To most people, the best air conditioner is a quiet air conditioner. You will sleep much better in a perfectly cooled room, as the barely detectable hum of your air conditioner masks traffic and city sounds. Here is a top tip list of ideas to achieve the ideal of virtually no sound from your air conditioner.
1. Buy the Right Size for the Room
An air conditioner that is too powerful for the space it is cooling will annoy you with its constant turning-on and shutting-off noises. You should not be able to hear either the precise moment when its fan is activated or when it ceases to turn. An air conditioner that is too small for the space will make a wheezing whine as it labors to cool an air volume too large for its capacity.
2. Install Properly
An air conditioner mounted too loosely on the window frame, or on an unstable frame or ledge, will rattle, hum and buzz quite loudly. Check the window frame for firmness before installing the air conditioner. Tighten all of its fastenings, and use caulk or putty around the edges as needed to make an airtight seal.
3. Make Sure the Air Conditioner is in a Partly Shaded Spot
Even the best-designed air conditioner is not meant to run in full sunlight in July. Install an awning over the window you have it mounted in, or relocate it to a more shaded window in the same room.
4. Check Its Mechanical and Moving Parts
Look inside the front face of the air conditioner unit to check the fan blades. If they are not perfectly straight, they may vibrate against the faceplate, making an intolerable noise. Also examine the fan attachment. Lubricate the rotating plate with a suitable oil, or just a spray of WD-40 to make it rotate smoothly.
5. Check the Insulation
Most air conditioner cabinets have sound-deadening insulation inside the walls and faceplate. If this is worn, torn or missing altogether, replace it with a suitable moisture-resistant material. Pack this insulation tightly into every crevice to reduce the sounds of the air conditioner's moving parts. If the air conditioner faceplate has a large open grid, add some insulation to reduce the size of the air intake slightly. This often will stop vibration. Also, check how the faceplate and housing of the air conditioner itself fit together, making sure they connect smoothly with no air gaps.
6. Examine the Power Cord
If the power cord is worn, twisted or frayed, it will not supply power steadily to the air conditioner. This can cause intermittent stoppages, and vibrating noises when it restarts. Replace the electrical cord or have a qualified electrician do it if you feel unsure of your capabilities with electrical appliances.
7. Clean the Filter
Most air conditioners have a filter screen located in or near the faceplate. Remove and clean it every week during peak use times.
With proper care, maintenance and correct installation, your air conditioner should provide you with decades of quiet cool freshness in the room where it operates.
If you're looking for the perfect air conditioner, check out our Air Conditioners Buyer's Guide.