’t is Wi-Fi connectivity.

You can operate its five user modes (as many as Dreo has) through your smartphone, tablet, or even with Amazon Alexa or other voice control unit.

It’s good for smart homes, although the GE unit is slightly quieter if that matters to you.

Installing the Midea is easy — in theory. Unfortunately, the instructions are seriously lacking in detail and clarity.

Due to the unique U-shape, the process isn’t the same as with most quiet window ACs.

It’s simple-ish once you figure out how everything goes together, but you will have to use your imagination.

My second gripe is the drain hole, located almost smack-dab in the middle of the unit. As such, it might drip condensation all over your wall. I suggest investing in a drain hose or a pan to prevent mold on your wall.

So, why did I choose Dreo as my #1 quietest window air conditioner over the Midea when they're practically identical in efficiency, and this one lets you open your window?

Frankly, mostly because I’m a creature of habit. The traditional form factor of the Dreo is what I (and most other people, I imagine) are used to.

The Midea is still an excellent U-shaped inverter window air conditioner, and I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.


3 - Tosot Tranquility

4.2

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

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 Tosot Tranquility 8,000 BTU Best For?

Tosot Tranquility 8,000 provides a high-value quiet window air conditioner for owners of medium-sized homes.

Pros
  • Good power-to-price ratio
  • Portable thermostat automatically adjusts cooling power
  • Newest version includes a drainage hole
CONS
  • Disappointing remote controller
  • Some bizarre quirks in behavior
  • Really heavy

Budget window ACs don’t always bring you the performance you need, but you may still want the most bang for your buck. 

Tosot Tranquility 8,000 BTU is a quiet window air conditioner with a strong cooling output — and a reasonable price tag.

The Tosot window AC is in the same league as the Dreo and Midea units, losing only to the Emerson. With an 8,000 BTU rating, this AC is good for medium-sized spaces and possibly even larger ones.

Tosot Tranquility 42db

In terms of features, Tosot has three fan speeds, a 24-hour timer, a dehumidifier function, and a sleep mode.

In sleep mode, it produces only 42 dB of noise; even in the high setting, the decibel levels stay at a reasonable 49 dB.

As a nice extra treat, it features an iFeel remote thermostat integrated into the remote controller. 

The iFeel functions like Keystone’s Follow Me and Soleus’ MyTemp thermostats — it monitors the temperature in the remote’s location and sends it back to the AC unit to automatically adjust its output.

That’s the best thing I can say about the remote, though. 

It doesn’t have a backlight, makes an irritating beep with every button push, and has to be aimed precisely right for the window AC to register it.

Fortunately, the buttons on the unit itself are very easy to use.

The Tosot unit has a 12 EER energy efficiency rating. In theory, it’s as energy-efficient as the Haier, but the higher BTU rating drags the total energy consumption up. Still, it won’t add very much to your energy bill.

Another thing comparable to the Haier is Tosot’s ability to recycle condensation for cooling, which can result in sloshing and additional noise.

The good news is that Tosot has improved on the Tranquility 8,000’s previous version. It now includes an unpluggable bottom drain to empty the unit of water.

I have to mention that with the Tosot, you get a lot of AC for your money — literally.

This is the single heaviest unit on my list, weighing in at a whopping 70 pounds. You will need some serious muscle to hoist this behemoth into its place.

Another bizarre quirk is that turning off the unit’s LED display light seems to lower its efficiency. I have no idea who or how it happens, but take that into account. If you need strong cooling, keep the light on.

The Tosot cuts a few corners in its design and construction but is overall still a good value package for medium-sized rooms.


4 - Keystone KSTAW05BE

4.3

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.5

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Cooling Ability

4.0

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Value For Money

4.3

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Who is Keystone KSTAW05BE Best For?

This affordable, quiet Keystone air conditioner is ideal for those who need low-noise air conditioning for small spaces on a limited budget.

Pros
  • Affordable to buy and maintain
  • Portable thermostat in remote control
  • Reliable long-term performance
  • Chassis comes off for through-wall mounting
CONS
  • Only enough cooling capacity for small rooms
  • So-so build quality
  • Fairly noisy

Not everybody can or wants to pay a lot for quiet window ACs.

Keystone KSTAW05BE is worth considering if you need low-noise cooling at a comparatively dirt-cheap price.

In terms of features, this Keystone AC doesn't lose to much more expensive window units. It has 3-in-1 functionality with an AC, fan, and dehumidifier. 

Keystone KSTAW05BE controls

You also get sleep and energy-saver modes and a three-step adjustable fan speed.

The remote control has a Follow Me portable thermostat that works like Soleus’ and Tosot’s comparable technologies. It monitors the temperature at the remote’s location and adjusts the AC’s power automatically.

As a nice touch, you can remove the unit’s chassis to install it as a through-wall air conditioner. I personally appreciate the extra bit of versatility.

Small and lightweight, the Keystone is easy to install with the included mounting kit. I also have to commend the detailed instruction manual.

The Keystone has washable filters, which further adds to its budget-friendly nature. You won’t have to put as much money toward new filters, as you can simply wash and reuse the included filter several times.

You do have to sacrifice some power for that low price, though. This 5,000 BTU window air conditioner is the weakest unit on my list. Still, it works well in smaller rooms, like an office or a bedroom.

The energy efficiency isn’t mindblowing at 11 EER, but that’s not the entire story. 

Although this machine isn’t as efficient as most window AC units on my list, its lower capacity also means it doesn’t need as much power. Overall, it’s a reasonably economical AC.

In the noise department, the Keystone is fairly quiet but can't compete with the quietest window air conditioners on my list.

On a low setting, it produces 49 dB of noise — the same level the Soleus, for example, hits on high. Still, it is quieter than your standard window AC.

You can start to see the low price in this air conditioner's overall build quality. The remote is picky about functional angles, and the unit simply feels cheap when you handle it. 

And while beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I have to say this AC is pretty dang ugly.

Then again, you shouldn’t expect the cream of the crop at this cost. For its price point, Keystone is a reliable little machine for smaller rooms.


5 - Soleus Air WS3-06E-201

4.1

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.4

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Cooling Ability

4.0

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Value For Money

4.0

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Who is Soleus Air WS3-06E-201 Best For?

The Soleus unit is the best window air conditioner for homeowners who want the quietest possible air conditioning at any cost.

Pros
  • The quietest AC unit on my list
  • Leaves the window unobstructed
  • Remote thermostat
  • Secure once installed
CONS
  • Very expensive for its capacity
  • Will not work with every window

What good is a quiet air conditioner if it’s not actually quiet? The Soleus Air WS3-06E-201 stands out even in this low-noise crowd by being the quietest unit.

On the lowest setting, this machine produces only 38 dB of noise, making it the quietest window AC unit on my list. 

To give you a reference, that’s approaching the noise level of a whisper. It beats even the inverter compressor-equipped Dreo and Midea units.

This isn't an inverter unit, so the noise level increases as you crank up the power. But even at the highest setting, it stays at around 49 dB—still nice and low noise.

Soleus Air WS3-06E-201 49db

Soleus’ secret lies partially in the U-saddle design that, unlike the Midea, curves downward. That places the compressor behind your wall instead of the window frame, which reduces noise significantly.

It also means the window unit doesn't block your view, and you can open the window. I like that Soleus lets me use the window as intended.

Power-wise, Soleus is in the same class as GE and Haier with a 6,000 BTU rating. I wouldn’t buy it for a big living room, but it’s suitable for a bedroom or an office.

The Soleus window AC unit has adjustable fan speed, a dehumidifier, sleep/quiet, energy saver, and auto modes — just like any decent air conditioner. 

The remote has a nice digital LED display and features a MyTemp remote thermostat. It works like the Tosot and Keystone thermostats, adjusting the AC based on the remote's location.

Soleus' unique downward U-shape makes it somewhat safer to install. Since the unit hangs on your windowsill, you don't need an external support bracket, and it practically can't fall off.

The unit is really heavy, though — almost as heavy as the Tosot. Lifting it isn’t the easiest job, but at least the weight will lodge it firmly in place.

You may not be able to mount this unit on every window space, though.

If you have a particularly thick window sill or a radiator under your window, you simply can’t install this AC. Measure your window well before wasting your money.

Speaking of money, Soleus is the most expensive AC on my list. You’d expect a top-tier machine for that price, but Soleus suffers from some quality control issues.

There are poorly fixed wires inside that can rattle annoyingly. You can open the unit to tape them down, but at this price, you shouldn’t have to.

Still, if you have deep pockets and want the most silent window air conditioner money to buy, Soleus is for you.


6 - LG LW6017R

4.2

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

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 LG LW6017R Best For?

This LG compact AC unit is best for owners of old houses or other homes with small windows.

Pros
  • Affordable price
  • Compact design fits small windows
  • Good performance for the size and price
CONS
  • Comparatively noisy
  • Strange design choices

Although living in a historic home can be a wonderful experience, it generally comes with the downside of smaller windows.

LG LW6017R is a compact window air conditioner that can fit in even small windows.

The LG unit has a small footprint at only 14” x 17” x 11”. It’s about an inch wider than the Keystone AC, but the LG has less depth and height. Measure your window and choose accordingly.

That extra inch of width brings with it an additional 1,000 BTU of cooling power, though.

With a 6,000 BTU rating, the LG matches the Soleus, GE, and Haier in cooling performance. Whereas the Keystone is only fit for small spaces, LG can work decently well even in a medium-sized room.

This window air conditioner isn't particularly heavy, so solo installation is definitely possible. 

The installation manual is clear enough but has some pretty hilarious machine translation errors. So hey — you can have a good chuckle while you mount the AC.

LG has packed the standard AC, fan, dehumidifier, and energy-saver modes into the unit.

The dehumidifier mode doesn't really do much, in my experience. Controlling the unit is straightforward with the remote or front panel, although, for some reason, the AC doesn't cycle through the modes in the same order the indicator lights are in.

I do like the Auto Restart feature, though. If you lose power, the machine automatically restarts as soon as it gets some juice again. It’s a nice little quality-of-life feature.

LG LW6017R 52db

Sadly, the LG is a noisy window air conditioner compared to others on my list. In the low mode, it produces 52 dB of noise — the same as the much more powerful Emerson unit. 

It’s still quieter than average window AC units, but you should look elsewhere if you’re very sensitive to noise.

I also have to note that LG has removed drainage from the unit. The previous models had a drain hole, but the latest LW6017R no longer has it for some reason. Make sure to tilt the unit back during installation to avoid it dripping indoors.

You could drill a hole into the bottom panel to let the unit drain, but that will void the warranty. Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

Despite its strange design quirks, LG’s window air conditioner delivers good value and decent performance. If your home has small windows, this basic unit can keep you cool.


7 - Emerson Quiet Kool EARC10RSE1

4.0

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.0

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Cooling Ability

4.0

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Value For Money

4.0

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Who is Emerson Quiet Kool EARC10RSE1 Best For?

This powerful Emerson AC unit is ideal for homeowners who want to cool large rooms relatively quietly.

Pros
  • Powerful performance for even large rooms
  • Great value at its price
  • Wi-Fi connectivity for phones and voice control
  • Energy-efficient operation
CONS
  • Comparatively noisy window air conditioner
  • Lousy remote control

Have all the other window AC units on my list seemed way undersized for your needs? If you have large rooms in your home that need a lot of cooling power, the Emerson Quiet Kool is your machine.

This window AC unit packs the most power on my list. With its 10,000 BTU of cooling capacity, the Quiet Kool is rated for rooms up to 450 sq ft. 

However, in my experience, this unit can work perfectly fine in even 700-sq-ft spaces.

Of course, that depends on the insulation, room layout, and so forth, so your mileage may vary. 

All I’m saying is the Quiet Kool packs a punch.

As a powerful unit, the Emerson is a comparatively noisy AC, producing 52 dB in the “quiet” setting. Yet, that’s no louder than the LG. You will hear the Emerson, but it’s still low-noise when you take into account how much cooling output it boasts.

I also like the value of this Energy Star-certified window air conditioner. It’s reasonably priced for its size and has an EER rating of 12. 

It’s economical to operate and won’t make a big impact on your energy bill.

The unit ships with a remote, but it's possibly the worst one I've reviewed. It just seems unresponsive, and you have to point the thing precisely at the AC for your commands to register.

That's okay, though, since the Quiet Kool has Wi-Fi connectivity, like the Midea and GE window ACs. Connect it to your phone or voice controls, and that remote will be nothing but a bad dream.

The Quiet Kool is a big unit, so you can’t mount it in the smallest windows. Yet, despite its power, it’s relatively lightweight — even lighter than the Tosot machine — so installing it isn’t all that challenging.

Finally, I have to mention Emerson’s warranty. The compressor has a whopping five-year warranty on it, so if your AC happens to blow, you can likely get it replaced.

All in all, Emerson Quiet Kool is a high-value and high-power package. If you don’t mind your window AC unit being somewhat audible, this machine is a good alternative for big homes.


8 - Haier Serenity Series ESAQ406T

4.2

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

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 Haier Serenity Series ESAQ406T Best For?

This Haier ESAQ406T is a good choice for those looking for a low-maintenance and reliable quiet window air conditioner at a reasonable price.

Pros
  • Reliable long-term performance with basic maintenance
  • Good energy efficiency
  • Easy to install with a mounting kit and light(ish) weight
CONS
  • Prone to freezing with the drain plug in place
  • Upward-facing vents can slow down the cooling effect

Growing up, I knew a farmer who had an ancient workhorse that just kept going. I’m bringing the old beast up because the reliability of Haier Serenity Series ESAQ406T reminded me of it.

This unit brings you everything a modern window air conditioner should. It has four user modes, including cooling, energy saver, fan, and dehumidification.

That’s one less compared to the Dreo, but that unit is kitted out better than most. You also get a handy 24-hour timer to set the AC to your schedule.

Power-wise, this unit is in the same class as the GE and Soleus. This 6,000 BTU window air conditioner can effectively cool a small to medium-sized room up to the stated 250 sq ft — and even a bit above that. It’s not built for huge rooms, but it works well for an appropriately-sized space.

Even though the Haier isn’t an inverter unit, it runs at a quiet 44 dB in the low setting. 

Haier Serenity Series ESAQ406T controls

The machine has a compressor blanket, which goes a long way to absorb most of the noise. 

Like the GE, this AC gets louder as you crank up the power, but even on the high setting, it’s comparable to a regular window AC’s noise level on low.

At 56 pounds, this is a relatively lightweight window AC. It’s also not the biggest unit on my list, so it can fit a slightly smaller window comfortably. 

You get a mounting kit in the box, and installation is nice and straightforward.

In terms of energy efficiency, Haier is rated at 12.2 EER. It’s not as energy-conservative as the Dreo or Midea, but the lower capacity means it consumes less power in general.

Overall, the estimated annual bill to run this unit is $3 higher than Dreo’s super-low cost — I wouldn’t grumble about that.

What I will grumble about is having to jump through hoops to get the maximum reliability from this machine. 

The Haier unit collects condensation and uses it to cool the condenser coil. That keeps energy consumption low but also contributes to the freezing issues and sloshing noise many users report.

I suggest removing the drain plug on the bottom of the AC unit to allow it to empty out and help prevent freezing.

The energy efficiency will take a small hit, but that’s worth not having to thaw the AC every couple of months.

All in all, the Haier is a humble unit. It doesn’t boast or try to do anything fancy — it just cools your home like it’s supposed to.


9 - GE Profile Ultra Quiet ‎PHC06LY

4.1

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

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 GE Profile Ultra Quiet PHC06LY Best For?

This GE Profile Ultra Quiet is for owners of smart homes with small rooms will love this stylish and quiet window air conditioner.

Pros
  • Top-notch smart features and voice controls
  • Very quiet for a non-inverter AC
  • Attractive design
CONS
  • Low-ish cooling performance
  • Pricier than it should be

Do you like your smart home where you can voice control every device over Wi-Fi? Then GE Profile Ultra Quiet PHC06LY is for you.

This AC unit connects to your smartphone, tablet, or voice controls like Alexa or Nest with the GE SmartHQ app. 

You can control every feature of this unit, including the four user modes, from anywhere your Wi-Fi can reach. It even knows how to set the temperature based on your phone’s location.

Just say, “Alexa, cool my home,” and feel the breeze. Even if you’re not much for phone operation, the GE Profile is still simple to use with the capacitive front panel or traditional remote control.

In terms of noise, this is one of the quietest window air conditioners I’ve seen when set into the unique Ultra Quiet mode. 

I didn’t figure out what it does exactly, but it does shut the machine up.

This AC doesn't have an inverter compressor, like the Dreo or Midea window units, but the Ultra Quiet mode still registers at only 40 dB, three feet away from the unit. It gets louder in higher settings but doesn't start blaring like basic air conditioners.

GE Profile Ultra Quiet ‎PHC06LY 40db

You will also hear a small rumble when the compressor kicks in, but this is still one of the quietest models on my list.

The GE is rated (weirdly specifically) at 6,150 BTU. Although it beats the Haier and Soleus marginally in numbers, in practice it has the same 250-sq-ft coverage.

Use this unit for a small room — it doesn’t have the power for huge halls.

With the GE AC, you get a 3-in-1 package of AC, fan, and dehumidifier functionality.

I did say that I wouldn’t call any AC beautiful, but this unit makes me consider breaking that rule.

As far as air conditioners go, I’ve rarely seen a nicer-looking model. GE’s designers have done a good job.

I wish they’d done the same with energy efficiency. At 11.5 EER, the GE is only marginally more energy efficient than the Keystone machine (which isn’t a high bar).

It is Energy Star-certified, though, and has a power-saving Eco mode. Together with the lower cooling capacity, your bills should stay in check.

That’s a good thing, too, because this AC’s price tag is bigger than what I think it should be. You also don’t get an installation kit, which will add further to the cost. I imagine that the tax you pay for the smart features.

As long as you can stomach the price, GE Profile is a good addition to a small home full of smart devices.


Quiet Window ACs Compared

Preview

Name

Rating

BTU

Noise (dBa)

Price

Dreo Window Air Conditioner, 8000 BTU...

Dreo Arctic One DR-HAC002

4.2

8000

42

Midea 8,000 BTU U-Shaped Smart Inverter Air...

Midea U-Shaped MAW08V1QWT

4.3

8000

42

TOSOT 8,000 BTU Window Air Conditioner -...

Tosot Tranquility

4.2

8000

42-49

Keystone KSTAW05BE 5,000 BTU Window Mounted...

Keystone KSTAW05BE

4.3

5,000

49

Soleus Air Exclusive 6,000 BTU Energy Star...

Soleus Air WS3-06E-201

4.1

6,000

38

LG Control 6,000 Window Conditioner, 115V,...

LG LW6017R

4.2

6,000

52

Emerson Quiet Kool 10,000 BTU 115V SMART...

Emerson Quiet Kool EARC10RSE1

4.0

10,000

52

Haier ESAQ406T Serenity Series 6, 000 BTU...

Haier Serenity Series ESAQ406T

4.2

6,000

44

GE Profile Ultra Quiet Window Air Conditioner...

GE Profile Ultra Quiet ‎PHC06LY

4.1

6,150

40


How To Choose A Reliable Quiet Window AC

It’s not enough to simply buy a window AC with the lowest noise levels.

You have to account for several factors to find the quietest window air conditioner possible that can serve you for a long time.

Here’s my breakdown of the most significant considerations when comparing the quietest window air conditioners.

The Most Obvious: Noise Levels in dB

50db noise
I recommend choosing a window air conditioner with a maximum running volume below 50 dB to ensure low-noise operation.

Noise levels are measured in decibels, and most manufacturers list their window units’ noise levels on the box or documentation.

ACLAB Note:

For reference, a normal conversation sits at around 60 dB.

With sub-50 dB noise levels, your window air conditioner won’t make more sound than light rain.[1]

TL;DR: For Window ACs to qualify as quiet ACs, choose one with less than 50 dB noise level.

High Energy Efficiency (EER) To Save Up on Bills

Focus on window air conditioners with an EER rating of at least 12 to ensure they won’t raise your energy bills too much.

The energy efficiency ratio (EER) system is pretty simple — the higher the number, the less energy the window air conditioner consumes. 

ACLAB Note:

Above EER 12, though, the differences get pretty tiny. For example, the Haier, with its 12 EER rating, costs about the same in annual energy bills as the 15 EER Dreo.

TL;DR: The higher the EER, the more energy efficient the window AC is. 10 is the minimum you should aim for whereas 12 EER is a good max value.

10 EER Rating

Cooling Power Vs Room Size

I recommend measuring the square footage of the room you want to cool carefully to ensure you buy the right size window air conditioner.

Window air conditioners’ cooling capacity is measured in two ways — in British thermal units (BTU) and by coverage area. 

As a rule of thumb, an 8,000 BTU window air conditioner is enough to cool a room up to 350 sq. ft. I strongly advise taking measurements, as an undersized air conditioner won’t pump out enough cool air, while an oversized unit can cost you unnecessarily. [2]

TL;DR: You must match the cooling power (in BTU) of the AC with the coverage area of the room (in sq. ft.)

What is Your Overall Budget?

Quiet window air conditioners are available in a wide price range, so I suggest determining your budget before browsing units.

For example, the window air conditioners on my list range from the Keystone's $200 to the Soleus' more than $500. 

Calculating your budget beforehand allows you to compare the basic and additional features of window air conditioners you can actually afford.

TL;DR: Window ACs vary in their price tags. Primary factors include the BTU capacity and the features it offers.

quiet window ac

How easy Is it to Install?

Choose the lightest window air conditioner you can find, ideally one that comes with a full installation kit for simple mounting.

Window air conditioners can get very heavy (the Tosot on my list weighs a whopping 70 pounds).

A heavy unit can be difficult to mount firmly in place. A unit that comes with an installation kit saves you from buying separate components and ensures all the parts fit your air conditioner.

TL;DR: The lighter the AC, the easier it is to install. Also pay attention to the quality of the mounting kit.

How Difficult Is Its Maintenance?

Look for window air conditioners that make maintenance easy with features such as a front-loading washable filter, drain plug, and screwless filter compartment.

Every AC needs at least its air filter changed at least every couple of months. A screwless filter compartment that opens from the front makes it easy to reach the filter, while washable filters save you money in replacements. 

ACLAB Note:

I would recommend buying an air conditioner with a drain plug as well, so you can empty condensation to prevent rusting and freezing.

TL;DR: Window ACs require regular maintenance hence make sure it provides easy access to parts that need regular maintenance.

Remote Control & Wi-Fi Connectivity

I would always pick a window air conditioner with a good remote for ease of operation and convenience.

It’s a hassle to have to get out of bed or walk across your home every time you want to adjust your AC.

Look for units that have reliable remotes that can control the entire unit. For extra convenience, pick an air conditioner that connects to your Wi-Fi so you can operate it from your phone — although that will likely add to the AC’s price.

TL;DR: For a much better user experience, you can opt for ACs with remote control and WiFi connectivity - the latter provides accessibility through your smart phone or tablet.


What Makes A Window Air Conditioner Noisy?

There are a few key things that contribute to a window air conditioner’s noise level.

I’ve listed the most important factors below so you can make an informed decision when buying a quiet-running air conditioner.

Unit Size - How Powerful is the Compressor

In general, the size and power of a window air conditioner determine how many decibels of noise it produces.

A more powerful compressor simply works harder, which makes it noisier. That’s not a hard rule, though — I’ve seen low-power window air conditioner units that sound like a jet engine.

Unit Age - Does It Have Worn Out Parts

We all start cracking and popping with age, and the same goes for window air conditioners.

Old units often have loose or worn parts, rust, debris buildup, and any number of other issues that make them rattle and whine.

The Type of Compressor

Window air conditioners generally have two types of compressors — non-inverter and inverter compressors.

Inverter compressors run continuously instead of powering on and off like non-inverter compressors. 

This operating principle makes inverter units — like the Dreo and Midea — quieter and more energy efficient than those with standard AC compressors.

Does It Have Low Refrigerant

The refrigerant in your window air conditioner doesn’t affect its noise levels in itself.

However, low refrigerant levels can make your AC bubble or gurgle as it tries to circulate non-existent fluid. 

Gurgling accompanied by a hissing noise could also indicate a refrigerant leak.

TL;DR: BTU capacity, size and the type of compressor, unit's age and refrigerant levels all contribute to noise levels of an AC. 


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 Air Conditioners models. You can access this Air Conditioners 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.

How To Make Any Window AC Quieter?

If you have a quiet window air conditioner that’s still louder than you’d like, you may be able to shut the unit up with a few simple tricks.

Here are 8 ways to make a window AC produce less noise.

  1. 1
    Replace the filter.
    Dirt and debris caught in the filter can flutter around and raise the unit’s noise level.
  2. 2
    Tighten all screws.
    Loose screws on the unit may allow its components to rattle and bang against each other.
  3. 3
    Secure the AC to the window.
    A poorly mounted air conditioner can vibrate against the window frame, which increases its noise output.
  4. 4
    Top up the refrigerant.
    As I mentioned, low or leaking refrigerant can create noise that can be solved with a simple top-up.
  5. 5
    Check the condenser coils.
    Dirty, clogged, or frozen condenser coils are a common cause of excess AC noise.
  6. 6
    Add insulation.
    Plug any gaps or holes around the air conditioner and the window with insulation foam or strips to lower the noise level and improve the unit’s energy efficiency.
  7. 7
    Get professional maintenance.
    If you can't locate the source of the noise, it may be worth getting a professional to look at your unit, especially if it's expensive and you have an active warranty.
  8. 8
    Buy a new unit.
    If your AC is several years old, its compressor may be at the end of its journey. Consider investing in a new quiet window air conditioner.

TL;DR: Regular maintenance and cleaning, tightening any lose parts, and insulation can make a Window AC quieter.


FAQs

Can You Get Silent Window Air Conditioners?

No window air conditioners offer completely silent operation, but many features can contribute to quieter operation. Units equipped with an inverter compressor or a saddle design, for example, are generally the quietest window air conditioners.

Are Quiet Window Air Conditioners Reliable?

Quiet window air conditioners are just as reliable as regular units. In fact, those with inverter technology tend to operate more reliably for a longer time than a basic air conditioner. [3]

What Noise Level is Considered Quiet for a Window AC?

Generally, an air conditioner with a noise range below 60 dB is considered “quiet.” However, this is still as loud as a normal conversation, and you can easily find a quieter unit with decibel levels between 40-50.

How Long Will a Quiet Window Air Conditioner Last?

Quiet window air conditioners tend to last 5-10 years on average. Maintain and clean your window AC regularly, and you can get even two decades out of the machine.

Can You Get Heating and Cooling with a Low-Noise Window AC?

There are quiet window air conditioners that can both heat and cool your home. However, these units tend to be expensive, and the window installation may allow cool air to leak in during winter, making them less efficient.

So, Which Should You Buy?

With the right quiet window air conditioner, you can enjoy cool air in your home and still hear yourself think.

Any window AC on my list will serve you well, but my personal recommendation for the quietest window air conditioners goes to the Dreo Arctic One.

My #1 Recommendation
Dreo Arctic One DR-HAC002

  • The inverter compressor keeps the noise level low
  • Good cooling power for even larger rooms
  • Amazing energy efficiency keeps bills low
  • Sleek design

References: 

  1. https://decibelpro.app/blog/decibel-chart-of-common-sound-sources
  2. https://www.calculator.net/btu-calculator.html
  3. https://www.tcl.com/global/en/blog/what-is-the-difference-between-inverter-and-non-inverter-ac
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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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