The Quietest Portable Air Conditioners That Actually Work

According to energy.gov, Americans spend $29 billion each year just to keep their houses cool.

One way to easily reduce AC expenditures each summer is by cooling only the room you are using rather than your entire house.

Portable air conditioners are a great solution to maximizing your comfort while minimizing your cooling costs. The only problem? These units are often so loud that all you want to do is leave the room, despite how cool and comfortable it is.

To overcome this common catch-22, you need an air conditioning unit that is both portable and exceptionally quiet. And that’s what we’ve exactly tracked down. 

We tested and researched the top-selling, low-decibel units to find eight of the most effective and quietest portable air conditioner units available. We even found a Black+Decker Portable Air Conditioner that runs at a whisper-quiet 49dB.

The Best Portable Quiet Air Conditioners

Disclosure:It is important you understand that we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. All opinions are our own we pride ourselves on keeping our articles fair and balanced. For more info see our disclosure statement.

Summary Table

ProductDetailsWhere to Buy

Homelabs 10,000 BTU Low Noise Portable Air Conditioner
Homelabs 10,000 BTU Low Noise Portable Air Conditioner

**Editor's Choice**

dB Level: 50dB
BTU: 10,000 (6,000 CEC)
Coverage: up to 250 sq ft
Check Price

Black + Decker 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
Black + Decker 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

dB Level: 49dB
BTU: 10,000 (5,500 DOE)
Coverage: About 250 sq ft
Check Price on Amazon

Frigidaire FHP Series 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
Frigidaire FHP Series 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

dB Level: 49dB
BTU: 8,000 (5,500 DOE)
Coverage: up to 350 sq ft
Check Price on Amazon

Haier 8,500 BTU Air Conditioner
Haier 8,500 BTU Air Conditioner

dB Level: 50dB
BTU: 8,500 (5,600 CEC)
Coverage: Up to 250 sq ft
Check Price

DELLA 14000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

dB Level: 49dB
BTU: 14,000 (8,000 DOE)
Coverage: Up to 750 sq ft
Check Price on Amazon

Homelabs 14,000 BTU Low Noise Air Conditioner
Homelabs 14,000 BTU Low Noise Air Conditioner

dB Level: 52dB
BTU: 14,000 (10,000 DOE)
Coverage: Up to 450 sq ft
Check Price

Emerson Quiet Kool Portable Air Conditioner
Emerson Quiet Kool Portable Air Conditioner

dB Level: 50dB
BTU: 8,000 (4,900 DOE)
Coverage: Up to 300 sq ft
Check Price on Amazon

TOSOT 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
TOSOT 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

dB Level: 49dB
BTU: 8,000 (6,000 DOE)
Coverage: Up to 400 sq ft
Check Price on Amazon

Quiet AC Units: What We Look for

How much noise an AC puts off is only one piece of the puzzle that determines whether a unit is worth buying or not. We also looked at each contender’s portability, how powerful it is, how well it is made, and how much it costs to run.

Noise level

ACs typically put off significantly higher decibels when running on medium or high than the marketed noise output. If you want a unit that remains comfortably quiet no matter which setting you have it on, you’ll want a unit with a listed output as close to 50dB as you can get, which is what we looked for.

50dB is about as loud as a moderate rainfall outside the window. For comparison’s sake, 40dB is the output of the average refrigerator pump, and 60dB is about as loud as the typical conversation between two people.

Portability

The units featured in this article have been chosen for their portability. Look out for weight and features that make transportation easier. You should expect a portable air conditioning unit to be on easy-glide casters.

BTU Rating

BTU rating is an abbreviation of “British Thermal Unit” and is a unit of heat calibrated by the measure of power required to raise 1 pound of water by 1ºF. BTU is widely recognized as a heating unit around the world.

Many consumers make the mistake of looking for an AC with the highest BTU rating they can afford. But bigger is not better when it comes to air conditioning power. Instead, you want to look for a unit with the suitable capacity or power to cool your room. 

Another confusing aspect of measuring AC power in portable air conditioning units is ASHRAE BTU versus DOE BTU. 

The ASHRAE BTU rating is similar to your standard rating given to other types of AC units. The DOE BTU rating, which can also be listed as a CEC rating, is an adjusted cooling power measure specific to portable units. 

This second rating is necessary because portable units are less efficient at cooling than their ASHRAE rating lets on. This is because they must recycle cooled room air to cool down the internal components. This recycled air is pushed out of the house via the exhaust and is naturally replaced with warmer air from outside the room.

The DOE rating will be lower than the ASHRAE and is usually more accurate in determining how well the AC actually performs. Because more efficient units are less costly to operate, we looked for units with DOE ratings that are aligned more closely with the listed ASHRAE rating.

Quality

Of course, efficiency, power, and noise output don’t mean much if the unit breaks down after only a few months of use. We paid particular attention to the quality of the materials used in each AC, user reviews, and the company’s reputation when selecting our top choices.

Cost To Run

All portable units are going to cost less to run than a full-house system. But not all portable ACs cost the same amount to run.

We searched for high-efficiency units capable of saving you some real cash. We awarded extra points to those with eco-mode capability and features like auto on/off and timers.

Quietest Portable Air Conditioner Reviews

Homelabs 10,000 BTU Low Noise Portable Air Conditioner

Homelabs 10,000 BTU Low Noise Portable Air Conditioner

Key Specifications

  • 50dB on the lowest setting
  • 10,000 BTU
  • For rooms 100 to 250 sq feet
  • CEC rating of 6,000 BTU
  • Dry mode for humidity reduction
  • Remote control

The HomeLabs 10,000 BTU air conditioner is an excellent choice for small to medium bedrooms and living rooms needing some cooling down.

This low noise AC puts out only 50dB on its lowest setting. It is a bit louder on the higher fan setting, but you can still sleep soundly or watch your favorite TV show without cranking the volume up.

This AC has a CEC rating of 6,000 BTU, making an area under 250 square feet cold. If you are moving this portable air conditioner room to room, you’ll find its easy-roll casters highly useful since carrying it by hand will give you a workout – it weighs a hefty 64 pounds! 

Don’t worry. One person can move the unit up and down the stairs thanks to its slim body and built-in handles. 

We love the unique gray finish on this AC and the flat top that doubles as a table for lightweight items. It also features adjustable louvered flaps and remote control that help dial in the comfort factor.

This unit includes a 5-foot hose and adjustable window slider. It has a timer mode and set-temp function, as well as fan-only and dry mode. The dry mode functionality is handy if you suffer humid heat and need something to cool the room without increasing moisture.

Pros

  • Well-designed, compact machine
  • Easy to move around
  • Long exhaust hose
  • Low noise output 

Cons

  • Only two fan speeds
  • Slow to begin cooling
  • No heating ability

Black + Decker 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Black + Decker 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Key Specifications

  • 49dB on the lowest setting
  • 10,000 BTU
  • Best for rooms around 150 sq ft
  • DOE rating of 5,500 BTU
  • Dehumidifier function
  • Remote control

If you are looking for the quietest portable air conditioner that still has plenty of power, you’ve found it with the Black + Decker 10,00 BTU AC.

This AC has one of the lowest decibel ratings of any portable AC we found, but it’s still powerful enough to cool an average-sized bedroom. It has three fan speeds, a thermostat, and a timer function. All are controllable via the intuitive control panel or included remote with digital display.

At 53 pounds, this unit is also pleasantly lighter than many of the other portable ACs we looked at. Its portable weight combined with the easy-roll casters and long 5-foot exhaust hose makes this unit super easy to move between rooms.

The unit is advertised as covering rooms up to 250 square feet. This would be true if the actual power rating were 10,000 BTU as listed. However, the DOE rating is much lower at 5,500 BTU. Because the heat exchange is not as efficient as it could be, this unit is actually better suited for rooms around 150 square feet.

This portable AC is a cooling powerhouse with a ton of great features when used in the right-sized rooms. It automatically dehumidifies as it runs, can be used as just a fan, and is built to last for years without maintenance.

Pros

  • Super-quiet noise output on low setting
  • Lightweight and easy to move
  • Built to last 

Cons

  • Not as efficient as other units
  • More expensive to operate 
  • No heating option

Frigidaire FHP Series 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Frigidaire FHP Series 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Key Specifications

  • 49dB on the lowest setting
  • 8,000 BTU
  • Best for rooms around 200 square feet
  • DOE rating of 5,500 BTU
  • Dry cool option
  • Remote control

The Frigidaire FHP Series portable AC is another excellent option that comes in with a noise level rating below 50dB.

This sleek little unit uses less power than our previous two choices but produces about the same amount of cooling power. The ASHRAE rating is just 8,000 BTUs, while the DOE is 5,500 BTUs. 

The company optimistically markets this AC for use in rooms 350 to 450 square feet. Judging by the DOE rating and user experience, we recommend this portable air conditioner for rooms closer to 200 square feet.

Although it works best in a smaller room, this AC’s built-in features like the three fan settings and thermostat make it super convenient and simple to set your desired temperature. It even has a remote control! 

One of our favorite features of this unit is the sleep mode. This smart function slowly raises the set temperature overnight. Not only does this help you sleep more comfortably, but it further adds to the energy-saving power of this unit.

This Frigidaire AC comes with a hose and washable air filter. It can run on AC or fan-only mode and has an optional dry mode for reducing humidity. 

Like most portable ACs, this one also comes on easy-move casters. Despite its compact size, it weighs a fair amount–about 62 pounds.

Pros

  • Energy efficient
  • Super-quiet noise output on low setting
  • Sleek design

Cons

  • Not suitable for large rooms
  • No heating option
  • Remote is not very strong

Haier 8,500 BTU Air Conditioner

Haier 8,500 BTU Air Conditioner

Key Specifications

  • 50dB on the lowest setting
  • 8,500 BTU
  • Best for rooms around 200 square feet
  • CEC rating of 5,600 BTU
  • Auto-evaporation
  • Remote control

For a lightweight, portable AC unit on the quieter side, you should consider the Haier 8,500 BTU AC.

This compact unit comes in at just 52 pounds and has built-in side handles for easy lifting. Like other models we looked at, it also has easy-roll casters that make switching rooms a breeze.

With an advertised noise output of around 50dB, this product fits well within our definition of a low noise AC. But do be aware, this noise reading is for the lowest fan setting without the air conditioner function turned on. When the compressor is running, this unit puts out closer to 59dB on low.

Like other units we looked at, the room coverage advertising was also a little off with this unit. The ASHRAE rating is 8,500 BTU, but the actual cooling power is closer to 5,600 BTU. This is a fairly efficient ratio, and this unit is less expensive to run than others. 

But it does mean that the advertised room coverage of 250 square feet is a touch high. We recommend this unit for rooms closer to 200 square feet.

Along with the sleek, compact design, we also love the auto-evaporation function on this AC. When running in typical conditions, this unit will automatically evaporate any condensation that collects. That means there is no need to dump the collection reservoir unless you live in a very humid climate.

This AC has three fan modes, a dry mode, a built-in thermostat, and remote control. It comes with a window adapter kit and a hose, though it is quite short and may not fit all window setups.

Pros

  • Energy efficient
  • Low-maintenance auto-evaporation function
  • Lightweight and compact

Cons

  • Short hose 
  • Hose connections may require reinforcement
  • Not as quiet as advertised
  • No heating option

DELLA 14000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Key Specifications

  • 49bB on the lowest setting
  • 14,000 BTU AC/11,00 BTU heater
  • Best for rooms around 350 sq ft
  • DOE rating of 8,000 BTU
  • Wifi connectivity
  • Heating functionality

For all-in-one comfort, look no further than the Della 14,000 BTU portable AC and heater.

This talented unit functions as a powerful heater, AC, fan, and dehumidifier. At 72 pounds, it is heavier than the other units we’ve featured here but still highly portable.

The AC function is marketed for rooms around 750 square feet. This would be true if the actual cooling output were 14,000 BTUs, but the DOE rating is closer to 8,000 BTUs. For that reason, we recommend this unit for rooms closer to 350 square feet.

This size room is also a better fit for the 11,000 BTU heater functionality.

While not quite as powerful as advertised, this AC is still a force on both the AC and heater settings. On the lowest setting, it is also impressively quiet at only 49dB.

Despite this unit’s many tricks, our favorite thing about it may be the wifi connectivity. With the smartphone app, you can choose from three fan settings, switch from heater to AC, set your desired temperature, and control the timer function. All these features are also accessible via the intuitive control panel.

This unit also includes continuous dehumidifying and auto-evaporation. When used in medium-sized rooms, this powerful AC/heater will help you stay comfortable all year long.

Pros

  • AC, heater, and dehumidifier in one
  • Perfect for medium-sized rooms
  • Controllable via your smartphone

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Not as powerful as advertised

Homelabs 14,000 BTU Low Noise Air Conditioner

Homelabs 14,000 BTU Low Noise Air Conditioner

Key Specifications

  • 52dB on the lowest setting
  • 14,000 BTU
  • DOE rating of 10,000
  • Great for rooms up to 450 sq ft
  • LED display and infra-red remote control

The super-powerful Homelabs 14,000 BTU unit is perfect for larger rooms.

It has an impressive 10,000 BTU DOE rating. This means not only can it cool rooms up to 450 square feet with ease, but it does so using less energy than most ACs with an ASHRAE rating of 14,000 BTU.

All that power does mean this unit is a touch louder than others on this list. On the lowest setting, it runs at 52dB. But, considering you will be using this in larger spaces, the increased noise level is not as noticeable.

The unit is self-draining and capable of being permanently installed for continuous usage. It has four modes of operation: auto, cool, dry, and fan. We found the dry mode to be handy when it is exceptionally humid. It quickly made the room more comfortable and did so at a reasonable cost.

Like other models featured in this article, this AC unit sits on wheels, making it simple to move it from one room to another. However, it can be installed on a semi-permanent basis in a single place, using the window-conversion kit that’s included in the bundle. The exhaust hose is about 20 inches long, and the window kit fits a window of up to 48 inches in width.

The remote control provides complete functionality from the comfort of your armchair.

The unit is controlled via a push-button panel that provides temperature-accurate control over the cooling or heating functions or circulates the air around the room with the 2-speed fan control.

Pros

  • Excellent, compact machine
  • Quiet operation
  • Window-kit fits a window of up to 48 inches in width

Cons

  • Only 2 fan speeds
  • No heating option

Emerson Quiet Kool Portable Air Conditioner

Emerson Quiet Kool Portable Air Conditioner

Key Specifications

  • 50dB on the lowest setting
  • 8,000 BTU
  • Best for rooms under 150 sq ft
  • DOE rating of 4,900 BTU
  • Wifi option available

If you need a lightweight, compact unit to cool a smaller bedroom or office, the Emerson Quiet Kool portable AC is worth considering.

This little unit is simple to use and has a lot of great, straightforward features. When set to low, it operates at a fairly quiet 50dB rating. It is a little louder with the AC on but should not be enough to disturb your sleep, even in a small room.

The ASHRAE rating for this unit is 8,000 BTU which is where the room coverage rating of 300 square feet comes from. But the DOE rating is only 4,900 BTU. Because of this, we recommend it only for smaller rooms of about 150 square feet.

This unit is available with a wifi feature that allows you to control the system with a smartphone app. The standard unit, which is slightly less expensive, comes with a simple remote control.

One of our favorite features of this AC is the sleep/eco mode. When running with this feature on, the unit will shut off completely when the set temperature is reached. This allows for much more energy savings than typical units in which only the compressor shuts off when the set temperature is reached.

This unit features a timer, thermostat, three fan speeds, and an auto-evaporation function. It isn’t the most powerful AC we looked at, but it is perfect for keeping smaller rooms comfortable.

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Energy-saving modes
  • Smartphone app compatible

Cons

  • Not as powerful as marketed
  • Compressor can be noisy
  • No heating option

TOSOT 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

TOSOT 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Key Specifications

  • 49dB on low-noise setting
  • 8,000 BTU
  • Best for rooms up to 250 sq ft
  • DOE rating of 6,000
  • Night and sleep mode
  • Remote control

The TOSOT 8,000 BTU portable AC is a great choice for cooling down the living room or office.

This portable unit runs at an impressive 49dB on the low fan setting. With the compressor on, it isn’t much louder. However, the sound of the compressor clicking on is much louder than others we’ve featured and is one of the reasons we recommend it for living spaces and not for bedrooms.

The other reason we do not recommend this unit for sleeping areas is because of how it operates. Both the fan and compressor will click off when the set temperature is reached. Both will automatically click on again once the room warms back up. This feature is great for saving energy but causes many noise variations that many would struggle to sleep through.

But for other rooms in the house, this AC is a great choice. Not only does it save energy by powering down completely when not needed, but it is also more efficient to run in general.

With an 8,000 BTU ASHRAE rating and 6,000 DOE rating, this TOSOT portable air conditioner is one of the more energy-efficient ratios we came across. 

This unit is perfect for cooling a medium-sized room of about 250 square feet. It has multiple modes, three fan speeds, and a built-in dehumidifier. It is a bit bulkier than other options and weighs a bit more at 65 pounds.

Pros

  • Energy efficient
  • Low noise output when running
  • Multiple modes

Cons

  • Compressor is loud when it turns on
  • Turns on and off frequently in auto-mode 
  • No heating option

Portable AC Specification Comparison Table

ModeldB LevelBTU RatingRoom Coverage
Homelabs 10,000 BTU Low Noise Portable Air Conditioner – Editors Choice50dB10,000 ASHRAE, 6,000 CECUp to 250 square feet
Black + Decker 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner49dB10,000 ASHRAE, 5,500 DOEUp to 250 square feet (Optimal: 150 sq ft)
Frigidaire FHP Series 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner49dB8,000 ASHRAE,
5,500 DOE
Up to 350 square feet (Optimal: 200 sq ft)
Haier 8,500 BTU Air Conditioner50dB8,500 ASHRAE, 5,600 CECUp to 250 square feet (Optimal: 200 sq ft)
DELLA 14000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner49dB14,000 ASHRAE,
8,000 DOE
Up to 750 square feet (Optimal: 350 sq ft)
Homelabs 14,000 BTU Low Noise Air Conditioner52dB14,000 ASHRAE,
10,000 DOE
Between 350 and 450 square feet 
Emerson Quiet Kool Portable Air Conditioner50dB8,000 ASHRAE,
4,900 DOE
Up to 300 square feet (Optimal: 150 sq ft)
TOSOT 8,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner49dB8,000 ASHRAE,
6,000 DOE
Up to 400 square feet (Optimal: 250 sq ft)

Portable Air Conditioner Buying Guide

Portable ACs are a great way to stay cool while saving money by only cooling the room you are in. But, with so many options out there, it can be tough to find the right product to fit your needs.

Here is everything you need to know about portable air conditioners before choosing the right one for you.

Room Size and BTU Required

portable air conditioner inside the bedroom

Understanding the connection between BTU and room coverage is hard enough with heaters. But it gets infinitely more complicated with portable air conditioning units thanks to how they function.

As we mentioned in the first section, portable air conditioners recycle some of the air they cool to keep the inner components from overheating – they use significantly more power than they put out in the form of cold air.

It may sound confusing, but what it means is you only need to pay attention to the DOE (or CEC) BTU rating when shopping for your new portable AC. For example, a 5,000 BTU AC should be used in rooms under 150 square feet, while a 10,000 BTU AC can cool rooms up to 450 square feet.

The key is to find a BTU rating that matches the average size of the rooms you plan to use the unit in. If you get one with a rating that is too low, the unit will struggle to keep the room cool enough and waste energy by running constantly.

On the other hand, a unit that is too powerful for the room will use more energy than necessary every time it turns on.

Exhaust Hose Length and Fittings

picture of a portable air conditioner with an exhaust hose and cat

Most portable ACs come with window slides and hoses. These are necessary pieces because they allow the unit to exhaust hot air outside rather than recycling it back into the room.

You will want to check that your AC comes with a widow slide to fit your window size and orientation. If you plan to use a sliding door or wall vent to exhaust your unit, you may need to buy extra pieces. Be sure you double-check the fitting sizes and hose diameter before purchasing these items.

Hose length is also essential because that will determine how close to the window or vent your unit needs to be. AC units with very short hoses may need to be boosted off the ground to reach high window openings.

Required Settings

man reading the instruction manual of a portable air conditioner

Be sure to consider when and how you want to use your AC.

If you only need one that you can click on and off manually while you are in the room, you can save money by going with a simple unit. But if you want one that automatically targets a set temperature and turns itself on and off to maintain it, you’ll need to increase your budget.

Many portable ACs feature built-in dehumidifiers. Depending on the model, these may work only on certain modes or anytime the unit is running. Some AC models also feature auto-evaporators, so you do not have to empty any water reservoirs.

Other features might include:

  • Eco-mode that shuts down the unit completely when the goal temperature is reached.
  • Sleep mode that automatically sets higher goal temperatures throughout the night.
  • Night mode that dims or turns off lights so as not to disturb your sleep.
  • Timer mode that automatically turns off the unit entirely after a set time.
  • Fan-only mode that allows the fan to run independently of the air compressor.

Many of these are essential if you want to use your AC in the bedroom. For use in other rooms, you can typically get away with a unit with fewer features.

Connectivity

woman using a smartphone to control the air conditioner

Many newer portable air conditioning units like the DELLA 14000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner can be wirelessly controlled via your smartphone or tablet, allowing convenient operation without keeping track of the remote control. 

Moreover, smartphone apps tend to be more intuitive and have room for full instruction, whereas remotes leave a lot to be interpreted.

You can even find many wifi-enabled units that work with Alexa or Google Home for voice command and control.

The Wrap Up

If you need a super-quiet portable air conditioner, there are many great options on the above list to choose from.

The Homelabs 10,000 BTU Low Noise Portable Air Conditioner is perfect for small to medium rooms in need of cooling off. The sleek gray design distinguishes this AC from its competitors, and the powerful cooling ability and multi-function interface make it highly useful.

For larger rooms, the Homelabs 14,000 BTU Low Noise Air Conditioner is all you need. This unit had the highest DOE rating of any we looked at and came with the added benefit of the super-quiet operation and multi-mode functionality.

For smaller rooms and energy-saving power, the Emerson Quiet Kool Portable Air Conditioner is worth looking at. It is lightweight and compact so that you can easily move it around. And, if you want to further your energy savings, you can set it to eco-mode. 

baby sleeping next to an air conditioner
About The Author

Aaron is the founder of and Essential Home and Garden. He likes to spend his spare time with his family, and doing DIY projects in the home and garden.

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