Portable air conditioners have their own charm—they don’t require professional installation and can be moved around easily.
There’s an issue though.
Have you ever noticed a central air conditioning?
If yes, you might have noticed that it makes a humming sound after you switch it on. This noise isn’t much of a problem for most people because the unit is installed outside.
But everything changes when you’re dealing with a compact air conditioner.
You cannot overlook noise levels for a portable model, because it will be right there with you inside your home.
Are you on the lookout for a portable AC that is not only quiet but also efficiently cools down your home?
Well, after a couple dozen hours of researching low-noise level products, I’m sure I can help you make an informed buying decision.
Let’s dive straight into it!
Note: If you’re looking for a window air conditioner instead, you might want to check out my quiet window air-conditioner recommendations.
1. SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner
SereneLife is highly recommended for the ones who are in search of portable AC for rooms of the size of up to 215 sq.ft. and has a BTU rating of 8000.
This is also one of the quietest models in the market with a noise rating of just 55 to 57 decibels. For even quieter models, you may try Honeywell 10000 Btu Portable Air Conditioner.
This portable air conditioner has three operating modes – cooling, dehumidifier, and fan. The default mode is cooling. The dehumidifier purifies the air of allergens like dust, mites, and mildew. It is ideal for being used in the bedrooms, living rooms, or garages at home or office.
It also features a 24-hour timer and a sleep mode that prevents wastage of energy. This is a remote-controlled set and features a digital touch button control panel that includes the power, mode, timer, temperature, and fan speed settings.
Its lightweight, sleek design and rolling wheels ensure easy portability.
There are a few negative points to this product as well.
Firstly, in very few cases, some users complained about water build-up and dripping. The ventilation hose may tend to heat up. The window seal could also use some improvement.
Nonetheless, this is one of the most reputed products in the market that you can buy right now. Its ability to remove dust and dirt from the air is incredible. So, if you have dust allergies, this is a great choice. This is one of the quietest and affordable models on my list.
- Effective cooling
- Portability features
- Ventilation hose heats up
- Might require weatherstripping
2. Honeywell 10000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
Looking for a portable AC that is competent enough to optimally cool a space of about 350 sq.ft? In that case, this model from Honeywell might be worth a look.
It generates only about 49 to 52 decibels which are less compared to that of SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner.
It features thermal overload protection to ensure complete safety. For spreading the cool breeze evenly in all the corners it features automatic vertical wind motion.
This single hose AC comes with an Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER) of 9.0. This implies that it requires a wattage of 1112 watts. This is about 15% less compared to Emerson Quiet Kool Portable Air Conditioner.
The built-in dehumidifier removes up to 66 pints/24 hours. It also comes with a continuous drain option for long unattended operation. The auto evaporation feature makes it very user-friendly. The washable dual filters provide protection from dust and hair.
This is a remote-controlled set with 3 fan speeds, sleep mode, digital controls, 24-hour energy-saving timer.
The installation is quite easy especially because of the full set window kit that is included in the package.
It has some downsides, too.
The vent hose is a bit short so it limits adaptability. There’s no integrated heater. While it’s still portable—the weight is still a bit on the heavier side.
Despite having a few drawbacks, the product from Honeywell is built for the long-run. With its energy-saving feature and top-notch reliability, I can whole-heartedly recommend this.
- Safe and reliable
- Great portability features
- Saves energy
- Auto evaporation makes it user-friendly
- Limited adaptability due to short vent hose
- slightly bulky
3. Emerson Quiet Kool Portable Air Conditioner
Are you in need of a good quality portable AC for your rooms of up to 400 sq.ft? In that case, Emerson Quiet Kool might be worth a look.
It has a noise rating of 53 decibels.
This single hose AC dehumidifies up to 90 pints a day. It has a digital display with a 24-hour timer, sleep, and 3 fan speeds. The washable and reusable filter reduces bacteria and room odors. The auto swing fan louver ensures even distribution of the cool air.
It comes with an EER of 9.6. This means that this 12000BTU AC requires 1250 watts for its working. In case, you are looking for an AC that consumes lesser power, you may try Honeywell 10000 Btu Portable Air Conditioner.
This is a 3 in 1 portable air conditioner with features for cooling, drying, and fan modes.
In order to facilitate installation, a window venting kit is included in the package. You get to enjoy spot cooling with this energy-efficient set. Auto-evaporation technology is another noteworthy feature.
All the operations can be effectively regulated with the help of a remote. The Auto-Restart automatically restarts the operation of the AC when power is restored after power outages.
The 4 omnidirectional caster wheels make it very portable.
There are a few drawbacks as well.
Firstly, the exhaust hose and window-kit seem to be slightly difficult to fit. The remote is non-digital.
- Low noise levels
- Powerful dehumidifier
- The exhaust hoses and window-kit are difficult to fit
- The remote is non-digital
4. Whynter ARC Portable Air Conditioner
If you have a large space of about 550 sq. ft. and are looking for one of the best portable air conditioners available in the market, the 14000 BTU Whynter ARC might be just what you’re looking for.
The set comes with a noise rating of 56 decibels. If you are looking for a quieter one, then you may check out Emerson Quiet Kool Portable Air Conditioner.
The product comes with an EER of 11.2 which means that it requires a power of 1250 watts for its functioning.
This dual-hose portable AC uses auto-drain technology along with advanced air filtration to ensure perfect hassle-free cooling. The air filter is so designed that it is capable of removing particles such as dust, pet hair, and pet dander.
The appliance is also equipped with a 24-hour programmable timer and the auto-start feature. This saves you from spending extra dollars by saving energy with the thermostat control feature.
The 3 fan speeds (low, medium, and high) allow you to get effective cooling. Also, it is fully self-evaporative with auto-drain technology and requires no manual draining. To help install it easily, a window kit is also included.
All the operations of this dual-hose AC can be conveniently adjusted from anywhere across the room with the remote. The rolling casters make it easy to move from room to room.
There are a few drawbacks too.
Firstly, the sleep mode is absent. According to a few consumers, the display seems to be a bit too bright in a dark room. This isn’t likely to be much of an issue though.
- Advanced air filtration
- No sleep mode
- Slightly bulky
The Buying Guide: Factors to Consider Before Buying
1. Noise Level
Since air conditioners are for constant use, it is crucial to ensure that the noise emitted by them does not hamper our quality of life.
The appliance is considered to be quiet if it has a noise rating of around 50 to 60 decibels. Fortunately, all the products mentioned in this piece of writing have a decibel rating of about 48 to 58 decibels.
The quietest of all the products on this list is Honeywell 10000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner, generating about 49 to 52 decibels of noise at maximum.
2. Size of Your Room
Before making any final decisions, it is important to gauge the dimensions of the room accurately and then selecting the most suitable option.
The unit that determines the power of the air conditioner is BTU (British Thermal Unit). The larger the value, the greater is its cooling potential.
Thus, depending on the size of your room, you may go for air conditioners with moderate BTU values for smaller rooms and if the space is large enough, an air conditioner with a higher BTU value is needed.
Besides the size, other factors like sunlight exposure and leakages also affect the output of the AC. In order to compensate for these, it is necessary to go for air conditioners with slightly higher BTU values.
If you need an air conditioner for moderately sized spaces, Emerson Quiet Kool Portable Air Conditioner is a good competitor. If you require an air conditioner for larger spaces, you may go for Whynter ARC Portable Air Conditioner.
3. Single Hose vs Dual Hose
The air conditioners can be classified into two categories on the basis of the hose – single or double.
Single-hose units pull air from within the room and expel warmed air and moisture outside.
Since air is being constantly expelled out of the room, it creates negative air pressure and hence, the air inside the room needs to be replaced. The air that replaces this is the warm air that seeps through cracks and crevices.
As a result of this, the AC has to work much harder to retain a cool environment.
Hence, dual hose air conditioners get an upper hand.
In the case of dual hose air conditioners, two separate exhaust hoses are used. One hose for the fresh air to enter and the other one for letting hot air out of the room. It is much quicker and efficient since it is not dependent on the same air for re-cooling and getting into another cycle.
If you are inclined towards getting a single hose air conditioner, Honeywell 10000 Btu Portable Air Conditioner is a great choice. If you opt for dual hose air conditioners then you may check out Whynter ARC Portable Air Conditioner.
Portability is a great advantage that allows the user to select the region they wish to cool instantaneously, giving them the freedom of not being forced to stay confined in only a particular space to beat the heat with some cool breeze.
The features which facilitate portability are castors and handles. Also, the appliance must preferably be light in weight to ease transportation.
One such air conditioner that has rolling wheels to facilitate transportation is SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner.
5. Energy Efficiency
If you want to save money on your electricity bills, it is crucial to find an energy-efficient model.
The amount of energy used up is also directly proportional to the duration for which you run the unit. To ensure getting a model that does not waste energy, it is important to look for features like a programmable thermostat that helps maintain the perfect, consistent temperature throughout your home. It automatically turns off the appliance when the necessary temperature has been attained.
The EER or Energy Efficiency Ratio also helps compare the ability of the different sets to save energy. It is calculated by dividing the BTU (British Thermal Units) rating by the wattage.
The product with the highest value of EER from my list is Whynter ARC Portable Air Conditioner with EER of 11.2.
6. Functionality and Other Features
Besides just cooling in the old traditional way, the newer models are furnished with a wide range of features and functionalities to make everything more easy and comfortable.
One such feature is a programmable thermostat. It helps maintain the cool ambiance and enhances the overall efficiency of the appliance. It is also possible to preset the duration of usage with the help of a timer.
Different portable air conditioners come with different sets of fan speeds. In this research piece, most of them have 3 different fan speeds to help attain the optimum cooling effect.
In many latest models, the auto-start feature has been installed to automatically restart the appliance when power is restored after power outages. It restarts the appliance with having to reset the settings again.
These air conditioners also have dehumidifiers in them that facilitate spot cooling to control the humidity in a room. Also, they come with remote to help the users control all the functionalities from afar.
One such air conditioner with the majority of these features is Whynter ARC Portable Air Conditioner.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. How Many Decibels is a Quiet Air Conditioner?
Generally, air conditioners with a noise rating of about 30 to 55 decibels can be said to be quiet.
2. What are the Benefits of a Portable Air Conditioner?
Here are some of the advantages of a portable air conditioner:
- no professional help needed for installation
- can be transported from one place to another
- small, compact and saves energy
- does not block sunlight
3. Portable Air Conditioner Vs Window Air Conditioner
Here’s how portable air conditioners compare to a window air conditioner:
A portable air conditioner is…
- easy to install
- has a high level of BTU
- can act as a heater as well
- water gets collected in a tank and needs to be emptied from time to time
A window air conditioner is…
- Usually cheaper
- might block the window
- the installation is slightly tricky
- only fits in standard-sized windows
- many come with Energy Star ratings
- water is vented through the system internally (no water needed to be disposed of any tray)
4. Why is My Portable AC So Loud?
Here are some reasons why your portable AC could be noisy:
- loose parts
- a malfunctioning compressor
- cracks on the isolation feet
- refrigerant leaks
5. Are Portable Air Conditioners Quieter Than Window Units?
Window air conditioners produce about 50 decibels of noise. But, the noise produced by portable air conditioners varies greatly. It might be as little as 40 dB to as loud as 70 dB. However, if you choose a product based on this list, you should find a portable AC with low-noise levels quite easily.
6. How Do Portable Air Conditioners Work?
Here’s how a portable air conditioner work:
- the chemical which is responsible for lowering the temperature of air arrive at low-pressure in the compressor
- the chemicals get packed together and get heated up
- they leave the compressor as a high-pressure hot gas and move to the condenser
- here the gas cools rapidly and transforms into a liquid
- liquid drains into the evaporator and eventually, the liquid transforms into a gas
- this gas collects heat from the air around it and releases the heat via thermal exchange and the process continues
7. How Much Power Does A Portable Air Conditioner Use?
Portable air conditioners are quite energy-efficient and usually come with built-in features to save energy. On average, portable AC might use about 1.8 kilowatts per day.
The Bottom Line
In my opinion, the absolute best product you can buy is Whynter ARC Portable Air Conditioner (14000 BTU). It is one of the best choices when it comes to larger rooms of about 500 sq. ft. This is more efficient since it is a dual hose air conditioner.
The first runner up is Honeywell 10000 Btu Portable Air Conditioner. It has a BTU rating of 10000 which is suitable for medium-sized rooms of up to 350 sq. ft. It is one of the quietest air conditioners on my list too. It features auto-evaporation which makes it very user-friendly.
The second runner up is SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner. It has a BTU rating of 8000 which makes it ideal for rooms of up to 215 sq. ft. It’s also a great pick if you’re looking for something that’s efficient but also easy on your wallet.