Quiet Portable Air Conditioner

quiet portable ac

Portable Air Conditioners generate different intensities of sounds. How these sounds are perceived, as to whether they can be considered as noise, varies from person to person. Noise is subjective. How you interpret them depends upon your threshold and your tolerance level. Additionally, what may be unbearable for you might just be normal and significantly quiet for others and vice versa.

Most people rely on their comfort zones to describe whether the sounds they are hearing are loud enough to be considered as noise. Unlike your other senses, the sense of hearing is considerably harder to describe and interpret. The simplest and most common way to characterize them is to distinguish whether it is quiet or noisy; or if it is loud or soft. You cannot accurately define them at a quantitative level since not too many really know how decibel levels work.

If you are sensitive to noise, I suggest you do some research on quiet portable AC’s. As a matter fact you can start by reading the comprehensive review below.

To go straight to a particular topic of interest, please click an item on the table below. 


The Sound Portable Air Conditioners Make

If you have been using an air conditioner at home then you know what type of sounds they produce.  I honestly haven’t seen one piece that runs and operates in complete silence. Even your fans and your fridge make a rattling noise whenever you switch them on. They make their existence known to you whenever they are in use when you here their compressors run.

Portable air conditioners are no different than they are. Much to your dismay, they cannot be as quiet as you are probably hoping them to be. Why? For starters, they are compressor cooled systems; therefore, they are likely to generate sounds that resemble those of your kitchen fridge. The intensity of the sound is even amplified the moment you switch to higher fan speeds.  Furthermore, the vibrations the compressor makes might send all of its loose parts shaking, thus creating some noise that you may or may not consider as disturbing.

Portable ACs house all of their moving parts in one casing. It has all the mechanical parts sitting inside your room unlike fixed and window types whose compressor are likely installed at the outside of the room. It is your portable air conditioner’s components that are making all the noise you are hearing. Therefore, you will have to expect your portable ac’s to be louder than fixed type air conditioning systems.


So Why Do People Seem So Anxious In Owning A Quiet Portable Air Conditioner?

If you have been reading my reviews on portable air conditioners then you know how they work and under what terms they can change and affect your life. I am not going back into the details of it on this post but rather discuss with you the options you have when it comes to the quiet portable air conditioners you can use for your comfort.

I understand your need to stay comfortable and relaxed whenever you get home from a tiring day at work. As a matter of  fact, I do agree that there can be no better way to give yourself your much deserved rest than to get a good night sleep inside a cool and quiet place.  Nothing can give you greater pleasure than taking time to relax inside your cocoon where the deafening silence can lull you into a deep sleep. However, is there really a portable air conditioner quiet enough to let you sleep soundly?

Based on my research, there is no portable air conditioner that operates in complete silence. All of them make a significant sound but they are not really something you will find distracting and bothersome.  Unless you pay too much attention to the sounds it makes, you are likely to find portable air conditioners quiet enough not to be noticed.

You see portable air conditioners are comprised of several components. They cannot be as inaudible as you are hoping them to be. Its sound is the price you have to pay in getting your much needed comfort during warmer days.  Perhaps in the near future, somebody will find a way to produce a completely silent version. But for the mean time, you just have to take refuge to the quietest portable air conditioners that you will find in this review.


Understanding Decibel Levels

Your search for a portable air conditioner quiet enough to give you you comfort starts on understanding how the intensity of sounds are measured. It is quite honestly hard to tell which units produce sounds that are safe and comfortable enough for you to hear.

You see, sounds are measured in decibels. The decibel levels tell you the how soft and how loud a sound is. To be honest, it is quite difficult to comprehend with the decibel ratings you see on the product manuals. What you are given are just the numerical values with no hints or indications as to how quiet they can get. You will have no idea how loud or discrete they are unless you are given some ways to compare them such as those sounds collected from a variety of sources.

To make things easier for you, have a good look at some of the most common sounds you hear and their respective decibel ratings

Table 1.  Common Sounds We hear and Their Respective Decibel Levels

Sound Decibel (dB) level
Near Total Silence 0
Whispers 15
Normal Conversation 60
Lawnmower 90
A Car Horn 110
A rock concert 140
Gunshot 150


Knowing the decibel levels of the most common sounds you hear around you eliminates the guesswork you are likely to experience when looking for portable air conditioners. Normal conversations have a decibel rating of 60. Now if you find normal conversation distracting and irritating then you will have to choose a portable air conditioner quiet enough to be anywhere below 60dB.


The Quality of Sound Portable Air Conditioners Make

A portable air conditioner has a decibel level of around 55-65. It is similar in level as when there are people talking around you, not in whispers but at a normal tone. I personally do not have problems sleeping while there are people talking around me, but that’s me and we surely have different tolerances to the noise that surrounds us.  Only you can tell exactly how loud a sound should be for you to consider it as noise or not. 


Several Factors That Can Affect How Quiet Your Portable Air Conditioner Can Get

There are several factors that affect how you perceive the sound your portable air conditioners make. You can make use of these factors to find a solution to the demand of having a portable air conditioner quiet enough for you to sleep comfortably through the night. You can have some of these factors manipulated or controlled in such a way that it can help you tone down the sounds of your portable air conditioners.


As I have mentioned most portable ac are compressor cooled devices. As such, you cannot do away with it’s compressor unless, you go for swamp coolers or thermoelectric models. Your best option is to get a particular portable air conditioner with compressors that generate sounds at lower decibel levels. You may want to check on the product manuals diligently to find out how loud your potential air conditioning unit can get.

Fan Speed

As you have noticed, the sound your electric fans and air conditioning systems produce is amplified whenever you switch your unit to higher fan speeds. If the sound of a blowing fan bothers you, you can reduce the intensity of the sound your fan generates by lowering your fan’s speed. Slowing down the rotation of the fans might reduce the discomfort you might have with its noise.


The closer you are to the object that creates the sound, the louder the sound gets. The idea is simple, if you find your portable air conditioner loud enough for your comfort move farther away from it. The farther you are from the quieter your portable ac will be. Now if you are to place it inside your bedroom, I suggest that you put at a location farthest to your bed.

Fastenings and other mechanical parts

Most compressors generate vibrations as they run. These vibrations may cause your portable air conditioner to shake and thus may produce a rattling sound. This is more especially when there are loose fastenings and mechanical parts with your unit. To avoid these types of sounds, check on its parts and ensure that all screws and hinges are tightly fitted together.


Top 5 Quietest Portable Air Conditioners 

If you are sensitive to noise and wants a Portable Air Conditioner Quiet enough to give you the tranquility you need besides comfort, have a good look at some of the quietest portable ac’s that you can find in the market. These models have decibels levels of below 55 dB.  The sounds they make are comparable to the intensity of the sounds you hear during normal conversations.

Here are your best options in descending order:

Haier HPN12XHM 12000/11000 BTU Cool & Heat Portable Air Conditioner w/Remote

This quiet portable air conditioner from Haier has a decibel level of 49dB. Having been among the best portable air conditioners that you can find in the market today, this particular unit has been rated to be the quietest portable ac in the market.

It offers versatility when it comes to its use as it can function in four different ways. You can use it as a cooler, fan, dehumidifier and a heater. It has 3 fan speed options that lets you take full control of the comfort you are to derive from this unit.  The Haier HPN12XHM has a BTU rating of 12000 for cooling and 11000 BTU for heating.  It can dehumidify the air at a rate of 100 Pints per hour. This unit is sure to give you the comfort you deserve in almost every climate.

This cooler is equipped with state of the art features that promise to give you the comfort you deserve. It has a 24 hour programmable timer that you can use to pre-set when it will automatically start up and shut down. This unit doesn’t require extensive maintenance work. Thaks to its auto evaporating technology, it spares you from the laborious work of  constant draining and water removal.

How does it differ from Haier HPN12XCM?

The HPN12XCM only has a fan, a cooler and dehumidifier function. This unit on the other hard has the added advantage of being used as a heater for the cold months.

What is the maximum area of a room that it can cool?

Its BTU ratings both for cooling and heating are well suited for spaces with an area of 500 sq feet.

How does the auto-evaporation feature works?

The auto evaporation works by eliminating the need to regularly drain it with water. However there are instances that you may need to manually remove its water especially when you live in humid areas.

Does this unit come with a remote control?

Yes it does, you can efficiently operate this unit even from afar.

How do you install it?

This unit easily installs and would not warrant the expertise of an HVAC technician. It has a window kit that comes with the unit and you just need to follow through its instructional manual.

Final Word

Due to an increased demand for this particular product, it is priced quite a bit higher than the Haier HPN12XCM. This mid ranged priced home appliance has a heater function; thus, explains why you may need to pay extra  for the additional feature.

If you live in the cold regions then this particular appliance will make a good investment. You can make use of it all year round and doesn’t need to be put away for storage when winter comes. In my honest opinion, this is among the most cost effective solution to your air cooling and heating needs. Why? You get four appliances for a price of one and the best part is they are kept in one solid piece.

Check out Amazon.com for further pricing and reviews.

Honeywell MN10CESBB 10000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control, Black

This portable air conditioner from Honeywell makes a great unit to cool an approximately 350 sq.ft room. It has a sleek and modern design feature that will complement any home setting. You will also find this unit fairly quiet with a decibel rating of 50dB. The sound it produces is just about the same range as that of a quiet conversation at home. With this unit you will be able to sleep soundly at night without any distractions.

The Honeywell MN10CESBB features a full function remote control that enables you to gain control of your unit from anywhere across the room it cools.  It also has a 24 hour programmable timer that you can pre set according to your preferred schedule. The use of this feature would also allow you to save on your monthly energy consumption.

With regards to ease of use and maintenance, this unit ensures you get the best control and experience with this cooler. It has feather LED touch controls with an adjustable thermostat that you can set from anywhere between 61-89oF.

Does it have a heater function?

No, it only works as a fan, cooler and a dehumidifier.

How much water can it remove from the air when used as a dehumidifier?

This unit can remove about 68 pints of water within a 24 hour period.

Does it need water to cool?

If what you meant was if it uses water to cool the answer is no. Being a compressor cooled system, it uses a refrigerant specifically R410A.

How many hoses does it have?

This unit is single hose, its 3.94 ft long and has a diameter of 5 inches.

Does this unit require draining?

Usually no, thanks to its auto-evaporating feature it can operate continuously without human intervention.  However you may need to empty it once in a while when used in areas with high humidity levels for a long time. There’s a signal or warning light that will alert you when it’s time to drain it.

How long does it usually take to cool a bedroom?

It depends upon the actual temperature on which they are utilized. But its fair to say that you will be able to feel its cooling effect 15 minutes max.

Can you use this unit for your campers?

Yes you can, just make sure you find a way to install its vents. Make sure also to consult an electrical technician to do the connections when you plan on using this for your campers.

Can it be used even without venting it?

No you can’t, this portable ac needs to be vented out so it can cool your room efficiently. The heat and the excess moisture has to go somewhere outside the room it cools.

My View

Having made by one of the most reputable makers of air conditioning units, this model is something i can recommend you to use. It has all the features of a portable air conditioner, built to deliver maximum comfort and convenience to its users. 

If you are very sensitive to noise and would not need a heater function on your portable AC, this is the next best thing to the model I mentioned above.  Moreover, this unit is friendly on the budget and is something any budget conscious individual can afford.

Check it out at Amazon by clicking here.


P12B ZoneAire Series 11,500 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

The P12B ZoneAire Series is a portable air conditioner from Friedrich, a company that solely manufactures air conditioning units. This unit has a 3 in 1 system feature that allows you to use it as a fan, an ac and a dehumidifier. Each mode has 3 fan speeds to choose from therefore giving you a handful of options to help you cool your room.

It is also equipped with a dual hose system for a more efficient cooling. In fact, it can cool your rooms 40% more efficient than the single hose models of its competition. It offers great flexibility when it comes to installation for it is built compatible to almost every type of window. It comes with a window adapter kit that lets you fit it through both vertical and horizontal openings between 26″ to 46″. You can even trim it down so it can fit smaller windows.

Like most portable air conditioners it offers ease of operation and maintenance. It comes with an intuitive control panel; a remote control and a programmable 24 hr timer that lets you use this unit with optimum convenience.   With regards to noise, it is one of the portable air conditioners quiet enough to let you sleep soundly at night. It has a decibel level of 50dB, kind of similar to the sounds created when people are talking around you.

Is it easy to install or do I need to call in a professional?

This unit easily installs and would not require the expertise of an HVAC professional or a technician. You can install it on your own for as long as you follow the installation instruction that you can read on its product manual.

Does it automatically restart after a power outage?

Yes it does, it automatically starts and powers up as soon as power resumes.

How do you clean its anti microbial filters?

Its filters are washable therefore you can just clean it with plain water. You may want to replace the carbon filters once every 3 months.

Can its temperature be adjusted?

Yes you can, in fact you can also choose to display the temperature readings either in Celsius or Fahrenheit.

What size of room can this cool?

This particular model can cool an area of up to 600 sq.ft.

Is there a water reservoir?

Yes it does and it is used to collect water when used as a dehumidifier. It sends off a warning when it’s full and needs to be emptied.

My View

What i find admirable about this unit is the flexibility that it offers when comes to the installation of its vents. Not too many portable AC in the market can be made to fit a variety of window types.

Another thing is that it cools your room more efficiently than other competition. Thanks to its dual hose system you will be able to cool your rooms to comfort even when the outdoor heat becomes too unbearable.

This middle range priced portable AC from Friedrich is more expensive than most portable AC by just a fraction. But come to think of it, it is all worth the money you will spend. With its state of the art features and more efficient cooling prowess, it is sure to deliver to your expectations.

For more information about this product, you can check it out at amazon.com by clicking here.


Whynter 12,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner, Platinum (ARC-12S)

Fourth on our quiet portable air conditioner list is the Whynter 12000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner (Arc 12-S). It has a decibel rating of 52.5 dB. You will find this unit fairly quiet unless of course you are too sensitive to noise. You will be able to sleep through the warm days comfortably even when it is switched as it is not as loud as the other portable ac’s you can find.

With regards to features, it works similarly to Whynther 14,000 BTU (ARC-14S). The only difference is the area that these units can cool. The ARC-14S can cool spaces of as much as 500 sq ft while the 12 S can only cool a space with an area of 400 sq ft.

Another significant difference of this unit to the Whynter ARC14S, is its structural design and aesthetics. But other than that they work in similar ways and gives the exact comfort that you may derived from both units.

To have a good look at the extraordinary features of this unit please refer to Whyter 14000 ARC-14S.

In order for you to get to know ths product more, you can click straight to amazon.com by clicking here.

SPT 8,000BTU Single Hose Portable AC

If you are looking for a more affordable yet very efficient portable air conditioning unit to cool your summer days, this unit might just be the one you are looking for. This small yet powerful piece of appliance is sure to deliver to your expectations regardless of its small built and simplistic appeal.

It has a BTU rating of 8000 just enough to cool a small room with an area of 250 sq.ft. Like most portable AC’s it functions in three ways, a fan, a dehumidifier and an air cooler. However unlike other portable ac’s its dehumidifying function automatically turns on when used in AC mode. It offers 2 fan speeds that can contribute to the cooling effect by several degrees.

It has a built in remote and a programmable timer that offers you the convenience of controlling this unit even from a distance.  What you will find extraordinary is its fire resistant PVC plastic housing and extendable exhaust hose that can be stretched up to 59″.   It also has a self evaporating system that spares you from the tedious job of manually draining it with water.

Does it automatically starts after a power outage?

Yes it does and it is smart enough to store your most recent settings such that it resumes at its previous functions soon as the power gets back.

Is this unit environmentally safe?

Yes, it uses a non ozone depleting refrigerant R410A and has a RoHS compliant component.

What is the EER of this unit?

Its EER is approximately 8.8 not that high but still is good enough to be used. You may want to find ways on how to save on energy using this unit. Perhaps using its built in timer might give you savings.

Can you use the AC function without activating dehumidification?

No, the dehumidifier automatically turns on the moment you use it in AC mode. I don’t suggest using it in areas with dry climates.

Can you use this unit for camping purposes?

I see no reason why not for as long as you can find a way to power it up. I suggest you have a look at portable air conditioners for campers for your camping needs.

Can it maintain temperature in 70s?  Will it automatically turn off when it goes out of its range?

Yes and yes, you can set the temperature on the remote control. When the peak temperature is reached, it automatically shuts off but the fans continue to blow.

Does it require the use of its exhaust hose?

Definitely, it has to be vented out else it won’t cool your room as you desire. Remember the hot air should go someplace else and not inside your room.

What happens if this unit runs out of cooling agent?

If there’s a leak and if it’s what causing the loss of refrigerant then you will need to replace the unit. It’ll be much cheaper to get a new one than to have it fixed.

My View

My honest opinion with regards to this portable air conditioner from Sunpentown is that it makes a good air cooling device if you are more inclined to getting a quiet portable air conditioner.

It sure is a great unit but i have reservations on its functionality. I am a bit concerned that the moment you use its AC function it automatically starts dehumidification. It can make your environment extremely dry when used for long hours. I think this unit will work best in areas with extremely high humidity levels.

Over all, i still find this unit a great option for budget conscious individuals looking for ways to cool from the scorching heat of the warm days.

For exciting offers and availability, you can check this product out at Amazon. com by clicking here.

Final Word

There is no way that you can put into question the comforts and the convenience you may derive from your air conditioners. Hands down, they are among the best ways to keep you cool and comfortable on hotter days. They exist to deliver comfort and convenience to your everyday life.

However, they too have flaws and drawbacks and can never be perfect enough to cater to all your needs. Much like the silence that you wish for it to deliver. They may not be as silent as you have hoped them to be but you can always find ways on how to make them work to meet your demands.

The key is to look for the best options, they may not be the perfect solution but its as close as you can get to your hopes and expectations.

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