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Air conditioner decibel levels explained

Air conditioner decibel levels – the amount of noise a unit makes – is something you will want to consider when purchasing a new AC unit.

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Air conditioner decibel levels and Rheem units. Photo by mattwitmer on Flickr.With the weather warming up across the country, your attention has probably shifted from how to keep your home warm to how to keep it cool. Home cooling can be accomplished in several ways, with one of the most popular methods being an air conditioner. Air conditioner decibel levels – the amount of noise a unit makes – is something you will want to consider when either readying your current system or purchasing a new one.

Everything we do produces sound, but some actions are more audible than others. For example, a normal speaking voice produces 60 decibels (dBs) of sound, while a gunshot is much louder, at 145-155 decibels.

The quietest air conditioners emit 37 decibels. While window air conditioner decibel levels are louder at 55, but this is still not as loud as a conversation.

When you are getting air conditioner estimates, ask for the decibel level. If you are looking at units yourself, the air conditioner decibel level is printed on the warranty tag on the unit.

Air conditioner sound is caused by vibrations. Some vibrations are normal, such as the fan blades vibrating when they spin and the compressor vibrating while it is running. Excessive vibration can make the unit run louder, and several of these issues can be addressed.

Find area contrctors for AC unit and installation quotes! Ask about your air conditioner decibel levels!

First, make sure the fan blades are clean. Dirty blades will vibrate more and cause more noise. You can also lubricate the ball bearings in the compressor, which will lower the compressor noise.

If you have a window unit, make sure it is firmly seated in the window. If the air conditioner has room to move, it will, and this will cause additional vibrations and more noise.

If you have an HVAC system, you can insulate the unit or build a sound barrier around the unit to help reduce the noise.

Air conditioner prices for quieter units are usually higher than for louder units, but this has more to do with the Seasonal Energy Efficiency Ratio (SEER) rating. The SEER is a governmental requirement for all new air conditioner and HVAC systems.

However, even the lower cost AC units are quieter than they used to be.

When you decide to install an air conditioner or new HVAC unit, consult with your contractor about the best place for the unit.

No one wants to have to talk over their air conditioner. Trying to sleep with a noisy air conditioner running can be aggravating, if not impossible. Air conditioner decibel levels can be controlled by where you place the unit and how you insulate it. If you have other questions, Reply! is a great resource for all things heating and cooling, so there is no need for your questions to go unanswered.

 Get your 4 free cooling estimates!

Photo credit: mattwitmer via Compfight CC.