Top Report: Quietest Portable Air Conditioners of 2020

| Last Updated: March 3, 2021

If your apartment does not have central air or windows that are compatible with window air conditioning units, you may be pulling out your hair trying to figure out a way to keep cool in the heat of the summer. Thankfully, portable air conditioners have become more and more convenient and accessible – read on to learn more about these awesome appliances.

Comparison Chart of the Quietest Portable Air Conditioners

  • Our Choice for the Best Overall Quiet Portable Air Conditioner
  • Well-Designed With a Nice Overall Aesthetic
  • Cools Large Rooms in as Fast as Fifteen Minutes
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  • Our Runner-Up Choice
  • Will Not Take Up Much Space Inside Your Home
  • Great Overall Look With a Sleek, Shiny Finish
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  • Our Second Runner-Up for Quiet Portable Air Conditioners
  • Users Will Never Have to Empty the Water Container
  • Distributes the Cooled Air Evenly Throughout the Space
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  • Best Portable Air Conditioner You’ll Find on Amazon
  • Will Cool Rooms Better Than Wall Air Conditioning Units
  • Lasts a Long Time Without Breaking Down
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  • The Best Quiet Portable Air Conditioner for the Money
  • Can Effectively Cool Rooms Even With Vaulted Ceilings
  • Also Has a Heat Option and a Dehumidifying Option
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What Makes These Air Conditioners Quieter Than Others?

Portable air conditioners are significantly quieter than other kinds of air conditioners, including window units. Why is this the case? Window air units typically house their fan and compressor within the same container, which typically sits on a window sill at a height that allows noise to be amplified. Portable air conditioners do not have this issue and are therefore noticeably quieter.

Aspects to Consider Before Buying

Keep in mind some of the following qualities when searching for a quiet portable air conditioner:


You may be getting this kind of air conditioner because window units are incompatible with your living situation, but if you are going to go with a portable air conditioner, you should make sure it is actually portable. How much does the unit weigh? Can it be easily rolled?

Whynter Elite ARC-122DS has wheels for easy transport.

Energy Efficiency

Any air conditioning unit is going to take a toll on your energy bill, but there are some that will have a much greater impact than others. Look into a unit’s EER, or Energy Efficient Rating, before purchasing to guarantee you are finding one that will keep your energy costs low.


Odds are pretty good you will have this unit in or around the area in which you sleep. While portable air conditioners are quieter than many of their window unit counterparts, there are still some that are on the noisier side. Find yourself a unit that will cool your room and keep it quiet at the same time.

What Makes a Quiet Air Conditioner Great For Travelling?

A quiet air conditioner, as the name implies, executes its job silently. Its silent performance leaves an astounding impact on a person when he travels anywhere. Read this section and acknowledge the aspects, on the basis of which, quiet air conditioners prove to be the best choice for traveling.

Peace on the Go

Everybody wants to acquire complete calmness on his journey anywhere. Quiet air conditioners intend to create a cold and mind-blowing environment, thereby making the place a comfort zone for all. They blow chilled air, which restores peace in the users’ minds to the utmost extent. This is why quiet air conditioners hold valuable importance with respect to your pleasant traveling experience.

No Installation

Air conditioners are easy to purchase but tedious to install. Quiet air conditioners kick out all your worries regarding the installation of the product and enable you to enjoy the chilled and calm atmosphere anywhere, anytime.

Best for Kids

If you are accompanied by children, then you should opt for air conditioners that ensure a safe, noiseless, and home-like environment before anything else. Fortunately, quiet air conditioners are perfect for providing soundless and cold surroundings so that your kids stay happy and fresh throughout the journey.

Quick Take: Best Quiet Portable Air Conditioners

These are our recommendations for the best quiet portable air conditioners:

  1. Whynter Elite ARC-122DS
  2. Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC12RD1
  3. Friedrich PH14B

Review of the Best Quiet Portable Air Conditioners

Now that you know what to keep in mind, let’s check out some actual products!

Whynter Elite ARC-122DS 12,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier, Fan with Activated Carbon Filter Plus Storage Bag for Rooms up to 400 sq ft, Multi


  • Has Casters on the Bottom for Easy Transportation
  • Very High EER Rating (12) for Maximum Energy Efficiency
  • Compressor is So Quiet, it is Difficult to Tell if the Unit is Even Running
  • Control Panel Light Turns Off After a Few Seconds of No Interaction, so Will Not Shine       Brightly and Keep You Awake at Night


  • Does Not Show the Room Temperature, Only the Set Temperature
  • Does Not Drain Very Efficiently, and Will Stop if the Drain Pan Becomes Full

The Whynter Elite ARC-122DS is the number one choice in portable air conditioners! This unit is ideal for those looking for a portable air conditioner that they will be able to put anywhere and not have it stick out like a sore thumb. It is well-designed with a nice overall aesthetic, and the subtle gray color will blend into any decorating scheme with ease.

Its dual hose system creates an environment without any negative air pressure sucking in warm air from outside, which also makes the unit more efficient – this bad boy will cool even the largest rooms in as fast as fifteen minutes. If you are looking for a great portable air conditioner, the Whynter Elite is the choice for you.

Bottom Line

The Whynter Elite ARC-122DS is an awesome portable air conditioner that will fit subtly into any room you may need cooling. Just keep an eye on the drain pan, as the unit will struggle to operate if that pan becomes full of water.

Friedrich ZoneAire PH14B Portable Room Air Conditioner with Reverse Cycle Heat Pump, 13500 BTU, 115v


  •  Quiet
  • Compact
  • Great Remote Functionality
  • Made of High-Quality Material
  • Compressor Does Not Make a Loud Jolting Noise When it Turns On or Off


  • Can Be Loud When it First Starts Up, But Noise Level Decreases as it Moves Into a Cycle.

There is not really much you won’t like about the Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC12RD1! It is incredibly simple and easy to use, including installation, programming the different settings, and moving it around your home (which of course includes moving it into storage when the summer is over).

Speaking of moving it into storage – you could store this unit pretty much anywhere, thanks to its smaller size, which also makes it unobtrusive no matter what room you ultimately use it in.

This unit has an economy mode to save you energy and money and a fan mode for times when you want the air in your space circulated but do not necessarily need it to be cooled. It also has an awesome warranty system: one year overall, three years for parts, and five years for the compressor. You will not be disappointed when you invest in the Emerson Quiet Kool!

Bottom Line

The Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC12RD1 is a great air conditioner that will not stick out and can be stored pretty much anywhere. It can be a bit loud at first, but it will mellow out as the unit cycles through its cooling process.

Second Runner-up:
Friedrich PH14B

Friedrich ZoneAire PH14B Portable Room Air Conditioner with Reverse Cycle Heat Pump, 13500 BTU, 115v


  • Quiet
  • Easy to Install
  • Does Not Use a Large Amount of Power
  • Powerful Enough to Cool More Than Just the Room it is Located in
  • Has a Heating, Dehumidifying, and Fan Mode in Addition to the Air Conditioner Function


  • Lights on Top Are Really Bright
  • Takes Up a Decent Amount of Floor Space

The Friedrich PH14B is an incredible air conditioner that addresses a number of issues users commonly report with portable air conditioning units.

First of all: the water disposal. This unit rocks a dual hose design, with one hose dedicated to the air intake and one hose dedicated to exhaust, which not only results in maximum efficiency in operation and energy use, but also makes it so that you will never have to drain a water container when working with this unit!

It is also excellent at evenly distributing the cooled air throughout the entire space it’s in, as opposed to concentrating all the air in one specific area. Have you ever tried to fall asleep with an air conditioner blowing freezing air directly on your face? Trust us, it is not ideal. It has a variety of functions to accomplish pretty much everything you could ask of it, and it does it all well. This Friedrich is a great option for portable air conditioning.

Bottom Line

The Friedrich PH14B is an awesome air conditioner that will leave you completely satisfied. Just make sure you have room for it, as it is a little on the larger side.  

Best on Amazon:
Honeywell MN12CES

Honeywell MN12CES Portable Air Conditioner with Fan & Dehumidifier with Thermal Overload Protection, 12000 BTU, Black, Rooms Up To 400-550 Sq. Ft


  • Quiet
  • Easy to Set Up
  • Blows Cold Air Forcefully
  • Can Be Remotely Controlled
  • Does Not Require Draining a Water Pan


  • Can Take a Little While to Cool a Room Down
  • Remote Control Does Not Come With Batteries and Does Not Work Very Effectively

When you combine the high-functioning nature of the Honeywell MN12CES with the extreme speed and efficiency of Amazon delivery and customer service, purchasing this unit is a no brainer! There is not much to dislike about the Honeywell MN12CES.

Users report that this unit actually cools rooms better than previously used wall air conditioning units, and that it will not increase your energy bill that drastically – one user had the unit running 24/7 at a setting almost forty degrees lower than the external temperature (they lived in Southern California) and their electric bill was still under $100.

Even if you do live in an extremely hot area and are running the unit constantly, you will not have to worry about fixing it when it breaks down – this unit is well made and will last you a really long time, and if it does break, Honeywell is great at performing repairs or sending replacements.

Bottom Line

The Honeywell MC12CES is a fantastic air conditioner that you can set and forget about. Just know that it may take a little while for it to fully get going.


  • Quiet
  • Efficient
  • Stylish Looking
  • Lengthy Vent Hose
  • DELLA Provides Excellent Customer Service


  • Does Not Produce Very Powerful Air Flow

The DELLA 12,000 BTU Cooling Portable Air Conditioner is a true bang for your air conditioning buck! You may be thinking that with the lower price on this unit that you will experience some sort of compromise in quality or effectiveness, but you could not be more wrong. This air conditioner will efficiently cool rooms even with high, vaulted ceilings!

Users report this unit is also excellent at cooling areas other than home spaces, such as trailers, boat cabins, and whatever else you can think of. It also has an option for heating and another for dehumidifying, so there is a decent amount of versatility you are getting when you purchase this unit as well.

It is well made of high-quality material and you are not trading in quality for dollars with this amazing price. You will not be disappointed with the DELLA 12,000 BTU Cooling Portable Air Conditioner.

Bottom Line

The DELLA 12,000 BTU Cooling Portable Air Conditioner is a great unit that will save you a ton of money and still produce nice cold air. Its airflow is not as forceful as some other units on this list, though.

Benefits of Investing in a Quality Model From Our List

There definitely is a noticeable difference between a cheap portable air conditioner and a nice one. Check out some of the most egregious:


The thing about portable air conditioners is that they do have to be set up in your room, right there on your floor. You can buy a cheaper model that is huge, clunky, and will take up a ton of space, or a nicer version that is sleek and discreet.


Air conditioners have a lot of moving parts, and that translates into a lot of things that could potentially go wrong and require repairs. Investing in a higher quality model will reduce the likelihood of that happening.

Hose Systems

Higher quality portable air conditioners typically have a dual hose system, where the intake and outtake hoses are completely separate. This setup will result in increased efficiency and far less work on your end.

How to Clean a Portable Air Conditioner

Cleaning a portable air conditioner is one of the best ways to keep it running effectively. Dust tends to collect on the condensers inside these units, so simply remove the condenser cover (you will likely need a screwdriver for this part) to access the dust. You will probably want to wear some sort of latex glove as the most efficient method of removing the dust is by hand. It is also helpful to have a vacuum available to get at the dust in small crevices where your hands can’t reach. Be sure to refer to the video below for a full overview of what was just described.


Portable air conditioners are a great alternative to more traditional forms of air conditioning, or even to supplement a central AC unit or for use in an area outside of the home, such as a trailer or backyard shed. Keep in mind your specific wants and needs in air conditioning and we guarantee you will be able to find a model from our list that will do the trick for you.

People Also Ask

During keen research, we came across some questions which were asked by the majority of the users. Therefore, below are the answers to those questions so that you can have a better understanding of the products, enabling you to make the right purchase.

Who Makes The Quietest Portable Air Conditioners?

You will find an ocean of air conditioners which guarantee to perform the intended task silently but turn out to be a disaster when used. In order to save you from making a wrong purchase, our sincere recommendation would be Whynter products.

They take pride in manufacturing whisper-quiet units that spread the cool air uniformly and make your capacious rooms chilled within fifteen minutes. Casters allow convenient mobility of the equipment.

How Many Decibels is a Quiet Air Conditioner?

Well, the straight answer to this question is ‘around 40 decibels’. The sound intensity commonly delivered by the compressors of quiet air conditioners stands somewhere between 30 and 50 decibels, which is just like that of rustling leaves.

Air conditioners that create noises of around 70 decibels should not be considered quiet. The sound of a quiet air conditioner should not be more than the sound of humming or ticking of the watch.

My name is Bob Wells and I am a retired HVAC tech from Washington state. I am currently retired and no longer do much with HVAC, however, I feel like I have a lot of knowledge in the subject and I wanted to create a website where I could talk about what I've learned and help upcoming HVAC techs. Find more info about me and HVAC Training 101.