Odds are that, if you own an air conditioner, you own a window unit. These are the most popular types – both in the US and globally – available today.
Window air conditioner units are so popular because they are inexpensive (running anywhere from $150-$600) and take up no floor space in your home because they sit on your windowsill.
They are also easy to install, unlike split air systems and central ac. Installing a window unit is an easy DIY job that can be tackled in an hour or so.
Also, because they are installed in a semi-permanent fashion, you just set it and forget it. Unlike portable ac units, which are often wheeled around from room to room, a window unit is designed to stay put.
In spite of all of these benefits, however, window units have one major drawback: the noise. These units are loud and different models can range from being moderately annoying to downright deafening.
Why are window air conditioners so loud? Well, the reason is simple: because the entire air conditioner – the compressor, the condenser, and the fans – are all located in one single unit.
By contrast, with a split ac and a central air conditioner, the compressor and condenser are installed outside of your home. That means that in those units the loudest parts aren’t in your home.
With a window unit, however, the noisiest parts of the unit are inside your home.
This can be a minor annoyance. It may mean that you have to turn up the volume on the tv to hear it. But it can also mean sleepless nights if your window air conditioner in your bedroom is deafening.
So what you should do?
The best thing to do is to check out the sound levels on your window unit before you make your purchase. All air conditioners come with labels specifying the decibels generated by the unit. A high number means a loud machine. For example, a unit with a rating of 50 Decibels is 10 times louder than one rated 40 Decibels.
The smartest thing to do is to go to a big box store like Target or Walmart and listen to an air conditioner before you buy it. Even if you are looking at a different brand, it is important to get a sense of how loud the Decibel ratings are for you. You can do this best by listening to different ac units running.
If you already have a window air conditioning unit and you have noticed recently that it seems to be louder, there are few steps you should take.
Check to see if the unit is vibrating on the windowsill. It may need to be re-tightened on its shelf. The side panels might also be loose. Inspect those to see if they need tightening. If the unit seems to be vibrating more than normal, consider sliding a piece of wood under the unit to secure it.