With These Low-Noise Window Air Conditioners, You Can Stay Cool In Sweet Silence


There's something uniquely satisfying about a blast of cold air from a window air conditioner, but unfortunately, that relief comes with a fair bit of noise. To keep the racket down, the quietest window air conditioners will offer enough cooling power for the size of the room, but at a low decibel level — so you can stay cool without having to watch TV at an ear-splitting volume.

When it comes to shopping for the quietest window AC units, you'll have to strike a balance between cooling power and noise level (as measured in decibels). An air conditioner’s cooling capacity is typically measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs) and the options on this list range from 5,000 to 15,000 BTU. An 8,000 BTU air conditioner can comfortably cool rooms up to 350 square feet, but choose a lower or higher BTU depending on your room size. And as far as noise goes, each of these air conditioners boasts quiet operation between 38 and 56 decibels (dBA). (For noise reference, 40 decibels is about as quiet as a suburban area at night, and 55 decibels is about the amount of noise a refrigerator makes.) However, it's probably not surprising that the higher BTUs an air conditioner boasts, the higher the decibels usually are. And if you're really committed to finding some peace and quiet, you may want to opt for a U-shaped AC unit. These units allow you to close the window fully, in order to block out the compressor noise (as well as street noise), and they have one more added benefit — you still get the option to open and close your window at will.

Of course — you'll also want to consider extra features like dehumidifying, power-saving modes, a remote control, and even Wi-Fi capability. Whichever suits you best, with the quietest window air conditioners, you can stay cool all day and night long in peace.

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The Overall Best

  • BTUs: 8,000, 10,000 or 12,000
  • Decibels: 42 dBA

Boasting extremely quiet operation as low as 42 dBA at the lowest setting, this unique U-shaped window air conditioner features a gap in the middle, so that it essentially wraps around your window. This design blocks noise from the unit’s compressor outside, and it also means you can still open the window for fresh air whenever you want — a major plus if you want to take a break from the AC. The unit features a 24-hour timer function and six settings: auto, cool, fan, dry (which dehumidifies the room), sleep, and and power-saving eco mode. It comes with a remote and is Wi-Fi enabled for voice control with Alexa or Google Assistant. A mounting bracket is included for easy installation.

The unit measures 21.97 by 19.17 by 13.46 inches, and the 8,000 BTU model can cool rooms up to 350 square feet, but you can size up for more coverage.

A reviewer wrote: “It was really easy to install, and I had it up and running in less than a half hour. It's super quiet, and it cools my bedroom down very quickly.”


An Over-The-Sill Air Conditioner

  • BTUs: 6,000
  • Decibels: 38

With its over-the-sill design, this ultra-quiet air conditioner has a few things going for it. First, it blocks the noise from the AC compressor outside, resulting in operation between 38 and 49 decibels. Second, the low-profile design minimally obstructs the view and allows for full use of your window. The 6,000-BTU item cools rooms up to 275 square feet, and there’s an electronic control panel with a 24-hour timer and three modes: auto, sleep, and dry for dehumidifying. And here's another (literally) cool feature: The remote control has a built-sensor so the air conditioner directs cooling power to wherever the remote control is in the room.

The unit fits windows 24 to 48 inches wide with a window sill clearance of up to 11 inches. No tools are required for installation and it comes with everything you need to install. One thing to keep in mind: Most of the water collected by the AC is pumped outside, but if you live in a high-humidity area, you may have to manually drain excess water from the unit throughout the day. The unit is also available in an 8,000 decibel option, but you'll have to be willing to pony up quite a bit more money for it than the top pick.

A reviewer wrote: “Highly recommend this unit for a 'common space' in your home where TV's are watched, conversations taken place, anywhere you want ambient noise to be at a minimum and comfort at maximum.”


An Affordable AC For Small Rooms

  • BTUs: 5,000
  • Decibels: 51.2 dBA

While it's a little bit louder and doesn't have as many bells and whistles as the top option, this window air conditioner is super affordable and does a fantastic job of cooling bedrooms and other small spaces up to 150 feet. It operates on two modes — cool and fan — with low and high settings, as well as seven temperatures settings. The unit measures 15.25 by 16 by 12 inches and comes with expanding panels for both sides, as well as all the hardware needed for installation.

A reviewer wrote: “This air conditioner is perfect for a small space! I have it in my tv room and it is comfortable and quiet enough to enjoy the television.”


The Best For Big Rooms

  • BTUs: 15,000
  • Decibels: 52 dBa

My pick for the best window air conditioner for a large room is surprisingly quiet despite the 15,000 BTUs of power that can cool spaces up to 700 square feet. The air conditioner features a 24-hour timer function and six modes: auto, cool, fan, sleep, dry for dehumidifying, and power-saving eco mode. Plus, it's easy to control, thanks to the digital panel and included remote control.

The unit measures 23.6 by 25.4 by 17.9 inches with extending panels on each side, and it comes with mounting hardware required for installation. If you want to cool smaller rooms, this air conditioner also comes in 8,000, 10,000, and 12,000 BTUs, but they won't be as quiet as the top pick that cools similarly sized spaces.

A reviewer wrote: “The quiet/low setting on this unit is quiet enough where I can watch TV without having to crank the volume.”