Quietest Portable Air Conditioners of 2021 – Top Options

| Last Updated: September 4, 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

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Our Final Rating: 8.5
  • Cooling Capacity: 350 sq.ft.
  • Yearly Cost to Run: $93/year
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  • Our Final Rating: 8.4
  • Cooling Capacity: 450 sq.ft.
  • Yearly Cost to Run: $132/year
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  • Our Final Rating: 7.4
  • Cooling Capacity: 350 sq.ft.
  • Yearly Cost to Run: $96/year
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  • Our Final Rating: 7.4
  • Cooling Capacity: 300 sq.ft.
  • Yearly Cost to Run: $88/year
View Latest Price →

Aspects to Consider Before Buying Portable AC

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

Portability

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?

BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT

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.

Noise

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.

Review of the Best Quiet Portable Air Conditioners

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

Best Overall

BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT

BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control, 5,000 BTU DOE (8,000 BTU ASHRAE), Cools Up to 150 Square Feet, White

Product Ratings

8.5

Affordability:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Portability:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Noise:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Performance:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Ease of Setup:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Cost Efficiency:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

How We Determined These Scores

We may earn commission from purchases made from our links, at no additional cost to you

Quick Product Specs:

BTU DOE: 5,000

Cooling Capacity: 350 sq.ft.

Size & Weight: 11.5×16.5×26″ ; 52.9 lbs

Avg. Yrly Cost: $93/yr

Decibel Levels: 49 dB

Review

The BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT is just an excellent air conditioner all-around, it ranks very well in every category, and finding an issue with the unit is rather difficult. The AC will cost you just short of $400, which is nothing surprising for a unit of this size, however, you’re definitely getting much more than you would from a similar air conditioner.

With an efficiency rating of 4, you can rest assured knowing that this unit doesn’t drain electricity. On top of that, with a performance rating of 5, the unit will keep you cool during the hottest days of the summer.

With a portability rating of 5 and ease of setup rating of 4.2 moving this unit around won’t cause you any hassle, and once you understand how to set the AC up, neither will the installation.

Bottom Line

The BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT is as quiet as they come. This air conditioner works like magic, once you set it up, you’ll quickly become cool out of nowhere. You won’t hear any noises and you won’t have to change trays due to the self-evaporating system.

Additionally, to keep the air fresh the BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT comes equipped with a dehumidifier and a fan. What more could you ask for?

Pros

Offers excellent performance

Very easy to move around due to its size and weight

Efficient unit that doesn’t cost that much to purchase

The self-evaporating system will save you annoyance and hassle

Cons

You might encounter slight trouble during the installation

Runner-up

NEPO NPP-E514H

NEPO NPP-E514H Portable Air Conditioner

Product Ratings

8.4

Affordability:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Portability:

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Noise:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Performance:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ease of Setup:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cost Efficiency:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

How We Determined These Scores

We may earn commission from purchases made from our links, at no additional cost to you

Quick Product Specs:

BTU DOE: 9,000

Cooling Capacity: 450 sq.ft.

Size & Weight: 17x15x29″ ; 79 lbs

Avg. Yrly Cost: $132/yr

Decibel Levels: 49 dB

Review

The NEPO NPP-E514H is a powerful AC unit that doesn’t make any noise; that’s a difficult combination to find. 

The NEPO NPP-E514H is already a cheap unit for its category, and if you consider its capabilities, you won’t find a cheaper unit that comes even close. This air conditioner has a rating of 3 for efficiency, which means that it’s only average, so it’s not the best, but you won’t have any concerns with the bill. What’s surprising is that the unit isn’t terribly inefficient with a performance rating of 4 and a cooling capacity of 450 square feet.

The only downside of this unit is that it isn’t the easiest to move around and set up, but that’s set off by its great performance because you won’t have to move this air conditioner too much.

Bottom Line

The NEPO NPP-E514H isn’t just the best quiet air conditioner, it’s one of the best portable air conditioners hands down. Finding a unit this powerful that doesn’t create almost any noise at all isn’t an easy task. But that’s what you’re getting with this unit and you won’t have to break your bank to purchase it!

Pros

You won’t find another quiet unit that’s this powerful

Pretty good performance

Much more affordable compared to its competition

Cons

Not the most efficient air conditioner; it’s average

Even though its a portable AC, this isn’t the easiest unit to move around

Best Performance

Frigidaire FHPC082AC1

Frigidaire FHPC082AC1 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier Mode Rooms up to 350-Sq. Ft, 26.800, White

Product Ratings

7.4

Affordability:

Rating: 2 out of 5.

Portability:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Noise:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Performance:

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Ease of Setup:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cost Efficiency:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

How We Determined These Scores

We may earn commission from purchases made from our links, at no additional cost to you

Quick Product Specs:

BTU DOE: 5,500

Cooling Capacity: 350 sq.ft.

Size & Weight: 13.78×12.17×26.8″ ; 50 lbs

Avg. Yrly Cost: $96/yr

Decibel Levels: 50 dB

Review

If the Frigidaire FHPC082AC1 didn’t cost as much as it does, it would be the best quiet air conditioner without question. However, if you’re willing to pay $512.50 for the unit, you definitely won’t regret it.

With a sound rating of just 50 decibels, this unit is as loud as a whisper; unless you really listen to it, you won’t be able to hear it. That is amazing since it has a performance rating of 5 and an efficiency rating of 4. In other words, it’s a very quiet unit that performs incredibly well.

Although this portable AC doesn’t have handles, it has wheels and it’s pretty light, so moving it around shouldn’t be troublesome. This unit is equipped with a dehumidifier that supplies the room with fresh air, and it also has a fan.

Bottom Line

As long as you’re willing to spend a hundred bucks more for this unit upfront, you’ll be getting an efficient portable air conditioner with incredible performance. The Frigidaire FHPC082AC1 is as quiet as they come, so no matter where you set it up, you won’t hear any noises, you’ll just feel the cooling effect that’s basically instant.

Pros

Very efficient

Offers excellent performance

You’ll be able to move this portable AC around without much effort

Cons

Doesn’t have handles, only wheels

Costly compared to others

Best Features

Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC8RSD1

Emerson Quiet Smart Portable Air Conditioner with Remote, Wi-Fi, and Voice Control for Rooms up to 300-Sq. Ft.

Product Ratings

7.4

Affordability:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Portability:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Noise:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Performance:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Ease of Setup:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cost Efficiency:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

How We Determined These Scores

We may earn commission from purchases made from our links, at no additional cost to you

Quick Product Specs:

BTU DOE: 5,000

Cooling Capacity: 300 sq.ft.

Size & Weight: 12.8×17.2×27.3″ ; 52.9 lbs

Avg. Yrly Cost: $88/yr

Decibel Levels: 50 dB

Review

Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC8RSD1 is a very useful portable AC. Besides the dehumidifier and a fan that will keep the air you breathe fresh, you’ll also have a portable Wi-Fi device! The best of all is that you won’t have to worry about the unit because it has a self-evaporating system.

This is the cheapest quiet portable AC on the list, and when we say portable, we mean that it’s incredibly easy to move around. With a sound rating of 4, it’s not as quiet as some of the other units, but you shouldn’t hear more than a very quiet whisper. In terms of performance, and cost-efficiency, it ranks at 3 for both, which is just average.

Bottom Line

Although this isn’t the best performing, nor the most cost-efficient portable air conditioner, you should definitely consider it. The features that it has will come in useful sooner rather than later. Also since it’s very easy to move around, you’ll have Wi-Fi alongside cooling wherever you go and because of the self-evaporating system, you can just set it and forget it.

Pros

Has a few very useful features

Solid performance and efficiency from a quiet unit

Very easy to move around

Cons

Can only cool 300 square feet

Besides its features, the Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC8RSD1 doesn’t excel anywhere

Best All-Around

Haier HPC12XCR

Haier Portable Electronic Air Conditioner with Remote 12,000 BTU, HPC12XCR

Product Ratings

7.4

Affordability:

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Portability:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Noise:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Performance:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Ease of Setup:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Cost Efficiency:

Rating: 4 out of 5.

How We Determined These Scores

We may earn commission from purchases made from our links, at no additional cost to you

Quick Product Specs:

BTU DOE: 7,000

Cooling Capacity: 450 sq.ft.

Size & Weight: 14.25×16.88×27.75″ ; 56 lbs

Avg. Yrly Cost: $137/yr

Decibel Levels: 51 dB

Review

The Haier HPC12XCR is an excellent all-around that doesn’t have any downsides as long as you’re willing to pay few more bucks for the electricity bill as well as upfront.

With a sound rating of 4, you’ll barely even notice that this air conditioner is in the room, but with a performance rating of 4, you’ll feel how quickly and effectively it cools down a room.

The Haier HPC12XCR should be pretty simple to move around with a portability rating of 4.25, and once you set it up, it’ll cool 450 square feet without trouble.

In terms of features, it comes with a fan and a dehumidifier that will freshen up the air in the room. On top of that, this is a self-evaporating feature, which means that you can just turn the AC on, and forget about it.

Bottom Line

The Haier HPC12XCR is a unit that can cool off 450 square feet quickly and effectively without making almost any noise. This unit is also very simple to move from one place to another, so you can keep yourself cool no matter where you are.

Pros

Pretty easy to move around

Comes equipped with a self-evaporating system

Above-average performance with great cooling capacity

Cons

Not the cheapest nor the most efficient unit

You might encounter an issue or two during the installation

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.

What Makes a Quiet Air Conditioner Great For Traveling?

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.

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.

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.

Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC8RSD1

Spaces Where a Quiet Portable AC Would Come in Handy

Although you can live with a quiet humming of a portable AC in some cases (most units aren’t too annoying), some spaces have a higher demand for a more quiet operation. Let’s explore the top three and find out why silent units are so crucial for them. 

Bedrooms and Nurseries

Sleep tracker data shows that even soft noises can wake you up without you even knowing. It decreases your sleep quality and makes you grumpy in the morning.

While some ACs emit a soothing white noise that can actually help you sleep, you need to make sure that the unit doesn’t make sudden sounds that can awaken you or your child. 

Dormitories

If you’ve not been born with a silver spoon in your mouth, you must’ve struggled through your graduate years in a dormitory, which comes with a few issues, including heating and cooling. Most dorm rooms are small spaces with only slots for a bed and a desk.

If your portable AC makes a lot of noise, staying in that tiny room can become unbearable. 

RVs and Trailers

Although there are specific ACs for RVs and campers, you can also opt for a portable unit if you have enough space. But where to put the air conditioner is a secondary issue compared to noise in a small vehicle.

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:

Appearance

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.

Frigidaire FHPC082AC1

Durability

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.

Conclusion

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.

Are Portable Air Conditioners Louder Than Window Units?

While window units are slightly louder than the portable ones, the latter is easier to hear as it’s entirely in the room. The window unit’s condenser part is outside, so if you’ve isolated the window properly, it can be less loud. 

How Do I Reduce the Noise From My Portable Air Conditioner?

There are a couple of methods you can use, but all of them revolve around vibration absorption. Your unit is still going to make noise, but if you put it on a thick carpet, a vibration-absorbing mat, or wrap it in a blanket, it’s going to be less annoying.

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.