Quietest Portable Air Conditioners of 2022 – Top Options

| Last Updated: July 12, 2023

If your apartment doesn't 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
View Latest Price →
  • 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?

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:
 Whynter Elite ARC-122DS

Whynter ARC-122DS 12,000 (7,000 BTU SACC) Elite Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner Dehumidifier, Fan and Storage Bag, up to 400 sq ft, Grey

PROS

  • 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

CONS

  • 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.

Runner-up:
hOmeLabs 14,000 BTU Portable AC

hOmelabs Portable Air Conditioner 14000 BTU - Cools Rooms up to 600 Sq. Ft. - Quiet AC Unit with Wheels, Washable Filter and Remote Control (New DOE 8600 BTU)

PROS

  • Automatic vertical swing
  • Permanent washable air filter
  • Automatic timer and fan speed control
  • Cooling, dehumidification, and fan-only modes 
  • Mounting kit, remote, and user manual included in the package

CONS

  • No heating capability

Specs

Dimensions (LxWxH): 17.9 x 15 x 30.7 inches

Cooling Power: 14,000 BTU

Voltage: 115 volts

Wattage: 1470 watts

Floor Area: 600 square feet

Review

If you're searching for an easy-to-install and efficient single-hose portable AC for your bedroom or nursery, you've found the right one here. With a lower (53 dB) noise level than most larger cooling capacity units, this 10,000 BTU beast will whisper while you sleep.

The automatic timer makes it an ideal choice when you fall asleep unknowingly while nursing your child, and the permanent washable filter gives you the peace of mind you need about the indoor air quality of your room.

Bottom Line

This is one of the higher-rated portable air conditioners from hOmeLabs. With exceedingly positive customer reviews, this air conditioner performs as it's supposed to, giving your medium-sized room the cool it needs.

Best for the Money:
Della 12,000 BTU Portable AC

PROS

  • Programmable schedule
  • Dehumidifier tank full alert
  • Full-function remote control
  • Timer, auto-restart, and sleep modes
  • Three fan speeds, cooling, and dehumidification

CONS

  • No glaring disadvantages reported

Specs

Dimensions: 16" x 13.5" x 29"

Cooling Power: 12,000 BTU

Voltage: 115 volts

Wattage: 1000 watts

Floor Area: 400-600 square feet

Review

This Della air conditioner is another silent and convenient unit for the spaces where you need lower temperatures without much fuss. This 12,000 BTU system is powerful with high cooling capacity and robust features.

The highlight of this air conditioner is the "Water full" alert, which takes the guesswork out of the process. You'll know exactly when to empty the condensate from the unit. It's easy to do as well.

Once you've set up the portable AC and turned on the programmable mode, you can rest assured about the unit's capabilities and start enjoying the cool.

Bottom Line

No matter if you're picking this Della unit for your living room, bedroom, or office, it's going to do the job of cooling the space quickly and efficiently. With its timer, auto-restart, and sleep modes, you don't need to worry about the AC, power surges, and leaving it on during the night.

4. Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC12RD1

Friedrich ZoneAire PH14B Portable 4-In-One Air Conditioner/Heater/Dehumidifier/Fan with Reverse Cycle Heat Pump | 13,500 BTU, 115 Volt

PROS

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

CONS

  • 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.

5. Friedrich PH14B

Friedrich ZoneAire PH14B Portable 4-In-One Air Conditioner/Heater/Dehumidifier/Fan with Reverse Cycle Heat Pump | 13,500 BTU, 115 Volt

PROS

  • 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

CONS

  • 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.  

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.

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.

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.