For those of us who don’t have the luxury of a central air conditioning system, window air conditioners are often the most efficient alternative.
That is, provided we can make them fit in with the architecture of our home. Which is a whole topic on it’s own! Especially considering some of us even need to ask permission to install a window air conditioner.
Regardless, as efficient as these units are, the main problem is that they are rarely quiet. It’s not uncommon to end up debating whether suffering in the heat is better than suffering with the noise!
With that in mind, I’ve put together this quick guide to finding a quiet window air conditioner. It’s got a few tips to help you determine which model will be the one still running like a charm in 10 years – even if you’re shopping online. (And equally important, which units would be the ones you’d boot out the window within a month!)
Choose Your Size
It goes without saying that an air conditioner which is too small will struggle in too large of a room. It’s simply not got the power to cope, and will always be straining itself on high.
The interesting thing, is that too powerful of an air conditioner will also be overly loud if it’s cooling too small a room. How? Basically, too much power means that the AC is going to cool ‘too quickly’. When that happens, it switches itself off until the room warms up again. And then it comes back on.
The issue is that this is also the compressor switching on and off – the big ‘CLUNK’ that we’re all too familiar with.
It’s important to get your sizing correct, which is also a whole topic of it’s own. Thankfully, there’s plenty of great guides to calculating what BTU you need out there.
Go for Quiet Modes
Every air conditioner in the world will say it’s quiet on the box. But it’s the ones with a super focus on quietness we need to find.
Look for air conditioners which have built in quiet running modes in them. These are often called ‘Eco’ or ‘Sleep’ modes – made to maintain a low temperature while running on lower power.
There’s no way to avoid using noisy high power to get a room down from hot to cool. But afterwards, it’s one of these modes you need to keep cool without sacrificing on quiet.
Keep an Eye On Build Quality
Air conditioners all make noise from their compressors and fans. But the absolute word is from structural issues.
This is when a component starts vibrating or clanging off another part. Often this is due to wear and tear, and typically related to the fan. The best way to avoid this is to make sure your air conditioner is built with quality in mind.
Look for metal parts, good construction, and excellent materials. You can quickly feel the difference on these in real life, but it’s trickier if we’re shopping online. This is why it’s important to pay good attention to…
Reviews are a fantastic way to gauge how good a product is – especially on marketplaces like Amazon. However, there’s plenty of fake 5-star feedback being paid for by companies.
So be suspicious of 5-star reviews. Place more trust in balanced 3 and 4 star reviews which weigh up the pros cons. 1 and 5 stars have a good chance of being paid for.
Reach for The [Energy] Stars
Energy efficiency is a great sign of quality. And there’s no greater sign than the star of an Energy Star certified product.
These air conditioners have had to prove they operate to a great degree of energy efficiency, which only come from quality parts and good design. They also often come with super useful energy ‘guides’ which give you an idea of how much the air conditioner will cost to run.
Finding a quiet air conditioner can be a very tricky task – especially while shopping online.
It can make the difference between years of blissful comfort, and frustrated summers filled with a constant whirring noise.
I hope this guide has helped give you a few ideas of what to look for. In the end, just make sure you’re buying from a reputable online vendor. That way you’ll always have a 30 day return window, minimum, to throw back any duds.
To help prevent issues further down the line, make sure you’re following the basic maintenance guidelines in the user manual, too.
Thanks for taking the time to read this quick guide on Architecture List. Read on with some of our other content to help cultivate the ideal home to use your window air conditioner in!