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8 Quietest Window ACs to Beat The Summer Heat In Silence

Holly Curell

Written By

Holly Curell

Expert Reviewed By

Josh Mitchell

Last Updated On

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It used to be the case that I'd have to choose between sweating all night or trying to sleep with a loud, rattling window AC. Thankfully, these units have come a long way in both their cooling power and their noise production. 

I've helped many people fit quiet window units into their homes and apartments. I'm often asked which units will be the quietest, so I put together this guide of my top recommendations. 

Quick Glance - My Recommendations

GE Profile ClearView Inverter Window...

GE PHNT12CC

  • Lowest decibels = 40 
  • Suits wide wall range
  • Inverter = more efficiency
  • Better view out the window

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

Midea U-Shaped

  • Lowest decibels = 42 
  • Windows can be opened
  • Powerful at cooling
  • Several modes available

Dreo Inverter Air Conditioner Window Unit...

Dreo Arctic One

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

Noise Levels Explained For Homeowners

I recommend choosing a window air conditioner with a maximum running volume below 50 dB to ensure low-noise operation. When the AC is running on low-mode, it should function below 45 dB.

Noise levels are measured in decibels, or dB, and most manufacturers list their window units’ noise levels on the box or documentation. I wouldn't purchase a window AC if product failed to offer this information up front.

ACLAB Note:

For reference, a normal conversation sits at around 60 dB.[1] A moderate rainfall will be about 50 dB, and 40 dB is closer to the sound of leaves rustling or someone whispering in your ear. 

50db noise

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8 Best Quiet Window Air Conditioners For Silent Cooling

Many air conditioner brands claim to have low noise levels. These are the quietest that you can actually find on the market.

1. GE PHNT12CC

4.8

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.75

Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.5

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Value For Money

5.0

Current Progress
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Noise Reduction

5.0

Current Progress
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DB Low

40db

DB High

56db

EER

14.6

Inverter

Yes

Pros
  • Excellent design keeps compressor noise on outside wall
  • WiFi Compatible modern AC with voice control
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Very quiet - ideal for sleeping
CONS
  • Heavy model - 80 lbs
  • Unbalanced installation can cause water to leak into house

The GE PHNT12CC is my top choice for quiet window air conditioner.

I originally installed this model for a client who was looking for a low-profile window AC that wouldn't block the view from his one window office.

When it’s installed, this GE saddle AC only takes up the bottom 6” of window viewing, less than half of what the Midea U Inverter does. (It does require 13" clearance though, during installation.)

Once installed, though, what really impressed me was how incredibly quiet it runs. On a low setting, it reaches just 40 dB.

For well-insulated walls, though, I found that it registered even more quietly - around 37 dB. This is because the GE PHNT12CC has a saddle design (sometimes called a Reverse-U) that sits over the windowsill. 

The inverter compressor, which is already ultra-quiet, sits on the outside, with the wall creating a literally sound buffer. 

The EER of the GE PHNT12CC is 14.6, so it's much more efficient than the GE PHC06LY further on my list, which has an EER of 11.5 (and only covers about half the space). 

This GE model is a beast of a unit, weighing in at 80 lbs. So while it's easier to install than the Dreo or Tosot models, you definitely won't find me installing this one alone. 

With 12200 BTUs of cooling power, the GE PHNT12CC is made for larger spaces of up to 550 square feet. 

It's quite expensive at around $575. For those with a slightly smaller budget, I typically recommend the Frigidaire GHWQ123WC1. It's another 12000 BTU model with similar specs, but less money and only slightly louder at 42 dB. 

The last thing I'll say about this GE model is that every noise complaint I've been called in for regarding this model has been remedied by tightening the brace feet on the unit, so definitely check that before calling in a service professional. 

Who Is The GE PHNT12CC Best For?

This GE PHNT12CC offers a nice saddle design that literally places the compressor on the outside of the wall, providing ultra-quiet running.

Feature

Details

BTUs

12200

Cooling Area

550 sq ft

Dimensions (H x L x D)

12.75 x 19.62 x 28"

Weight

80 lbs

2. Midea U-Shaped MAW08V1QWT

4.7

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.75

Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.5

Current Progress
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Value For Money

5.0

Current Progress
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Noise Reduction

4.5

Current Progress
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DB Low

42db

DB High

47db

EER

15

Inverter

Yes

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 my biggest problems with window air conditioners is that they prevent me from opening the window. The 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. Which means, I no longer have to pick between having a window AC or a usable window — I get the best of both worlds.

As an additional benefit, the window panel acts as a sound barrier between the compressor and my home, which is ultimately why the Midea model is my runner-up for quiet window AC.

Together with an inverter compressor (like that on the Dreo machine), this is a very quiet AC unit and runs at only 42 dB when set on low. 

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. For window ACs, which average an 11.5 EER, this is one of the most energy efficient window ACs.

Midea U-Shaped MAW08V1QWT app

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

I can operate its five user modes through my smartphone, tablet, or even with Amazon Alexa or other voice controlled unit. The only other smart window AC that is quieter than the Midea is the GE unit further down my list. 

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.

I've installed dozens of window ACs over the years, and this one took me a bit longer to figure out how everything goes together. I just recommend you give yourself a bit of extra time for this one.

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. For most people this isn't an issue, but watch it carefully after installation to ensure it's not dripping condensation back into your home.

Overall, the Midea is still an excellent U-shaped inverter window air conditioner, and I recommend it often as a quiet window AC.

Who Is Midea U-Shaped MAW08V1QWT Best For?

This Midea U-Shaped unit offers the perfect balance between quiet performance, high SEER rating and reasonable price tag.

Feature

Details

BTUs

8000

Cooling Area

350 sq.ft.

Dimensions (H x L x D)

13.46" x 21.97" x 19.17"

Weight

55.6 lbs


3. Dreo Arctic One DR-HAC002

4.6

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.75

Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.5

Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.5

Current Progress
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Noise Reduction

4.75

Current Progress
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DB Low

42db

DB High

56db

EER

15

Inverter

Yes

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 Dreo Arctic One is a very close runner up to my top choices, and is my top pick for standard window AC design. 

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 on it's lowest setting, losing only to the Soleus and GE models in the noise department. I’m sensitive to noise in my bedroom, but this one lets me sleep soundly all night.

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 I've included on this list.

With a five-star Energy Star rating and a 15 EER, I barely noticed an increase in my energy bill.

Arctic One has five different user modes. I like that I can control the unit easily with either the front panel or remote. There’s no energy saver mode, but with this EER, I'm not sure it's needed.

This is a (relatively) hefty unit at just over 56 lbs. 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, the 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 have been some reliability issues with the compressor by other users. 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 personally rate this unit as one of the top products available.

Who is Dreo Arctic One DR-HAC002 Best For?

Dreo Arctic One is not as popular as the Midea U units, but for sustained quiet operation without fluctuation in noise levels, this is an excellent unit.

Feature

Details

BTUs

8000

Cooling Area

350 sq ft

Dimensions (H x L x D)

13.97 x 22.99 x 18.81 inches

Weight

56.5 lbs


4. Tosot Tranquility

4.4

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

3.75

Current Progress
Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.5

Current Progress
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Value For Money

5.0

Current Progress
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Noise Reduction

4.5

Current Progress
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DB Low

42db

DB High

49db

EER

12.1

Inverter

No

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


The Tosot Tranquility 8,000 BTU is a quiet window air conditioner with a strong cooling output — and a reasonable price tag. I'm including it because it offers customers the most bang for their buck. 

This Tosot window AC is in the same league as the Dreo and Midea units. With an 8,000 BTU rating, this AC is good for medium-sized spaces and possibly even larger ones. I have it set up in an open floorplan living space.

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 at the high setting, the decibel levels stay at a reasonable 49 dB. This is much quieter than the portable AC I was previously using in this space, which averaged about 65 dB.

As a nice extra treat, it features an iFeel remote thermostat integrated into the remote control that really helps me manage temperature consistency across the room.

The iFeel functions like 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, which isn't quite as good as my top few choices, but still pretty good for a window AC.

Tosot has improved on the Tranquility 8000 BTUs' previous version. It now includes a bottom drain to empty the unit of water if too much condensation builds up. 

This is the single heaviest unit on my list, weighing in at a whopping 62 pounds. You will need some serious muscle to hoist this behemoth into its place. Thankfully my brother was around to help me.

One bizarre quirk of this machine 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.

Who is Tosot Tranquility 8,000 BTU Best For?

Tosot Tranquility 8,000 is a quiet unit with a fairly low upfront cost. While this does not have top-notch SEER rating, it is excellent for the budget-conscious homeowners.

Feature

Details

BTUs

8000

Cooling Area

350 sq ft

Dimensions (H x L x D)

14 x 21.4 x 18.8 inches

Weight

62 lbs


5. LG Dual Inverter LW1022IVSM

4.4

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.75

Current Progress
Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.75

Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.25

Current Progress
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Noise Reduction

4.0

Current Progress
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DB Low

44db

DB High

58db

EER

15

Inverter

Yes

Pros
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Pairs with LHThinQ Technology
  • Easy to set up
  • Intuitive controls and app
CONS
  • Window kit often needs modifying to fit
  • LG customer service notoriously difficult to work with

When I think of the LG brand, I think of TVs, monitors, and gaming laptops—all high-end technology products.

I was excited to see their advanced tech specs on the LG Dual Inverter LW1022IVSM, and I chose this model for my Airbnb rental. 

Having full access to the appliance on my phone allows me to monitor things while offering my guests privacy, and ensures the space is the perfect welcoming temperature when they arrive.

This 10000 BTU window AC originally caught my eye because it has a modern touch panel and isn’t an eyesore.

It looks similar to the Dreo model above but has a lot more buttons/options.

The real reason I chose it for my rental, though, was the LoDecibel™ rating, a trademark that LG gives only their quietest appliances. 

On high speed, the LG window unit registers at about 58 dB, which is on par with what I’ve seen in window ACs. On “sleep mode,” though, it gets down to a chill 44 dB, which is actually about the same as my refrigerator and easy to tune out.

The product listing says that it can cover up to 450 square feet of space, but I think that might be a bit of a stretch. 

The space I have it in is an open living room/ kitchen that is 300 square feet. On hot days I feel like it does a good job, but I wouldn’t want to tax it by putting it in a larger space. 

I also appreciate that it’s not only Energy Star rated, but its dual inverter makes it even 25% more energy efficient. The icing on cake is that this is a smart window AC as it comes with own app and can connect to WiFi.

So, even if my guests choose to make my space an icebox during their visit, I don’t have to worry about my energy bills too much. 

Who is the LG Dual Inverter LW1022IVSM best for?

I recommend this LG Dual Inverter LW1022IVSM model for those looking for a quiet window AC with durable construction and super fast cooling. It is a great alternative to Midea U (particularly for those few who tend to hear high pitch noise from Midea U units).

Feature

Details

BTUs

10000

Cooling Area

450 sq ft

Dimensions (H x L x D)

12.5 x 19.6 x 24.5 inches

Weight

63 lbs


6. Frigidaire GHWQ123WC1

4.3

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

4.75

Current Progress
Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.75

Current Progress
Current Progress
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Value For Money

4.0

Current Progress
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Noise Reduction

4.0

Current Progress
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DB Low

42db

DB High

55db

EER

15

Inverter

Yes

Pros
  • Winner of Energy Star “Most Efficient” award
  • Decent dehumidification feature
  • Easy installation can be done by homeowner
  • Smart features work really well
CONS
  • Expensive
  • Remote is bulky and doesn’t always work

I recently set up this Frigidaire model for a customer who was looking to cool a large 450-square-foot bonus room above their three-stall garage.

The customer’s primary request was for me to make the room “less stuffy” because the combination of being on the top floor of the home and above the garage was making the air feel not only hot but stagnant. 

I chose the Frigidaire GHWQ123WC1 first for its auto-swing louvers.

With this model, you set the desired room temperature (60-90F) and let it get to work, ensuring airflow to every corner of the room. 

What I wasn’t expecting was how quiet this unit was. On sleep mode, I registered 42 dB, which actually matches the Midea U-Shaped model from above! 

My customers use part of this bonus room as their home office and have had nothing but good things to say about how quiet it is, especially since they both are on the phone most of the day.

The additional features are the icing on the cake.

Since this model is used in a home office, I was able to program the unit to turn on one hour before their workday and turn off at 5 pm.

And any time I want to make a change, the unit is also compatible via app connection, Alexa, and Hey Google. 

My only complaint is that for a standard window unit, this Frigidaire is quite pricy, almost twice as much as the TOSOT Tranquility

That said, Frigidaire is a reliable brand that I find has readily available replacement parts, and I appreciate that their one-year warranty includes labor in addition to replacement.

Who is the Frigidaire GHWQ123WC1 best for?

I recommend this Frigidaire GHWQ123WC1 model to customers who are looking to cool down a larger room while maintaining quiet operation.

Feature

Details

BTUs

12000

Cooling Area

550 sq ft

Dimensions (H x L x D)

13.9 x 23 x 19.45 inches

Weight

58 lbs


7. Soleus Air WS3-06E-201

4.1

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

3.75

Current Progress
Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.25

Current Progress
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Value For Money

3.5

Current Progress
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Noise Reduction

5.0

Current Progress
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DB Low

38db

DB High

49db

EER

12.1

Inverter

No

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. Still, even at the highest setting, it stays at around 49 dB, which I found to be really impressive.

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 my view much at all, and you I can still open the window. I like that Soleus lets me use the window as intended.

Power-wise, Soleus is in the same class as the GE model 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 — all things I expect from a decent air conditioner. 

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

In my opinion, 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 I can really only credit the price to its unique design.

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

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

The Soleus unit is expensive, but it is the quietest Window AC that you can find in the market owing to the fact that it incorporates the micro split AC design.

Feature

Details

BTUs

6000

Cooling Area

275 sq ft

Dimensions (H x L x D)

15 x 18.7 x 28.9 inches

Weight

67.7 lbs


8. GE Profile Ultra Quiet ‎PHC06LY

3.9

Overall Score


Energy Efficiency

3.5

Current Progress
Current Progress
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Cooling Ability

4.0

Current Progress
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Value For Money

3.5

Current Progress
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Quiet

4.75

Current Progress
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DB Low

40db

DB High

46db

EER

11.5

Inverter

No

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

I recently had a customer with mobility issues who was looking for a quiet small window AC that could be controlled via voice control, and for him we ended up choosing the GE Profile Ultra Quiet PHC06LY.

This AC unit connects to your smartphone, tablet, or voice controls like Alexa or Nest with the GE SmartHQ app, which I find to be really user friendly.

I love that my client can control every feature of this unit, including the four user modes, from anywhere within Wi-Fi 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. All that said, though, 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

I do 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 Soleus marginally in numbers, in practice it has the same 250-sq-ft coverage.

I recommend using this one for a bedroom or den — 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 have said 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.

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

For the price, I wish it came with an installation kit, but please note that it's sold separately. Still, I think GE Profile is a great addition to a small home full of smart devices.

Who is GE Profile Ultra Quiet PHC06LY Best For?

This GE Profile Ultra Quiet is a compact window AC, albeit an expensive one. However, owners of smart homes with small rooms will love this stylish and quiet window air conditioner.

Feature

Details

BTUs

6150

Cooling Area

250 sq ft

Dimensions (H x L x D)

12.3 x 21.25 x 18 inches

Weight

56 lbs


Comparing Features Of low Noise Window ACs

Preview

Name

Rating

BTU

Low Noise (dBa)

High Noise (dBa)

Price

GE Profile ClearView Inverter Window...

GE

PHNT12CC

4.8

12000

40

56

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

Midea U-Shaped

MAW08V1QWT

4.7

8000

42

47

Dreo Inverter Air Conditioner Window Unit...

Dreo Arctic One

DR-HAC002

4.6

8000

42

42

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

Tosot

Tranquility

4.4

8000

42

49

LG 10,000 BTU Smart Window Air Conditioner,...

LG

LW1022IVSM

4.4

10000

44

58

Frigidaire GHWQ123WC1 Inverter Quiet Temp...

Frigidaire

GHWQ123WC1

4.3

12000

42

55

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

Soleus Air

WS3-06E-201

4.1

6,000

38

49

GE Profile Ultra Quiet Window Air Conditioner...

GE Profile

PHC06LY

3.9

6,150

40

46

Noise Level Window

How To Choose A Reliable Quiet Window AC

Apart from the noise level, which I covered at the top of this article, here is a breakdown of the most significant considerations when comparing the quietest window ACs.

For a thorough understanding, read our comprehensive buyer's guide on Window AC.

High Energy Efficiency (EER) To Save Up on Bills

Focus on window air conditioners with an EER rating of at least 10 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 more energy efficient the window air conditioner is. 

ACLAB Note:

All seven of the models I shared on my list have an EER of at least 11.5. The Midea and Dreo models are the most energy efficient on my list at 15 EER. 

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]

With that said, if you have an oversized room, you will need a large window AC. Keep your expectation from an AC in line and do not expect a small AC to cool a large room.

ACLAB Note:

Window ACs are generally designed for vertical sliding windows. For casement type windows, you may need to look into Sliding Window ACs.

Also, Window ACs cannot be used in a wall slot. For a wall slot, you may need to look into through-the-wall ACs.

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.

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

How easy Is it to Install?

Window ACs can be tricky to install if you don't have the experience, so I recommend starting with two essential items:

  • Making sure the unit comes with a mounting kit or that you've purchased the necessary one.
  • A handy friend to help hold the unit in place while you work.
Window air conditioners can get very heavy (the GE PHNT12CC on my list weighs a whopping 80 pounds). 

ACLAB Note:

The units that are easiest to install on my list are the GE PHNT12CC and the Soleus window AC, which rest on windowsill naturally with their saddle designs.

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.

Remote Control & Wi-Fi Connectivity

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.


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.

Benefits of Inverter Window AC

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.

ACLAB Note:

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


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. An HVAC professional will need to do this for you.
  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.

ACLAB Note:

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 GE PHNT12CC.

My #1 Recommendation

GE PHNT12CC


  • One of the quietest inverter based window AC with 40 dB rating.
  • Easy to install saddle design also provides natural sound buffer.
  • At 14.6 EER, it has one of the best energy efficiency ratings in the market.
  • Smart controls and stylish design.
  • Considering noise levels, SEER rating, and feature set, the value it offers is among the best in the market.

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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Holly Curell

Managing Editor & Writer

Holly Curell
Holly is an experienced writer and editor who specializes in technical manuals, and safe and efficient home appliances. When she’s not writing, Holly enjoys reading, hiking, and the odd glass of wine.

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