How to Find a Quiet Central Air Conditioner

November 10, 2015

Finding a super quiet central air conditioner is easy. Just look at the decibel (dB) sound rating. A lower dB rating means a quieter air conditioner.

For example, you can see on Bryant’s website where you can compare their central air conditioners based on sound.

As you can see in the above image, the 56 decibel air conditioner is quieter than a 66 decibel air conditioner.

How much quieter? Let’s talk about that. Then we’ll show you some of the quietest air conditioners on the market.

Understanding the decibel (dB) rating

To understand how loud certain dB sound ratings are, you need a frame of reference. 

Purdue University’s Chemistry Department gives you examples of noise sources for each decibel level:  

  • 50 dB (1/4th as loud as 70 dB) - Quiet conversation at home 
  • 60 dB (1/2 as loud as 70 dB, fairly quiet)  - Conversation at a restaurant
  • 70 dB (upper 70s are annoyingly loud) -  Running a vacuum cleaner
  • 80 dB (twice as loud as 70 dB) - Running a garbage disposal

Now that you can interpret the dB rating, let’s look at some quiet AC models.

Here’s a list of quiet central air conditioners

As of 2015, the quietest central air conditioners are in the 50-60 dB range. Some models within that range include:

  • Carrier Infinity 19VS  - 56 dB
  • Dave Lennox Collection XC25 - 59 dB
  • American Standard Platinum ZV - 55 dB
  • Trane XV18 - 55 dB

Need to know: Keep an eye on the price in your search for peace and quiet. Quieter air conditioners are usually more energy efficient. Meaning they’re also more expensive. 

Finding features that reduce sound

As you’re shopping for ACs, you may have trouble finding the dB level. If that’s the case, you can assume that an AC is quiet if it has these particular features:

  • Variable-speed fan — This indoor fan can operate on lower speeds when your home need less cooling, improving your comfort, lowering your energy bills and letting the AC run quietly.
  • Compressor insulation — This compartment covers the outdoor unit’s noisy compressor, reducing noise as a result.
  • Noise-reducing fan blades — This fan blade design reduces the outdoor unit’s noise.
  • Insulated base pan — This additional pan underneath the air conditioner reduces noise.

Need help finding the right central AC for your home?

Need help finding a central air conditioner that’s both quiet and fits in your budget? If you live in Southwest Florida, we can help.

Contact Advanced Air for an air conditioner installation estimate (it’s free).