Air Conditioners

8 Ways To Make A Portable Air Conditioner Quieter

portable air conditioner

Portable air conditioners are getting more popular by the year, and with good reason. They can cool down any room within their maximum range within minutes. 

Not only that, but being portable allows them to cool down any room in your home. One of the most significant downsides to a portable air conditioner is that they make quite a bit of noise. With that said, how do you make them quieter?

You can employ a few tricks to make your noisy portable air conditioner quieter. 

  • Make sure your portable unit is on a level surface
  • Placing your mobile air conditioning unit on a rug
  • Setting up your portable air conditioner further away and using a fan
  • Wrapping your portable A/C unit in a blanket
  • Place your portable air conditioner on a slip-resistance vibration mat
  • Keep your portable A/C unit away from sunlight
  • Keep the portable air conditioner on low
  • Purchase a quieter model 

Each of the methods above is a fantastic way to reduce the noise your portable air conditioner produces. While some of these solutions might be better, you will find that any of them will make a difference.

As you continue to read this article, it will go more in-depth about the solutions we have provided above.

How Can I Make My Portable Air Conditioner Quieter?

When it comes to portable air conditioners, one of their major drawbacks is the amount of noise they can produce. Air conditioners are very noisy machines. 

You have likely heard your or your neighbors’ air conditioner that cools down the entire house while you are inside your home. Even though portable units are smaller and quieter, the noise is amplified because it is inside and in the same room you are located. 

With that said, you can employ a few tricks to reduce your portable air conditioner’s noise.

1. Make Sure Your Portable Air Conditioner is on a Level Surface

One of the significant causes of noise that comes from air conditioners is vibration. This is because air conditioners have a few moving parts.

Those moving parts like the fan and the compressor will rotate or vibrate, causing the whole unit to vibrate. These vibrations cause just about everything inside the unit to shake and make tons of noise.

If your portable air conditioner is not on a level surface, these vibrations will cause even more noise. This excess noise comes from the entire device vibrating and shaking back and forth on the floor.

So keep in mind where you are placing your portable air conditioner. Setting it on an uneven floor will add more noise to the existing problem.

2. Set Up Your Portable Air Conditioning Unit and Place it on a Rug

One easy trick to help reduce excess noise caused by your portable air conditioner is to place it on a rug. The heavier the rug, the better the results you will have. The carpet that you put under your unit will act as an insulator. 

Your rug will absorb some of the sounds caused by the vibrations inside the device. A rug under your portable air conditioner will also help keep it level.

3. Place Your Portable Air Conditioner on a Slip Resistance Anti-Vibration Mat

Taking what we have said about rugs in the previous solution, you can take it a step forward. There are unique mats called anti-vibration mats. Anti-vibration mats will do the same job as a rug, just better. 

Anti-vibration mats are made of a specific material that absorbs vibrations. Anti-vibration mats are a perfect solution to a noise portable air conditioner.

4. Setting Your Portable A/C Further Away and Use a Fan

The fact is, the further away a noise is, the quieter it is. So setting up your portable air conditioner further away from you is another excellent solution to the excess noise it provides. 

With that said, setting up your unit further away from you will make it take a little longer to cool the area where you are sitting. There is a simple solution to that issue. 

Using your run-of-the-mill stand-up fan will help alleviate that issue. The fan will help move the cold air that the portable air conditioner is releasing. Using a fan to help spread the cold air produced by the air conditioner will allow you to set the unit further away, thus reducing some noise.

5. Wrapping Your Portable Air Conditioner in a Blanket

Wrapping a blanket around your portable air conditioner is another solution to the noise caused by vibrations inside the machine. Making a quilt or blanket and wrapping it snugly around the device’s base will help reduce noise. 

Wrapping a blanket around your portable air conditioner will help absorb some vibrations caused by the moving parts inside. The blanket will also help by reducing how much the portable air conditioner vibrates outside.

While this is an excellent option to help reduce noise, there is a minor side effect. Blankets are made to keep in heat and keep things warm literally. That said, the hotter your portable air conditioner gets, the harder it has to work to cool the air around it. The harder the machine works, the more noise it can produce.

6. Keeping Your Portable Air Conditioner Out of Direct Sunlight

Let us stay on the topic of heat. One common mistake new portable A/C owners make is installing their unit where it gets a lot of sunlight. The sun provides not only light but heat. The longer your portable air conditioner sits and works in the sunlight, the hotter it gets. 

The hotter your unit gets, the harder it will have to work, and as previously stated, the harder your unit has to work, the noisier it gets. 

So, when setting up your portable air conditioning unit, look for areas where you can install it where the unit will not be in vast amounts of direct sunlight. This will drastically reduce the amount of sound it will produce. 

7. Keep Your Portable Air Conditioner on Low

The simplest way to reduce sound from your portable air conditioning unit is to keep it on its low setting. Keeping your unit on its low setting will make it work a lot less hard to cool the area around it. This has two effects primarily supporting that the unit low will reduce the amount of noise it produces. 

The second effect is that it will take longer for the device to cool the room down. But, if you do not mind waiting a few extra minutes, you will notice a big difference in the noise level coming from your device.

8. Purchase a Newer Quieter Model

The older a portable air conditioner gets, the harder it has to work to cool down a room. Not only that, but it will also take much longer to do so. 

When comparing older to newer models, there are quite a few differences. New models work much quieter than older ones. More recent models are also able to cool down larger areas at a faster rate as well. 

Simply replacing your old unit with a newer one will drastically affect the excess noise you are experiencing. 

portable ac unit lg 2

Good Portable Air Conditioners To Purchase

Below are a few portable A/C options that boast some of the quietest models on the market. 

Best Overall Top Pick
Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier, Fan & Heater with Activated Carbon Filter
$679.99 $559.99

The Whynter 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner provides powerful cooling over large areas. It is designed to operate in temperatures between 68 degrees and 104 degrees.

The unit features a dual hose design for increased flexibility, remote control with LCD display, and an easy-to-use electronic control panel for simple operation.

This portable air conditioner has an auto evaporation system that automatically monitors the tank's water level and shuts off when full to prevent overflow. It also includes smart drain technology that prevents water from being trapped inside.

Featuring a dual hose system that allows you to direct cool air where it's most needed. This unit can be used as an air conditioner, dehumidifier, fan, or heater. With its sleek design and quiet operation of fewer than 56 decibels, this unit will keep your home cool and comfortable all year round.

It's perfect for cooling down a 500-square-foot space. With four operational modes and a dehumidifying capacity of 71 pints per day, this portable air conditioner is perfect for any environment. The self-evaporating system fully exhausts all condensate automatically in most environments, and the 1300-watt power consumption makes it eco-friendly.

With four operational modes, three fan speeds, and an Eco-friendly CFC-free Green R-32 refrigerant, this air conditioner is perfect for any environment.

This unit includes an adjustable louvered venting system that can be set to exhaust the hot air outside or in the room. The ARC-14S features two separate hose connections: one for intake and one for exhaust. The intake hose is designed to connect directly to your window, while the exhaust hose can extend up to 60 inches away from the unit (with included extender) so you can easily direct airflow where it's needed most.

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03/10/2024 08:49 pm GMT
Honeywell MO08CESWK6 9,100 BTU (ASHRAE)/6,100 BTU (SACC) Portable Air Conditioner with Remote Control, White/Black
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03/11/2024 01:48 am GMT

With another Honeywell on this list, the Honeywell MO08CESWK has a slightly higher decibel level of 50-54, making it only somewhat louder than the first unit on this list. 

These models have a 3-in-1 function, A/C, dehumidifier, and fan mode. With that said, this model has an array of features that come with it, including remote control, a washable filter, and a continuous drain that you can lead outside to dehumidify your home constantly.

The hOmelabs 14000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner is the loudest one on this list, with a decibel level of 54-57. It is still reasonably quiet. However, even though it is slightly louder, this is the most powerful portable air conditioning unit on this list. Able to cool up to 600 square feet in less than 10 minutes. 

Not only that, but this model has the same 3 in 1 system described above. However, the dehumidifier mod on this hOmelabs model is the most powerful. It can remove up to 12 gallons of moisture from the air in 24 hours.

Final Thoughts

While portable air conditioners are a popular pick to keep your home comfortable, sometimes the amount of noise they can produce is unbearable. 

Hopefully, the tips and tricks we have provided you can help you make your unit quieter. Perhaps our list of extremely quiet portable air conditioners has given you a new quieter model.


Hubert Miles | Licensed Home Inspector, CMI, CPI

Hubert Miles is a licensed home inspector (RBI# 2556) with more than two decades of experience in inspection and construction. Since 2008, he has been serving South Carolina through his company, Patriot Home Inspections LLC. As a Certified Master Inspector, Hubert is dedicated to providing his expertise in home inspections, repairs, maintenance, and DIY projects.