A Simple Comparison Of The Best Portable Quiet Air Conditioners

In Heating & Cooling by Mike HeathLeave a Comment

Do you need to keep the room cool, but can’t bear the noise of your air-con unit? Maybe you’re constantly battling between the right temperature and a room that you can actually sleep in?

Air-con is a necessary evil for many of us, but who wants to share the room with a reversing truck?

We’ve explored the quietest portable air conditioners, so that you can enjoy a comfortable temperature without the tinnitus. If you’re looking for an air-con unit that you might need to carry from room to room, then you’ve come to the right place.

Portable air conditioning units are generally cheaper to run than full-home systems because you’re only cooling a single room at a time. They’re simple to install and are usually operational with a couple of minutes, requiring little in the way of set-up.

best quiet portable air conditioner

Article Contents


Quietest Portable Air Conditioner

Use this table to quickly compare models or keep scrolling to see each review in more detail.

Product
Editors Choice
Whynter ARC-122DS
LG Electronics LP0814WNR
Honeywell MN12CES
North Storm Portable Air Conditioner
Best Value
Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC12RD1
Preview
Whynter ARC-122DS Elite 12000 BTU Dual Hose Digital Portable Air Conditioner
LG Electronics LP0814WNR 115-volt Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control, 8000 BTU
Honeywell MN12CES Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier & Fan for Rooms Up To 550 Sq. Ft. with Remote Control (Black/Silver)
North Storm Portable Air Conditioner 12,000 BTU - AC, Heater, Fan, Dehumidifier All In One - Easy Installation - Cools Up to 500 sq ft, Great for Dorms, Apartments, Home Offices And More!
Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC12RD1 Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control for Rooms up to 250-Sq. Ft.
Noise Level
<52 dBa
55 dBa
55 dBa
55 dBa
53 dBa
Our Review Score
9.3
8.3
8.2
8.8
8.5
Cooling Capacity (sq ft)
450 sq ft
200 sq ft
350 sq ft
500 sq ft
400 sq ft
BTU Rating
12,000 BTU
8,000 BTU
12,000 BTU
12,000 BTU
12,000 BTU
BTU per lb
200
168
175
200
201
Editors Choice
Product
Whynter ARC-122DS
Preview
Whynter ARC-122DS Elite 12000 BTU Dual Hose Digital Portable Air Conditioner
Noise Level
<52 dBa
Our Review Score
9.3
Cooling Capacity (sq ft)
450 sq ft
BTU Rating
12,000 BTU
BTU per lb
200
Product
LG Electronics LP0814WNR
Preview
LG Electronics LP0814WNR 115-volt Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control, 8000 BTU
Noise Level
55 dBa
Our Review Score
8.3
Cooling Capacity (sq ft)
200 sq ft
BTU Rating
8,000 BTU
BTU per lb
168
Product
Honeywell MN12CES
Preview
Honeywell MN12CES Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier & Fan for Rooms Up To 550 Sq. Ft. with Remote Control (Black/Silver)
Noise Level
55 dBa
Our Review Score
8.2
Cooling Capacity (sq ft)
350 sq ft
BTU Rating
12,000 BTU
BTU per lb
175
Product
North Storm Portable Air Conditioner
Preview
North Storm Portable Air Conditioner 12,000 BTU - AC, Heater, Fan, Dehumidifier All In One - Easy Installation - Cools Up to 500 sq ft, Great for Dorms, Apartments, Home Offices And More!
Noise Level
55 dBa
Our Review Score
8.8
Cooling Capacity (sq ft)
500 sq ft
BTU Rating
12,000 BTU
BTU per lb
200
Best Value
Product
Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC12RD1
Preview
Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC12RD1 Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control for Rooms up to 250-Sq. Ft.
Noise Level
53 dBa
Our Review Score
8.5
Cooling Capacity (sq ft)
400 sq ft
BTU Rating
12,000 BTU
BTU per lb
201

Our Top Pick - Whynter ARC-122DS

This air conditioning unit has a wide selection of functions, including cooling, dehumidifying and heating, so is an excellent all-year-round solution. The window installation kit is really easy to use, and simple to move around the house.

It comes with a washable air filter, as well as an activated carbon filter that draws bad smells out of the room, including smoke and animal odors.

The dehumidifier function removes up to 76 pints of moisture from the air per day, and with the auto-evaporation feature, you shouldn’t need to empty the unit. The dual hose exhaust system takes care of the internal air pressure, so the room is comfortable and at the right temperature.

When comparing the Whynter model directly to the others on noise level vs power (see comparison graphs below) the Whynter unit and the Emerson unit are clearly in the lead.

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Whynter ARC-122DS
  • Patented auto drain function fully exhausts all condensate automatically in most environments
  • Three operational modes: cool, Dehumidify, and fan
  • Includes window Kit length (46Maximum) and exhaust hose (up to 60)
  • Casters for easy mobility ; Noise level (dBA): <52
  • Digital operation with remote control

Detailed Comparison Graphs

For those of you that like graphs, we have a couple here that help you compare how each model compares when it comes to cooling power vs noise level.

Noise Level vs Cooling Capacity

 

portable air conditioner comparison

This first graph shows us the noise level of each model vs its advertised cooling capacity. Now I mention “advertised” specifically here because some of the models do remarkably well in rooms much larger than their advertised cooling capacity.

So what does this graph show us? Well these are our observations:

  1. The LG LP0814WNR is quite noisy for it’s cooling capacity
  2. The two stand out models in this comparison are the Emerson Quiet Kool and the Whynter ARC-122DS. Both are more quiet than the other 3 models and still have a decent cooling capacity.

BTU vs Noise Level

quitest portable air conditioner comparison

Our second graph compares the BTU rating of each model against the noise level. We go into it a little later on in the article, but BTU is a measurement of how much heat each air conditioner can remove from the air.

Our observations from this graph once again point to the Emerson and the Whynter units as being standout performers – each of them matching the other 3 units on BTU rating while being much quieter.

Best Quiet Portable Air Conditioner Reviews

LG Electronics LP0814WNR

LG Electronics LP0814WNR 115-volt Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control, 8000 BTU

Price: Check local price on Amazon
Perfect for: Keeping a room of up to 200sq ft cool

Key Specifications:

COOLER TYPE: Air con, fan, dehumidifier
MAX BTU OUTPUT: 8,000
COOLING CONTROL SYSTEM: Thermostatic Control

LG Electronics are a well-known name in the home electrical appliances world, with a good reputation for quality. This 8000 BTU unit connects directly to a 115-volt socket and can cool a room of up to 200sq ft.

The dehumidifier can draw up to 2 pints of moisture out of the room per hour, so this is a good piece of kit for drying out a room that’s prone to mould.

The LG Electronics LP0814WNR features include:

  • Infra-red remote control
  • Temperature control
  • LED display
  • 2 fan speeds and 2 cooling speeds
  • Suitable for a room up to 200sq ft
  • Collects moisture at 2 pints per hour

LG LP0814WNRThe LED display on the top face of the machine provides a clear temperature indicator, providing two fan- and two cooling speeds. The screen also includes a “water full” indicator to let you know that the condenser water collector requires emptying.

The digital display allows you to set your desired temperature (in ºF or ºC) with a timer, allowing you to set the unit to run at specific times.

This model includes a  drain bucket that collects moisture but has a decent capacity to ensure that you’re not continually emptying it.

In a hot environment, it takes around 10-15 minutes for the unit to bring the room heat down to your desired temperature.

The LP0814WNR sits on casters that make moving the unit from one room to another easy. It’s a reasonably hefty piece of kit (at 47.6 pounds), so the casters are a useful feature.

The unit has a 1-year warranty, covering parts and labor. The pack comes bundled with the air discharge tube, power cord holder, infra-red remote control, bottom drain port, air filter, and a hose and defuser.

The LP0814WNR is 11.8 x 13.9 x 29.8 inches (WxDxH). It should fit underneath a standard height table or desk.

Pros

  • Great for a small room
  • Very easy to install and get started
  • Small and compact
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • Not silent – it’s definitely audible. However, it will only disturb those who are sensitive to low level sounds
  • No economy mode

The LG Electronics LP0814WNR is available from Amazon.

LG Electronics LP0814WNR Portable Air Conditioner Review
Cooling capacity9
Ease of installation8
Noise8.5
Other Features8
8.3
King of the smaller rooms
A great unit from LG that is let down by the lack of an economy mode.


Whynter ARC-122DS

whynter quiet portable air conditioner

Price: Check local price on Amazon
Perfect for: Staying in control over the temperature whether you need it cool or warm.

Key Specifications:

COOLER TYPE: Air con, fan, heater, dehumidifier
MAX BTU OUTPUT: 12,000, 1,000 BTU heating
COOLING CONTROL SYSTEM: Thermostatic Control

The Whynter ARC-122DS is an excellent solution to maintaining a comfortable temperature all year round; with a heater function, cooling, and air circulation with the 3-speed fan. It’s easy to install and comes with a window-installation kit.

The Whynter ARC-122DS features include:

  • 12000 BTU cooling and 100 BTU heating

  • Thermostatic control

  • Remove control

  • Window installation kit

  • Draining tube, and auto-evaporation function for less humid environments

  • Carbon-activated air filter to clean odors and smoke from the air

  • Dual exhaust, offering semi-permanent solutions for cooling and draining

  • 24-hour timer

whynter ARC-122DS review

The double-hose system helps to negate negative air-pressure which allows even cooling around the whole space.

The washable pre-filter comes with an included activated carbon filter which extracts smoke and odors from the room.

The window installation kit includes a resizable slider that will adapt to the width of your window, pumping the hot air out of the room so that it can be replaced with cooled air at your specified temperature.

The window installation kit includes holes for two pipes – one to extract the hot air, and one to draw in air from the outside to maintain the air pressure in the room. The window kit is straightforward to install and can be moved from one part of the house to another in seconds.

Pros

  • Quick cooling
  • Well designed and lightweight. Easy to roll on a carpeted area
  • Virtually no compressor sound
  • Carbon activated air filter for cleaner air
  • Auto-evaporation function requires no drain-tank

Cons

  • The exhaust hoses and window-kit can be a little difficult to fit

The Whynter ARC-122DS is available from Amazon.

Whynter ARC-122DS Portable Air Conditioner Review
Cooling capacity10
Ease of installation9
Noise9
Other Features9
9.3
The pick of the bunch
A super silent air conditioner that cools the room quick smart.


Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC12RD1

quietest air conditioner

Price: Check local price on Amazon
Perfect for: Keeping smaller rooms (of up to 250sq ft) cool

Key Specifications:

COOLER TYPE: Air con, fan, dehumidifier
MAX BTU OUTPUT: 12,000
COOLING CONTROL SYSTEM: Thermostatic Control

This Emerson air conditioning unit is perfect for a smaller room and is capable of controlling the temperature from between 62ºF and 86ºF. The included window venting kit makes this a simple installation that can be moved around the house or office so that you are cooling just one room at a time.

The Emerson Quiet Kool portable air con’s features include:

  • 12000 BTU

  • Infra-red remote control

  • Cooling of between 62ºF and 86ºF

  • Auto-evaporation technology

  • 24-hour timer

  • Sleep mode

Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC12RD1 Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control for Rooms up to 250-Sq. Ft.

This is one of the smaller units featured in this article, standing at just 28 inches in height. The omnidirectional wheels make moving the EAPC12RD1 around the house a breeze. It also has built-in side-handles which make lifting the unit easy. At 58 pounds, this is a relatively heavy unit (as a comparison, 58 pounds is twice as heavy as a gold bar, and three tenths as heavy as a kangaroo).

The auto-evaporation function dehumidifies the moisture from the air while sending that humidity through the exhaust pipe, rather than collecting it in a storage tank which needs to be regularly emptied.

This unit comes with a 1-2-5 warranty – that’s 1-year labor, 2-years parts, and 5-years compressor cover.

This unit operates at just 53 dbA, which is among the quietest of the products featured in this article. Although EAPC12RD1 offers 12000 BTU, this air con unit is recommended for rooms of just 250sq ft.

Pros

  • Although it advertises that it cools a room of up to 250sq ft, there’s plenty of evidence to suggest that it won’t struggle with a room of up to 400sq ft
  • Good portability
  • Auto-evaporation means that you don’t need to empty a drain tank

Cons

  • Not silent – it can get a little noisy at full power
  • The exhaust hose is a little tricky to fit

The Emerson Quiet Kool EAPC12RD1 is available from Amazon.

Emerson Quiet Kool Portable Air Conditioner Review
Cooling capacity9.5
Ease of installation8
Noise9
Other Features7.5
8.5
Powerful and under rated
A very powerful portable aircon that is too often overlooked.


Honeywell MN12CES

standing ac

Price: Check local price on Amazon
Perfect for: Keeping a room of up to 550sq ft cool and comfortable, convenient auto-evaporation system draws the moisture from the air, with no bucket to empty.

Key Specifications:

COOLER TYPE: Air con, fan, dehumidifier
MAX BTU OUTPUT: 12,000
COOLING CONTROL SYSTEM: Thermostatic Control

The Honeywell MN12CES is a portable air conditioner with a convenient auto-evaporation feature that means you’re not continually emptying a moisture condenser bucket. With 3-speeds and a timer this product offers powerful temperature control, and quiet operation at just 55dbA.

The Honeywell MN12CES features include:

  • 12000 BTU

  • No-bucket design (for moisture collection)

  • Runs at 55 dbA

  • 3 speed

  • 24-hour timer

  • LED display and infra-red remote control

  • Washable air filter

honeywell portable air conditioner review

The MN12CES has a sleek appearance with a stylish black frontage, and a silver panel hugging the sides of the unit. It can both cool and dehumidify, as well as operate as a traditional 3-speed fan.

The infra-red remote control allows you to operate all of the functions of the base unit from across the room.

Portable air con units are cheaper to run than “entire home” installations, as you can just cool the room that you’re in at the time. The easy-glide wheels mean that you can move this from the bedroom to the living room, and is perfect for the office or for use in an apartment.

The unit comes with everything you’ll need to get started, including a window-installation set that allows you to place the exhaust hose in a semi-permanent position. The window-kit can be removed when the unit is not required. The window-kit is easy to install and comes with an adjustable bracket which fits windows between 19.9 to 47.25 inches in width.

The cooling unit is controlled with an R410A refrigerant, which includes a handy Auto-Evaporation System – there is no bucket required.

The fan mode keeps the air circulating around the room when air con is not required, while the washable air filter catches dust particles so that you’re breathing the freshest air possible.

This unit has a 1-year, limited warranty.

Pros

  • Powerful cooling – brings the temperature down quickly
  • Great for a studio apartment
  • Really simple operation
  • Easy to install
  • Super portable

Cons

  • The exhaust pipe has a tendency to pop out which can be a little annoying
  • Some of the fittings don’t stand up to repeated movement

The Honeywell MN12CES is available from Amazon.

Honeywell MN12CES Portable Air Conditioner Review
Cooling capacity9
Ease of installation7.5
Noise8.5
Other Features8
8.2
Quick and powerful cooling
A powerful little unit that will easily cool a studio or small appartment, it’s just a shame its so heavy


North Storm Portable Air Conditioner

compact protable air conditioning

Price: Check local price on Amazon
Perfect for: Keeping a room of up to 500sq ft cool, keeps the air flowing (235 cubic ft per minute)

Key Specifications:

COOLER TYPE: Air con, Heater, fan, dehumidifier
MAX BTU OUTPUT: 12,000
COOLING CONTROL SYSTEM: Thermostatic Control

This North Storm Portable AC unit is a great all-rounder, with the ability to cool down a hot room, and heat up a cold one, providing a great all-year-round, one-stop solution. The AC unit offers 12000 BTU which is plenty to heat or cool a room of up to 500sq ft.

The unit is self-draining and capable of being permanently installed for continuous usage. When heating, the unit provides up to 50% more heat than you get with a stand-alone electrically-powered space heater.

The North Storm portable air con’s features include:

  • 12000 BTU

  • Heating, cooling, dehumidifying, and basic fan functions

  • Infra-red remote control

  • Push-button controlled LED temperature display

  • 24-hour programmable timer

  • 1-year Full Warranty and 3-Year Limited Warranty

North Storm Portable Air Conditioner 12,000 BTU - AC, Heater, Fan, Dehumidifier All In One - Easy Installation - Cools Up to 500 sq ft, Great for Dorms, Apartments, Home Offices And More!

This AC unit, like the others featured in this article, sits on wheels which makes 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 59 inches long, and the window-kit fits a window of up to 50 inches in width.

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

The unit is controlled via a push-button panel which provides temperature-accurate control over the cooling or heating functions, or can merely circulate the air around the room with the 3-speed fan control.

Pros

  • Excellent, compact machine
  • Quiet operation
  • This unit heats as well as cools
  • Window-kit fits a window of up to 50 inches in width

Cons

  • It can struggle to cool the room a little if it’s really hot outside
  • You need to ensure that the drain hose connects downwards, or it will struggle to drain

The North Storm NS-12W-AC is available from Amazon.

North Storm Portable Air Conditioner Review
Cooling capacity9
Ease of installation8
Noise8.5
Other Features10
8.8
Versatile and powerful
A great little unit that is super versatile, unfotunately it struggles on really hot days.


What We Look For

Noise Level

We look for air-con units that operate at around 50dbA. If a jet taking-off is 150db, with the decibel effect of eardrum rupture (bad!), then 50db is the equivalent of the sound of a quiet suburb, a conversation at home, or a large electrical transformer at 100 feet.

BTU Rating

BTU 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.

Heat is also recognized for its equivalence to energy – measured in joules. 1BTU = 1055 joules.

When the BTU measurement is used in relation to Air Conditioners, it is a measurement of how much heat the unit can remove from the air.

Price

The price of your unit will differ depending on local norms. We aim to provide a clear indication of local price by linking to your local Amazon site.

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.

Other Features

Many air conditioning units feature a selection of functions that make their use more convenient, such as remote controls, digital displays, climate control (the ability to maintain a specific temperature).

Some air con units are heaters as well as coolers – these machines make wonderful year-round solutions.

Best Quiet Portable Air Conditioner Conclusion

As we already stated numerous times, we really think the front-runners in this pack are the Whynter ARC-122DS and the Emerson Quiet Kool units. Each of these models is quieter than the others listed, and are just as powerful.

  1. The Whynter ARC-122DS is available on Amazon here.
  2. The Emerson Quiet Kool is available on Amazon here.

Of course, it depends on your situation, and what you are after. We recommend looking into numerous different models and making your own choice.

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Pricing last updated on 2018-06-18 at 12:34 / affiliate links - Details

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