Quietest Wall Air Conditioners – 2021 Complete Round-up

Wall air conditioners (which are often referred to as through-the-wall air conditioners are the next best thing to a central HVAC system; they are what you might consider the “last frontier” of affordable options before one invests in a system for the whole home, at a tune of tens of thousands of dollars.

One of the biggest advantages of a wall unit (versus a portable air conditioner that sits on the floor) is that it puts out less noise. Read on to learn more about how you can keep your space quiet AND cool.

Comparison of the Quietest Wall Air Conditioners

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Up to 12000 Btu cooling capacity
  • Lightweight and compact design for easy use
  • Quickly and easily cool down to maximum capacity
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  • Easy to use remote control for easy operation
  • Front access filters makes it easy to replace them
  • Up to 8000 Btu cooling capacity
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  • Best for the Money
  • Luvers automatically oscillates for better air distribution
  • Easy in wall installation option
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  • Lightweight and compact design for easy use
  • Up to 8000 Btu cooling capacity
  • Up to 350 square feet room cooling capacity
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  • 3 different fan speeds and 3 cooling options
  • Easy to use remote control for easy operation
  • Quickly and easily cool down to maximum capacity
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Can You Really Find a Wall Air Conditioner That’s Quiet and Affordable? 

While at first glance, a consumer might assume that “affordability” means you have to give something up, that something is not “quiet” in this case. You can indeed have both with a wall air conditioner.

Manufacturers understand that one of the chief complaints about air conditioning units is often the noise output, so they are constantly working to reduce or minimize the sounds of the machine

Bear in mind that the noise can only be contained to a point. If you think about the large outdoor components of an HVAC unit that you would see outside a home or office building, the noise is coming from the compressor. In the case of the wall unit (or window or portable units), that compressor is housed inside of it (rather than separately outside).

Friedrich CP08G10B

What Size of Wall Air Conditioner Do I Need? 

The size of your wall conditioner will be based on the square footage you are trying to cool. The unit’s cooling ability is described in BTUs (which are British Thermal Units), and the higher the square footage, the higher the BTUs.

Square footage-BTU recommendations are based on eight-foot ceilings, so you need to take this into account if yours are higher. You should also tack on some extra BTUs (around 10%) if space is flooded with sunlight. Similarly, you could reduce it by 10% if the room does not get a lot of sunlight.

Square Feet                    BTUs needed in Wall Air Conditioner

100-250                              5,000-6,000

250-350                              7,000-8,000

350-450                              9,000-10,000

450-700                              12,000-14,000

700-1200                            18,000-21,000

1200-1400                          Up To 23,000

How to Choose a Wall Air Conditioner 

Before shopping for a wall air conditioner, be sure to evaluate and review the following:

  1. If you are renting a home or apartment, ensure you have permission to install a wall unit.

  2. Check your power outlet voltages for compatibility with these units.

  3. Consider in your budget whether you will need help professionally with the installation.

  4. Measure the space, so you know how many BTUs you need.

Once you have this information in hand, you are ready to shop for a wall air conditioner. For each choice you consider, you will want to look at the unit’s

  • Decibel output to understand the noise level

  • Energy efficiency ratings

  • User features such as the control panel, remote, etc.

  • Maintenance and cleaning requirements

  • Consumer reviews

Finally, you will also want to consider any extra items you will need to purchase to complete the installation and setup.

Some consumers are surprised and frustrated to find AFTER spending their entire budget that the wall unit requires additional items for a successful installation.

Build your budget to include both professional installation help (if needed with cutting drywall, for example) and any items that must be purchased on top of the unit itself.

Review of the Quietest Wall Air Conditioners 

If you are ready to beat the heat and one of the most important features for you is a low noise output, we have already done much of the work for you.

Here is our roundup of the quietest wall air conditioners on the market.

Best Overall:
Emerson Quiet Kool EATC12RE2

Emerson Quiet Kool 230V 12K BTU Air Conditioner with Remote Control-Quiet in Wall A/C Unit, EATC12RE2, White

PROS

  • Energy star rating for efficiency
  • Cools spaces up to 550 square feet
  • Designed to fit most existing wall sleeves
  • Includes remote, sleep mode, and a 24-hour timer
  • Backed by an Emerson warranty (1-year labor, 2 years parts, and 5 years compressor)

CONS

  • Power save mode can get noisy but quiet overall
  • Requires a 230-volt outlet and will not work in a standard outlet

What Recent Buyers Report

Emerson products come from one of the most trusted names in air conditioning, and buyers are generally pleased with the cooling power of this energy-efficient unit. Few consumers complain about the noise levels with the Emerson Quiet Kool, making it our top pick.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We always like an Emerson product; these are generally some of the most reliable and durable air conditioners around. If you have been in business as long as Emerson, you have learned a thing or two about how to build an efficient air conditioner.

The Quiet Kool has tremendous cooling power without an overbearing sound. Consumers are often pleasantly surprised by just how well this unit works, even in the sweltering heat. The touchscreen display and remote are easy to operate as well.

Bottom Line

This is the wall air conditioner you simply cannot go wrong in purchasing, and it easily slid into our top spot with its durable and reliable performance.

Runner-up:
Keystone KSTAT08-1C

Keystone 8,000 BTU 115V Through-The-Wall Air Conditioner | Energy Star | Follow Me LCD Remote Control | Dehumidifier | Sleep Mode | 24H Timer | AC for Rooms up to 350 Sq. Ft. | KSTAT08-1C, 8000, White

PROS

  • Front access, easy-to-clean filter
  • Cools spaces up to 350 square feet
  • Foam seals and installation kit provided
  • Temperature sensing remote control that cools the space based on where you are
  • Energy saver mode that turns off the compressor when your desired temperature is reached

CONS

  • Requires a 230-volt outlet and will not work in a standard outlet
  • Some reported quirks with thermostat that requires user to manually shut off

What Recent Buyers Report

The Keystone unit is another wall air conditioner generally well-received by buyers for its efficiency in cooling, reasonable noise level, and not unreasonably price tag. Users indicate that most problems can be solved by troubleshooting with the manual or contacting the company’s customer service.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Keystone wall air conditioner comes in high on our list of recommendations as many users are pleasantly surprised to find how much quieter this unit is than other brands they have owned.

We love the smart remote that “follows” the temperature and makes necessary adjustments, and the LED display is easy to use as well. This wall air conditioner comes in at 51.8 decibels on low speed and is not overbearing, but it does the job of cooling effectively.

Bottom Line

This Keystone unit is a very close second to the Emerson, with the primary difference coming down to square footage. For a bigger space, we would suggest the Emerson Quiet Kool, but for 350 square feet and under, the Keystone does the job quite well.

Best for the Money:
Friedrich CP08G10B

Friedrich Air Conditioning Co. Chill Series, CP08G10B Air Conditioner 8,000 BTU Air Conditioner, White

PROS

  • Can be used as a wall or a window unit
  • Swing louvers for consistent air distribution throughout the room
  • Washable, antimicrobial filter and handy remote control included
  • Auto-restart that returns to saved settings after a power interruption
  • 8,000 BTUs to cool 300 square feet (and also available in higher BTUs)

CONS

  • Users may need to provide additional insulation to reduce vibrating noises

What Recent Buyers Report

The Friedrich Chill series gives a lot of bang (or chill?) for the buck, and these air conditioners cool small spaces effectively without a lot of unnecessary rackets.

Some users have been unhappy with customer service while troubleshooting problems, but overall the units get high marks when installed and maintained correctly.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We love that the Friedrich Chill series works in both windows and walls. While you are unlikely to move it around regularly, it is useful to know that you CAN if you move, for example.

The unit may be used in a window in one home but repurposed as a wall unit if you move to a neighborhood with restrictions prohibiting window air conditioners. This kind of flexibility offers a lot of value to the consumer, and for that reason, we consider Friedrich the best for the money.

Bottom Line

If you do not stay in one place for very long and anticipate you could need a unit to work in either wall or window mounts, the Friedrich Chill series is a great option.

Editor's Pick:
Koldfront WTC8002WCO

Koldfront WTC8002WCO 8,000 BTU 115V Through the Wall Air Conditioner - Cool Only

PROS

  • Four fan speeds and a 24-hour timer
  • Sleep mode and other energy saver features
  • Digital display control panel and user-friendly remote
  • Efficient and quiet operation that outlasts many competing models
  • Comes in 8,000, 10,000, or 12,000 BTUs based on the space you need to cool

CONS

  • Sleeve must be purchased separately
  • Energy saver mode does not cool well enough for some buyers

What Recent Buyers Report

The Koldfront is another choice that gives the consumer great value at a low price. This quiet and efficient model cools smalls spaces quickly, and users are happy with both its overall operation as well as the relatively easy installation process.

Why it Stands Out to Us

The Koldfront checks all the boxes for us in terms of a wall air conditioner: it is quiet, easy to operate, and easy to maintain and clean. We always appreciate an energy saver mode option that ensures the compressor will stop when the desired temperature is reached. However, we understand that the desired temperature is debatable for users.

The simple and sleek design on the remote control makes it easy to use to operate the Koldfront. The manufacturer’s wall sleeve (purchased separately) works well for an easy installation.

Bottom Line

As long as you factor in the separate wall sleeve in your budget, this is a great (and quiet!) wall air conditioner at a reasonable price.

Honorable Mention:
LG LT0816CER

LG LT0816CER 8,000 BTU Wall Air Conditioner, 115V, White

PROS

  • Cools up to 330 square feet
  • Works with a standard 155-volt outlet
  • Installation kit included with purchase
  • Universal fit for standard 26-inch wall sleeves
  • LED display control panel and simple “up/down” remote are easy to use

CONS

  • Some complaints about the noise produced by vibrating components
  • Bar spacing in the back of the unit may be too wide (critters can get in…)

What Recent Buyers Report

This unit earns our honorable mention as one worth considering, although some users are unhappy with the noise level. On the flip side, some report LG air conditioners running for a solid ten years, which means a great return on investment.

Why it Stands Out to Us

We like the simple and compact design of this unit and the fact that it has a universal fit for wall sleeves. Installation is hassle-free, and the output of cool air is consistently impressive.

Overall we think the noise level on this unit still fits in the “tolerable” range despite a few negative reviews.

Bottom Line

For an easy installation and a quick cooling unit, the LG is a safe bet for a wall air conditioner.

Through The Wall Air Conditioner vs Window - Comparison Overview 

Air conditioners mounted in a window or mounted in a wall both provide an affordable way to cool a space without installing a central HVAC. Beyond the fact that they share that general function in common, they have several differences.

Installation

One of the key differences between wall and window units is the work required to install them. Most homeowners can install a window unit on their own, but a wall unit may require professional help. Cutting drywall and potentially installing a new outlet may be beyond the homeowner’s skill set (even with the help of YouTube videos).

Duration of Use

A wall unit is more of a “long term” choice; once it is installed, it is semi-permanent, where a window unit can be pulled out and stored in the colder months.

Efficiency

Wall units can operate more efficiently because there is less risk of the cooled air leaking out through the window.

Space Considerations

Both wall and window units help homeowners avoid the use of floor space for an air conditioner; however, the wall unit may be preferred in that it does not affect the natural light available in the room through a window. Additionally, a wall unit is often preferred as window units can be seen as eyesores (and in fact may be prohibited by some homeowners associations or apartment complexes).

What Makes These Wall Air Conditioners Quieter Than Normal? 

Air conditioners cannot function without compressors, and compressors make noise. There is no getting around that.

However, the wall units we have highlighted are manufactured by companies that have focused on minimizing the decibel level as much as possible. Also, bear in mind that the fact you have housed the unit inside the wall in some way provides a buffer for the noise.

A portable unit on the floor may produce more noise simply because there is nothing to absorb it, so a wall unit is generally going to be quieter than a portable air conditioner.

LG LT0816CER

How to Clean a Wall Air Conditioner Without Removing It 

Proper care, cleaning, and maintenance can certainly extend the life of your air conditioner. You may be wondering whether it is possible to properly clean the unit once it is mounted on the wall.

While a full and thorough cleaning does entail removing the unit (and this is a job that requires more than one set of hands), you can do several things to keep the unit clean without removing it.

  1. Remove the filter and wash it in warm, soapy water, and then allow it to dry completely.

  2. While the filter is drying, use a rag, brush, or vacuum to remove debris that may have built up behind the filter.

  3. Thoroughly clean the panel that covers the filter.

Anywhere debris can build-up is a spot preventing your air conditioner from working as well as it can. Remember, the unit is sucking in the hot air, and if anything is obstructing that path, your unit has to work even harder. That means it is less efficient and ultimately more expensive.

Conclusion 

A wall air conditioner is a great option for those who need to cool a relatively small space without breaking the bank, and you should not have to suffer through unbearable noise to lower the room temperature. By mounting an air conditioner in the wall, you provide a buffer for some of the noise but still spend only a fraction of what it costs to install a full HVAC system.

People Also Ask

Some of the most frequently asked questions we come across from consumers shopping for wall air conditioners are listed below.

How to Winterize an In-Wall Air Conditioner

If the unit is exposed (in a mobile home), you will need to make sure you cover it in the winter. There are some ready-made covers available through home improvement and hardware stores, but if you cannot find one to fit your unit, speak to your hardware store to see if they might be able to help you construct a cover.

How to Cover Air Conditioner in Wall

When it comes to covering or “disguising” wall air conditioners, craft DIYers have come up with lots of great ideas to enhance décor without disturbing airflow. Old shutters and decorative grates can be placed over a wall unit to look like art but still allow the unit to cool the room.

How Long Do Wall Air Conditioners Last?

Most users can expect a wall air conditioner with proper care and maintenance to last around 8 to 10 years.

How Much Power Do Wall Air Conditioners Use?

A mid-sized wall air conditioner will use around 900 watts of power.