The last thing you want is an obnoxiously loud A/C unit.
But how do you choose a quiet one?
We’ll help you know what to look for. In this article, we’ll discuss:
Let’s start by looking at how sound level is measured:
Air conditioner sound levels are measured in decibels (db). The lower the decibel rating, the quieter the air conditioner.
The quietest A/C’s fall into the 50–60 db range—but what does that actually sound like?
Here are some common sounds in that decibel range:
For more sound comparisons, check out the Center for Hearing and Communication’s article about common environmental noise levels.
Let’s compare the decibel ratings of few leading air conditioner brands and models:
Note: These A/Cs are running in optimal conditions, so usually the range fluctuates to up to 10+ db higher than the advertised decibel level.
A word on A/C brands: Sometimes homeowners worry about choosing the best brand. In our experience, all of the major air conditioner manufacturers (like York, Trane, Carrier, Lennox, and Rheem) make quality products. Instead of focusing on the brand, focus on who you choose to install your air conditioner. A bad A/C contractor and ruin the best A/C brand via a poor installation
As you shop around for an A/C unit, look for these features that point to a quiet A/C unit:
But, before you run out a buy an A/C unit with all those features, you should know that size affects sound...
The A/C unit’s size (measured in tons) also affects the sound. Bigger air conditioners are inherently louder, so keep that in mind as you compare brands and models. If you have a big home, you’ll likely need a larger A/C unit to sufficiently cool your living space.
So how do you know what size air conditioner you need for your home?
You’ll need a professional to perform a Manual J Load Calculation.
This calculation takes into account many factors like the size, shape, insulation and local climate of your home to find the right air conditioner size.
Learn more about A/C sizing and Manual J calculations: What Size Central Air Conditioner Do I Need?
We’ve been helping families in the Phoenix area since 1955.