Modern air conditioners: what noise level is acceptable

Modern air conditioners: what noise level is acceptable?

In the bedroom, nursery, or study, we try to protect ourselves from anything that interferes with sleep or concentration. But we rarely think about creating a favorable microclimate. But this is extremely important — for good sleep, brain activity and well-being during the day.

Modern air conditioners perfectly cope with the function of maintaining a comfortable temperature and humidity in the room, and can also ionize and purify the air, which is also useful in large cities. But not all devices on the market are really quiet.

In this article, we will briefly tell you which air conditioner should be chosen for an apartment, if silence is above all, and what is the permissible noise level for the outdoor unit and the outdoor unit of the air conditioner.

General information

sleep mode what is it

The technical characteristics of any air conditioner indicate the noise level that its outdoor and indoor units emit. This parameter is measured in decibels (abbreviated dB).

For comparison: the noise level when whispering is at the level of 20-30 dB, the volume of a normal conversation or a working office is about 30-40 dB, and the noise level on a busy street reaches 70 dB. Noise below 20 dB is practically not read by human hearing and is characterized as barely audible.

Therefore, when choosing an air conditioner for a bedroom or office, give preference to devices that emit a noise level of no more than 20-25 dB for the indoor unit and no more than 30-50 dB for the outdoor unit. If the noise level of the air conditioner exceeds these indicators, you will clearly hear the operation of the device in the silence of the night.

However, the noise level indicated in the technical specifications of the air conditioner is not the only nuance that is important to take into account. Pay attention to other features of air conditioners, which we will discuss later.

Please note

To choose a truly quiet air conditioner, you need to take into account not only the level of noise produced, but also pay attention to the build quality of the device and the price category.

Budget air conditioners are made of low-quality plastic, as well as their internal parts. During operation, this air conditioner may creak or make clicks.

Believe me, you will not be happy if you save money and buy a quiet air conditioner from the budget segment. The characteristics indicate that it is quiet, but in fact you will constantly hear sudden sharp sounds. The easiest way to check the quality is to lightly press the air conditioner body in different places. If you hear the creak of plastic, do not buy this model.

Also note that the noise level depends on the operating mode of the air conditioner. At the minimum cooling speed, the device will produce a lower noise level than in the maximum mode.

This trick is often used by manufacturers of budget devices. They measure the volume level, including the first — slowest — cooling mode. It is clear that in this case, the air conditioner can be quite quiet. And this figure is then added to the technical specifications and advertising booklets.

air conditioner noise level measurement

Buy air conditioners from the medium or high price category from time-tested manufacturers who value their reputation. Every major brand has a line of quiet air conditioners, which really are. It is important to approach this issue with all seriousness.

A few words about the outdoor unit

The outdoor unit doesn’t bother customers as often as the indoor unit. This is not surprising, because it will be mounted outside the room, which means that its noise level is not so critical.

This is true, because you will use the air conditioner with the windows closed and most likely will not even hear how the outdoor unit works. But your neighbors, who prefer natural cooling through an open window, will definitely hear it. And sooner or later, the noise can cause a conflict.

outdoor split system unit

We recommend that you take care of buying a quiet outdoor unit in advance. Of course, such air conditioners are significantly more expensive. But, believe me, the increased noise level coming from your air conditioner can lead to the complete dismantling of the entire air conditioning system, if a neighbor writes a complaint about you.


If you are convinced that the noise of air conditioners interferes with sleep and work, then you do not know about the existence of quiet air conditioners. There are dozens of split systems on the market, the internal unit of which emits noise at the level of 20 dB or even less. Such a device will definitely not wake you or a small child.

In addition to the noise level specified in the specifications for your chosen air conditioner, pay attention to the build quality of the device. Poor-quality plastic may creak during operation. And in especially cheap devices, the relay can produce a noticeable clicking sound, which in the middle of the night is even more annoying than the monotonous sounds of the air conditioner itself. Good luck!

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