Between your kids running up and down, barking dogs in the neighborhood, lawnmowers, cars, and your snoring spouse, you already have enough noise around your life.
As such, your quest for some peace/ quiet is still ongoing, starting with things you can control. Choosing a quiet air conditioning system makes your life much easier by helping you cut down the distractive noise while sleeping or simply resting in your home.
Ductless mini-splits are the quietest air conditioning systems available on the market today, with a noise level rating of about 32 decibels. These systems deliver a whisper-quiet operation with a high SEER rating and efficient performance.
Here are the quietest mini splits on the market today.
Quietest Mini Split Air Conditioner Reviews
1. Bosch Ultra-Quiet 12K BTU Mini Split
- COMPACT AND EASY: Aesthetic and modern indoor air handler with compact and easily concealed outdoor condenser unit
- WIDE RANGE: 12, 000 BTU cooling capacity, ideal for rooms up to 600 square feet, the unit provides heat with outdoor temps down to -13 degrees F (provides cooling up to 122 degrees F outdoors)
- ENERGY EFFICIENT: Energy Star certified for greater efficiency and lower energy costs - 22 SEER and 10 HSPF Rated
- REMOTE SETTINGS: Wireless back-lit remote with Silent mode, timer, Follow-Me, and Turbo speed settings for the highest level of home comfort
- INCLUDES: Indoor air handler and outdoor condensing section - requires line set for complete assembly (sold separately)
Also called the Climate 5000, the Bosch 12000 BTU mini-split is an ultra-quiet air conditioning system that’s great for on-demand comfort in medium rooms. The system features a compact and aesthetically pleasing indoor air handler, with an outdoor condenser unit that’s easy to conceal.
The Bosch Ultra-Quiet mini-split also significantly cuts down the noise, rated at 28/36/41/23 (Low/Medium/High/Night) decibels.
Even better, Bosch included a Silent setting that further reduces the sound to about 20 decibels for maximum comfort. That makes the Bosch 12K BTU mini-split an excellent air conditioning system for rooms that need some peace, like your bedroom, office, or study room.
Besides being quiet, the Climate 5000 delivers efficient cooling and heating, with a 22 SEER rating and 10 HSPF ratings. You also get a wireless backlit remote control that puts your comfort only a few clicks away. Additionally, this AC system host several modern features like the follow-me temperature control, a timer, and Turbo speed.
While most homeowners might find the system’s premium price a little intimidating, this 12000 BTU mini-split is worth recommending for rooms reaching up to 400 sq ft in size. The system is energy-star certified and backed by a 5-year warranty on parts and seven years on the compressor.
- Ultra-quiet operation reaching as low as 20 dB
- Excellent supplemental heater (10 HSPF)
- Compact and easy to conceal
- Impressively energy efficient (22 SEER rating)
- Expensive for most homeowners
- Not ideal for DIY installation
2. Gree Sapphire 12000 BTU Wall Mounted Mini Split
- Required, but not included: 1/4" x 1/2" line set | Introducing Gree Sapphire, the Ultra high-efficiency, smart ductless split system from Gree, one of the worlds most trusted HVAC manufacturers. With the Sapphire Wall Mount Ductless Mini-Splits, you can keep any room comfortable without sacrificing aesthetics.
- The quiet, unobtrusive design delivers advanced performance with an industry-best energy efficiency rating of up to 30.5 SEER in cooling and 14.0 HSPF in heating. The Sapphire provides ULTRA Heating technology to keep you reliably warm when temperatures drop as low as -22degs F.
- Universal Wi-Fi technology makes operation simple enjoy direct control from any smartphone using the Gree+ app. With efficiency and unparalleled technology make Sapphire the perfect choice for any home or office space.
- SEER: 30.5000 -- EER: 15.3000 -- Room Size: 400 - 650 ft2
Gree is among the world’s largest air conditioning manufacturers known for creating superior quality products customized to deliver the best experience based on your preferences.
The Sapphire 12K BTU wall-mounted mini-split is among the best ductless AC systems from Gree, promising ultra-high efficiency and tons of impressive features.
With the Gree Sapphire 12000 BTU mini-split, you can comfortably warm or cool your room without sacrificing the aesthetic. The system packs a quiet and unobstructed design, delivering advanced performance with the industry’s best energy efficiency rating in 30.5 SEER for cooling and 14.0 HSPF for heating.
Even better, Sapphire features ultra-heating technology that keeps you comfortable even temperatures are as low as -22 degrees Fahrenheit.
Besides its high efficiency, the Gree Sapphire’s outdoor inverter compressor is built with superior-quality non-corrosive materials that eliminate all the toxins to deliver clean and fresh air.
More importantly, the Gree Saphire 12K mini-split comes with universal Wi-Fi technology that makes the operation simple from your smartphone using the Gree+ app. However, the system only supports a wall-mount set-up.
- Ultra-high efficiency with 14.0 HSPF and 30.5 SEER ratings
- Quiet, unobtrusive design
- Supports Wi-Fi connectivity for easier control
- Reliable for heating in low temperatures
- Installation requires extra cost for hiring an HVAC professional
- Only supports a wall-mount set-up
3. Senville SENL-12CD 12000 BTU Mini Split
- ALEXA ENABLED: Use voice or app control to control your air conditioner from anywhere. Use routines to adjust temperature settings while you are away and enjoy energy savings of up to 40%.
- 4-IN-1 MINI SPLIT SYSTEM: With air conditioning, built-in heat pump (up to 5F/-15C), dehumidifier, fan and turbo function. DC Inverter, UL Listed, AHRI Certified, Works with Alexa
- DESIGNED FOR HOME & BUSINESS: Powerful performance and dependable durability with high quality design for an attractive appearance. Great for bedrooms, additions, living rooms, and even commercial applications like stores, restaurants and warehouses.
- WHAT’S INCLUDED: Includes indoor air handler, outdoor condensers, remote control and installation kit with 16ft. line set and communication wire. Pre-charged with R410A refrigerant for up to 25 ft. Important note: requires professional installation.
- 5 YEAR WARRANTY: Backed by an industry leading manufacturer’s warranty, with 5 years on parts replacement and 5 years on compressor. Trusted quality and design by Senville, with free technical & installation support included.
For homeowners looking for a quiet and affordable air conditioning system, the Senville SENL-12CD mini-split is the perfect solution. This valuable mini-split from Senville’s Leto Series offers efficient and powerful temperature control in your living room and other rooms reaching up to 750 sq feet.
Besides being affordable, the Senville SENL-12CD comes in a modern, sleek design that allows you to install the system anywhere without affecting your home’s aesthetics.
However, while the design is modern and user-friendly, the set-up is best left to a professional HVAC expert. Fortunately, it comes with an installation kit at no extra cost.
Thanks to the inbuilt washable filters, the Senville SENL-12Cd is also easy to maintain all year round. Even better, this 19-SEER ductless mini-split features the turbo function that evenly distributes hot and cool air to ensure your room is comfortable as fast as possible.
Overall, the Senville SENL-12CD is worth the money for users looking for a whisper-quiet operation in their bedroom, living room, or office. The system also features a low ambient kit to deliver comfort in temperatures reaching as low as 5 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Modern, sleek design that blends in well with your style
- Energy-efficient system (19 SEER rating)
- Whisper-quiet operation
- Affordable price range
- Not suitable for DIY installation
4. MR Cool DIY-12-HP-115B 12K Mini Split
Besides offering an ultra-quiet operation, the MR Cool DIY 12K mini-split is remarkable in different aspects. This highly modernized ductless air conditioner offers superb energy efficiency, and the installation is a breeze. You can even handle the installation with basic DIY skills.
Besides the ease of installing the system, MR Cool made it compatible with their new SmartHVAC app for easier control through your smartphone instead of using a remote controller.
Even better, the system’s 22-SEER rating makes its cooling effectiveness stands at 10% higher than other units, including the MR COOL 24K and 18K systems.
The system variable-speed inverter compressor makes the unit highly efficient, giving you an eco-friendly ductless AC that can last for over 15 years.
Additionally, this 12K BTU system is the only unit from MR COOL that operates on 115V. This low amperage and low voltage mean you don’t require any electrical work for the installation process. However, the unit is best suited for small spaces like your bedroom.
- Highly efficient with 22 SEER rating and 10 HSPF rating
- The DIY installation saves you a lot of money
- No extra electrical work needed as it runs on 115V
- Affordable maintenance price
- Only suitable for small spaces
5. Cooper & Hunter Sophia 12k BTU Ductless Air Conditioner
- Cooper & Hunter Sophia Single Zone 12,000 BTU 115V 21.5 SEER Wall-Mount Ductless Mini Split Air Conditioner With Heat Pump
- Uses 115V / 60Hz, 1Ph, ETL Intertek Approved, AHRI Certified. Works for heating with ambient temperature up to -13F°
- Whisper Technology for Quiet Operation, Great for Bedrooms, Additions,Living Rooms and Commercial Applications.
- Includes Hi-Grade Installation Kit 1/4"-1/2" with 16ft Pre-Flared and Insulated Copper Line Set, Communication Wires, Small Accessories and a Drainage Extension.
- You are well protected by a 7 year warranty on the compressor, a 5 year parts warranty and smart, experienced technicians should you ever need assistance. Professional installation is required.
- Due to the size and the weight system is shipped palletized with an arranged freight delivery service. An appointment for delivery is required. Please, verify your contact details before ordering.
- Lift-gate service is included. Orders to a residential address are delivered only to curbside.
A Wi-Fi-ready ductless mini-split, the Cooper & Hunter Sophia 12K BTU system is another ultra-quiet air conditioning and heat pump combo for homeowners looking for all-year comfort.
Due to the system’s robust size, you might receive this unit in two packages. However, that’s hardly a problem considering that the Sophia 12K BTU air conditioner will last for years.
Cooper & Hunter designed the Sophia 12K to guarantee durability using an elegant and strong outside unit that’s safe and eco-friendly. A robust 5-year warranty also backs the Sophia system on parts and years on the compressor.
The system is also very ambient and operates on a low indoor noise level of about 39/ 25 decibels (HI/LO). You can also trust the sleep mode to make you more comfortable as you enjoy a peaceful night of rest. However, the included Wi-Fi app isn’t the best.
- Wi-Fi ready air conditioning system
- Robust and durable construction
- Elegant design
- Easy to install
- The outdoor unit is slightly bulky
- The system’s Wi-Fi app is a bit funky
6. Pioneer WYS012A-19 Wall Mount Air Conditioner
- Save money all year-round with a highly efficient ductless mini split inverter+ heat pump system
- Ultra-silent and beautifully built: perfect for home or light commercial use
- Use for both cooling and heating at 12000 BTU/hour with 20 SEER and 10.5 HSPF efficiency
- Comes with every needed component in the box including an easy-install 16ft copper piping kit
- Free tech support and a 5 year coverage on the parts and compressor
Built with a modern design that blends well with your interior décor, the Pioneer WYS012A-19 is an excellent choice for your living room.
The unit uses the standard household power of about 110-120V, making it easier to install without extra electrical work. You also get a 16-inch installation kit to help you with the set-up.
The outdoor unit comes in a compact package, made of durable galvanized metal and electrostatic epoxy paint that’s sure to last over ten years. Pioneer has also packed the system with a highly efficient variable speed inverter with a 19.5 SEER rating for cooling and a 10.0 HSPF rating for heating.
The Pioneer WYS012A-19 also packs heavy-duty blowers that are surprisingly quiet to ensure you sleep comfortably without any noise distractions.
More importantly, you can use its multi-function wireless remote controller to activate the night mode function, reducing the noise further and adjusting your indoor temperature according to your body.
- Extremely affordable price
- Cloud programmable remote control
- Durable metal construction
- Highly efficient inverter compressor
- The Installation manual isn’t very accurate
- The system might be delivered in two packages
Pros And Cons Of Mini Split Systems
Like the traditional central air conditioning system, ductless mini splits have several advantages and disadvantages, including:
Pros of Ductless Mini Splits
- They’re generally small and flexible enough to heat or cool individual rooms.
- The systems can be zoned, with some models offering as many as four indoor air handlers connected to a single outdoor unit. Each zone features its own thermostat, allowing you to condition only the spaces in use. That saves you money and energy.
- Mini-splits offer the flexibility of interior design options, as the indoor air handlers can be mounted on your wall, suspended on the ceiling, or set a few inches above your floor.
- Mini-splits are generally easier to install compared to traditional duct systems, with some systems supporting DIY installation.
- Mini-split systems are safer than traditional systems considering they only need a small hole on your wall, while duct systems provide more intruders’ entrance options.
- Ductless mini-splits reduce the energy loss resulting from forced air systems, helping to cut down your utility bills.
- Most modern ductless mini splits feature an auto-clean system for easier maintenance while ensuring your breath in clean air.
Cons of Ductless Mini Splits
- Installation calculations by a professional HVAC expert are crucial to size the indoor unit correctly and choose the best installation location. That’s because oversized and incorrectly installed air handlers can result in short-cycling, wasting energy without offering accurate temperature control.
- Some users may not like the appearance of the indoor handlers in their room.
How Many Decibels Is A Quiet Air Conditioner?
Air conditioners are a major source of atmospheric noise in most households. However, the amount of noise your system produces depends on the type of air conditioning unit you have, your machine’s age, and its general condition.
You can expect older systems to be noisier, as decibel levels go higher with wear and tear. That’s because most new systems are built with noise reduction features.
Air conditioner manufacturers indicate a decibel rating on every unit they produce. Decibel ratings describe the sound output that a person standing next to the system will hear in an uninsulated setting.
However, a 10-decibel decibel difference in a system will sound twice as loud as the unit producing 10-decibels lower. That’s because a sound ten times more intense is needed to achieve this sense of loudness, which explains why doubling occurs every 10 decibels.
On average, air conditioning systems operate at the same noise levels as most dishwashers, although most of them sound quieter because of the distance.
For instance, if you’re running the dishwasher while in the kitchen, the sound will range about 60 decibels. However, your air conditioning system won’t sound that loud unless you’re next to it.
Air conditioning units range widely in decibel rating, depending on the type of unit you buy. A quiet ductless air conditioning system may produce about 25 decibels of noise, which is almost the same level as your TV.
However, portable air conditioning systems can be as loud as 55 decibels, which is slightly louder than you’re the normal humming of your refrigerator (typically about 40 decibels).
Air conditioning units with a high cooling output will produce high decibels and vice versa. Fortunately, some systems are manufactured with noise reduction features, although they’re relatively more expensive. Distance and sound insulation also reduce the system’s perceived loudness.
Are Ductless Air Conditioners Quiet Or Noisy?
Compared to the traditional duct system that features a noisy outdoor compressor unit, ductless mini splits are the quietest air conditioning units on the market.
On average, they operate at around 32 decibels or lower, depending on the manufacturer. That’s generally low, considering that a quiet rural area ranges at around 30 decibels.
The average central air conditioning system ranges between 70 and 80 decibels, although it might go higher or lower. However, 70 decibels is almost equal to running a vacuum cleaner in your living room. While the noise isn’t damaging to the ear, it’s certainly disruptive. In fact, some people find noises above 70 decibels to be annoying.
Due to their set-up, ductless mini splits’ perceived noise is usually low because the loudest components are set up outside. All you hear is the system’s fan running from a distance. This noise level is similar to what you’d hear when air is forced through ductwork but without any strange noises coming from the ducts.
Noises Your Ductless Mini Split Shouldn’t Be Making
Everybody likes ductless mini splits for their quiet operation while efficiently cooling and heating your home. However, some HVAC systems might start making strange noises at one point or the other. If your system is here already, you should consider getting a technician as it’s not supposed to be making such noises.
Some of the noises that your ductless mini split might make include:
Rattling noises indicate that there’s something loose on your outdoor or indoor unit, depending on where the noise is coming from. Sometimes the fan gets loose, or other small parts detach from the unit, causing this type of noise. You can simply switch off the mini-split and inspect the inner parts to see whether there’s a loose part.
Air conditioning systems don’t make hissing noises unless there’s refrigerant leakage. That requires a professional HVAC repair service since it isn’t much you can do on your own.
Vibrating and Buzzing Noise
If the compressor makes a buzzing or vibrating noise, it means there’s a problem with the outdoor unit, mostly an electrical one. That requires a professional technician to fix, as the compressor normally makes this sound when it starts drawing more amps than normal. That drives your electrical bill upwards.
How To Quiet Ductless Air Conditioning Systems?
When it comes to reducing the noise coming from a ductless mini-split, location is everything. Have the contractor install your system away from your bedroom or other rooms that need to be quiet, like the study room.
The location proximity limits the noise you hear when sleeping, reducing noise disruption in your day. The further away the is system is from your ear, the better for you.
Also, avoid installing your air conditioning unit near narrow halls or air ducts. The sound that your air conditioner produces will bounce off the narrow space or off the walls, making it louder. Smooth, hard surfaces also reflect the sound from your system.
Ask your contractor to find a suitable installation space away from windows and doors. Additionally, work with the contractor to ensure the system doesn’t frequently cycle on and off as that causes noisy disturbances.
Why should you Buy the Quietest Mini Split Air Conditioner?
Let’s begin with why the noise rating is a big deal when shopping for an air conditioner. Why should noise be among your top considerations?
Well, HVAC noise affects people in different ways. First off, it becomes difficult to communicate when the air conditioner is too loud. If your AC is louder than normal speech, you may need to shout for the next person to hear you. It creates a situation where everyone in the home could be shouting to be heard. Not ideal, right?
Moreover, when you need to raise your voice to communicate, your conversation quality is diminished. Talking becomes more of a chore, and silence starts looking like a better idea. You don’t want to get to that point. It’s also likely that the shouting match will result in even more noise in the home — a terrible thought.
The worst part is the need to be the least of worries when dealing with a noisy air conditioning system. Excessive AC noise can go as far as to cause sleeping problems and may even result in hearing loss!
There have been multiple studies on the effects of air conditioner noise on sleep. One of these studies published on the National Center for Biotechnology Information website found that sleeping with the AC increases the time it takes to fall asleep by up to 8 minutes and reduces the total time slept by another 20 or so minutes.
It means that you could lose 30 minutes’ worth of sleep just because of that noisy AC. The louder the air conditioner, the more sleep time you stand to lose.
Some studies also show that AC noise can wake you up during the night or even prevent you from entering REM sleep.
The claims that AC noise can cause or contribute to hearing loss might seem exaggerated. But, they’re indeed true.
Consider that a typical conversation generates about 60 decibels (more on decibels shortly). It means that the human ear is most comfortable at around that mark. Anything above 60 decibels would be noisier to the ear, which explains why many AC manufacturers aim under 55 decibels.
Yet, a noisy air conditioner can produce as much as 90 decibels or higher. This is the sound level of the subway, a lawnmower, or loud shouting.
It’s been shown that exposure to such high noise levels can damage. The longer you’re exposed, the worse the effects. If you were to be exposed to this high sound level for several months, it could permanently damage your eardrum, resulting in significant hearing loss.
Other Harmful Effects of Loud ACs
Over a prolonged period, a loud AC can also cause increased blood pressure, stomach and intestinal issues, elevated heart rate, cardiovascular complications, brain chemistry changes, difficulty breathing, increased stress levels, and a negative impact on learning abilities.
Mini Split AC Sizing – How Many BTUs do you need?
The size of the AC is another crucial factor. Higher-capacity AC systems typically make more “noise.” It’s partly why whole-home central ACs and split systems are less quiet than smaller, portable models.
It makes sizing very important. You need to pick the right size AC for your home. Oversizing is the most common cause of AC noise, where the air conditioner is still new. To get more cool air or heat in the room, you might be tempted to buy an AC rated higher than that space.
For instance, you could choose to buy 12,000 BTU AC for 250 Sq. Ft. room, knowing too well that 12,000 BTU ACs are ideal for larger spaces in the 450-550 Sq. Ft. range.
That larger AC will deliver more coolness/warmth, yes, but at a cost. First off, you’ll experience more humidity and a higher energy bill. Additionally, you’ll experience more noise.
Under-sizing is just as bad. Picking a 5,000 BTU AC (recommended for 100-150 Sq. Ft. rooms) for your 600 square foot bedroom, perhaps to save on costs, will result in the AC working harder and longer to attain the desired indoor temperatures.
Working harder means more compressor, blower, and motor noise. Working longer means you’re exposed to the increased noise for a more extended period.
Technology (Old vs. New AC Models)
Finally, you also want to consider the technology used in the air conditioner. Typically, newer technologies are quieter than older ones.
Many manufacturers are taking advantage of insulation technologies around the compressor to muzzle the humming noise while ensuring safe operation. A few manufacturers are also now using innovative mounting materials to reduce the unit’s impact and noise as it moves under the force of the condenser and compressor.
A few AC models use new fan technologies that allow for an improved fan design to limit the noise generated when the fan blades are rotating. New venting methods also help to muffle the sound of air as it exits the louvers.
Finally, variable speed blowers that self-adjust to deliver optimal indoor comfort are also quieter. Alternatively, consider AC models with multiple speed settings. Some have a “Silent,” “Sleep,” or “Night” setting at which the blower moves a little slower, thus lesser noise.
Proper Location (and Venting)
The installation location of the AC significantly determines how much noise you get in your home. For one, you want to increase the distance between the air conditioner and you (home occupants). You want to have it as far away as possible from the places you spend the most time – without compromising indoor climate.
Some studies show that every time the distance between you and the AC doubles, the amount of “noise” that reaches you decreases by 6 decibels.
It’s the reason most experts recommend having the AC on the opposite side of the house from the bedroom or study. It could reduce the amount of sound that reaches your eardrums by as much as 12 decibels, effectively decreasing the AC noise to the 30s if you’re using a 50s dB AC. Venting is also vital, especially when dealing with window and portable air conditioners.
Consider a Sound Blanket
Sound blankets are designed just for that – to dampen noise levels. An HVAC company can provide one specifically designed for the compressor component of the AC. They are an effective solution when you can’t move the air conditioner.
Ideally, a sound blanket provides about 5 decibels of sound insulation, equivalent to a 65% reduction in AC sounds that reach your eardrums. However, since several factors come into play, including environmental considerations, expect a noise reduction of 30-50%. Still great, right?
If you’re worried about the blanket increasing the AC’s operating temperatures, you only need to remember that the motor inside the air conditioner has internal cooling with refrigerant. Therefore, although placing a sound blanket over the AC might increase operating temperatures, the difference is marginal.
Install a Quiet Fence
A quiet fence around the AC’s outdoor component creates another sound barrier between the AC and the rest of the yard. These barriers won’t help with noise that rises vertically, but they significantly reduce horizontal noise. The good news – most of the noise we hear from the AC is horizontally-dissipated noise.
An added benefit of a quiet fence is that it protects the AC from leaves, twigs, and other debris that may otherwise find a way into the air conditioner. Aside from reducing operational efficiency by blocking airflow, debris inside the AC can cause a painfully-irritating grating noise.
HVAC noise affects people differently, although nobody likes to live or work in a noisy environment. When your air conditioner is too loud, you might have to shout when speaking to a person in the same room.
Even worse, noisy HVAC systems result in sleeping issues and hear loss, especially when the noise exceeds 80 decibels. Fortunately, the top six quiet mini-splits on this list will help you maintain a comfortable environment.