How to Quiet a Noisy Window Air Conditioner

How to Quiet a Loud Window Air Conditioner
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A window air conditioner can make a great difference in your living area, especially the bedroom. During summer when the climate gets hotter and hotter, you probably need at least a window-mounted air conditioner.

However, there are instances where the window air conditioner becomes the source of disturbing noise. In fact, I experienced it first-hand. The air conditioning unit disturbed my sleep. So I was forced to find possible solutions.

In this post, I will share with you some of the things I learned to quiet a noisy window air conditioner. If you have the same problem, then this guide is for you.

I hope that after reading this post, you will be able to eliminate the disturbing noise of your window air conditioner too.

So, without further ado, let’s dive into the guide.

Tips on How to Quiet a Noisy Window Air Conditioner

Before sharing the whole guide, I have a little caveat though. The techniques that I am about to share are solely based on my personal experience. This means that the techniques may or may not apply to your case (depending on the severity of the problem).

But I strongly believe that this guide will help most of the common window air conditioning issues.

Here are the tips you can consider:

1. Install Foam Insulation

In most cases, window air conditioner units do not perfectly fit in the space where the unit is installed. You can see the gaps on all sides. The problem is that those gaps become the perfect point for outside noise to pass through.

Window air conditioning units come with sliders to fill the gap. However, those sliders are thin and in most cases not enough to seal the gaps around the unit. Since they’re thin, they also tend to vibrate easily.

This means that you need a more effective and powerful material to completely block the intruding noise.

In my case, I used Foam Insulation (click here to see this material on Amazon). This material is better than the slider that comes with the window air conditioner unit. It seals all the gaps around the unit, making the room not only quieter but also colder.

The size of the foam insulation you’ll be using will depend on the size of the gaps. More gaps mean more foam insulation is needed.

The good thing is that you can buy foam insulation sheets that can be cut according to the size you need. An example of this is this Window A/C Insulation (click here to see this material on Amazon).

With these foam panels, you can easily cut a piece to fit the gap around the unit. It is easy and quick to install.

2. Level the Unit

This seems irrelevant but can actually jeopardize the functionality of the air conditioner unit. Most of us just assume that space, where the unit is installed, is perfectly leveled. But that is not always the case.

By just looking at the window sill (assuming that this is the perfect place for your air conditioner) you cannot tell if it is level. There could be some bumps that will, later on, cause problems to the unit.

So to avoid the risk, use a leveling instrument to make sure that everything is right. Doing this ensures the long term functionality of the air conditioner unit. And of course, it allows you to enjoy the cold and quiet indoor environment.

3. Use a Blanket

How to Quiet a Loud Window Air Conditioner

I know that this is not the usual solution. But if you do it correctly, it can help to quiet a noisy window air conditioner.

Hang a blanket in front of the air conditioner. But leave a space between the unit and the blanket. I recommend hanging the blanket 5-6 feet away from the unit. The space between the unit and the blanket can be enough to deaden the sound but also allow the cool air to circulate in the room evenly.

However, if you are living in a small space apartment, this may not be applicable to you. This is because this technique needs ample living space to install the blanket. If you are in this situation, you might want to consider other options I shared below.

4. Tighten the Unit if Necessary

A common source of noise from window units is the loosened screws or window frame. This creates a disturbing rattling sound. The vibrations will shake the unit, making it bang against its frame.

If this is the source of the noise, you can use a shim to insert between the gap. Preventing the vibration from occurring will eliminate the noise.

5. Buy a Better Window Air Conditioner Unit

Sometimes, fixing the problem of your existing air conditioning unit is a lot harder than buying a new one. In some instances, this is the ultimate option rather than spending an enormous amount of time repairing the irreparable.

But even buying a new one is also challenging. There are factors to consider including the price, durability, and the overall performance of the unit.

With these in mind, it is difficult to determine which to buy. The only thing that is certain is that not all window air conditioners are created equal. Some are quieter or noisier than others.

How to Identify Quiet Window Air Conditioners

Obviously, noise is commonly a source of complaints among window air conditioner users. The noise causes customer dissatisfaction.

So when the problem is unsolved, you might want to buy a new one. But the challenge is to find a quiet unit to buy.

The challenge comes from the fact that it is not easy to tell whether a unit is quieter or not. Salespeople only promise the moon without telling the negative side of the product. This can create a misleading and often bad buying decision.

Another reason is that manufacturers seldom include the information related to the amount of noise the air conditioner will produce. You don’t know until you install and try the unit.

So in most cases, buyers or consumers have no idea what they are buying.

Window air conditioners produce different types of noises. Below are some of the causes.

  • The humming sound from the fan
  • Vibration sound from the motor and other internal parts
  • Beeping sound from the electronic control
  • Noise from the rattling glass frame

In most cases, these noises happen when the unit is not properly installed. So the key to quiet a loud window air conditioner is the correct installation. I suggest that you follow the manufacturers’ instructions for better results.

If buying a new air conditioner is your only choice, then you need to know which air conditioners are the quietest. Fortunately, there are A/C brands and models that generate low noise.

If you are serious about buying a quieter air conditioner, you can try the Ductless Mini-Split System (click here to see this unit on Amazon) instead of using a window air conditioner.

Technical Tips for Reducing Noise in Your Existing Window Unit

Buying a new air conditioner unit is the ultimate solution to the noise. But this might not be for everyone. Going to this route means extra expense on your part.

I have good news for you. There are ways you can fix your existing window air conditioner unit so that you don’t need to buy a new one.

However, unlike the techniques I previously shared, the following techniques may involve technical knowhow.

But don’t worry. This guide will simplify everything. The goal of this section of the post is to help you figure out and fix the problem.

Technical Tips on How to Quiet a Noisy Window Air Conditioner

  • Check multiple times and make sure that the manufacturers’ installation guidelines were followed correctly. Incorrect installation can cause malfunctions and issues. The common issues stem from gaskets incorrectly installed. So make sure that everything is in its proper place.
  • Make sure that all small compressor mounting parts were tightened properly to make the unit more stable.
  • Identify the rattling parts and fix them to make the whole unit quieter. In this case, you can reposition the unit to fit it in the frame.
  • For the window air conditioner, be sure that the mounting screws are properly tightened. Again, this will make the unit more stable over time.
  • Use foam weatherstripping (click here to see this product on Amazon) to fill the gap. This technique is the best solution if the window frame is vibrating.
  • Use window putty for rattling glass panes. This will secure and make the glass panels secure.
  • Make sure that the fan blades are clean. The fan blades of the air conditioner unit are critical for maximum performance, but are often neglected. Dirty fan blades may become out of balance over time if left uncleaned, causing them to wobble, and create a very noticeable, and annoying, sound.
  • Straighten the coil fins. This may be arduous but fixing this problem will make a great difference. This is because a damaged coil fin could cause loud humming sound that will certainly disturb the quietness of the indoor environment. What you can do is to remove the window air conditioner from its frame. Then vacuum the coils using the small brush attached to the vacuum. Then lightly comb the damaged area. This will gradually straighten the fins.
  • Lubricate the fan motor. If the fan motor is left without proper lubrication, it can become the source of unwanted noise. Fortunately, you can easily fix it by applying lubrication. Remove the motor housing and apply a few drops of lubricant to the port. Then rotate the pan to evenly spread the oil.

On How to Quiet a Noisy Window Air Conditioner

A noisy window air conditioner can be very disturbing if it creates quite a lot of noise. This is a common problem with these types of air conditioners.

Fortunately, there are ways you can fix this problem. The tips I shared above can be helpful depending on the situation.

It is my hope that, although this post is not perfect, I somehow help you figure out how to quiet a loud window air conditioner.

If you want to learn more about soundproofing, feel free to read my Soundproofing Guide.

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