Are Ductless Air Conditioners Noisy?

Groan, grumble, rattle, hum. Your air conditioner makes a lot of noise each time it kicks on. Sure, it cools your home, at least adequately enough for now, but you worry when you hear it do its thing. Are those noises normal or is your AC unit struggling to start up and keep running when you need it most?

These aren’t necessarily questions you want to answer, but you likely will have to sooner than later when your air conditioner breaks down. Whether it was because of age or an undiagnosed problem, you’ll know.

Instead of investing in another traditional air conditioner, you were thinking of perhaps making the switch to a ductless air conditioning system instead. However, you don’t want to hear all that noise, even if the AC is running optimally. How much noise would a ductless air conditioner make, anyway?

Once you make the changeover to mini-split style air conditioning, you probably won’t ever want to go back. Many of these units run on incredibly low volume. Some manufactures call their ductless air conditioning “whisper quiet,” and they’re not wrong. Some outdoor units emit noise at under 60 decibels, which is about the average volume of background music.

No matter which manufacturer you select, if you go with a ductless mini split air conditioner, you won't have to worry about noise. On average, ductless air conditioning units run at about 32 decibels. According to IAC Acoustics, an industrial noise control resource, 30 decibels is about the equivalent of being in a “quiet rural area.” It’s a little louder than rustling leaves, which emit 20 decibels of sound. In other words, you’ll still hardly hear it.

If you’re wondering how loud your current AC is, that’s between 70 and 80 decibels on average, although it could be quieter or louder. At 70 decibels, the closest noise equivalent is running a vacuum cleaner or playing a TV in your living room. It’s not damaging to your ears, but it’s certainly disruptive. IAC Acoustics says “upper 70s are annoying loud to some people.”

If your AC chugs along at 80 decibels, that’s a good deal noisier, about twice as loud as 70 decibels, IAC Acoustics notes. For comparison’s sake, an in-home garbage disposal, a dishwasher, and factory work is all about 80 decibels. It’s hard to hear over this noise. If you were to be exposed to the air conditioner running at 80 decibels over eight hours, you may accrue hearing damage.

Why risk it? Not only is your current air conditioner loud, but it could possibly ruin your hearing with time. There’s also the matter that your AC is not nearly as energy efficient as a ductless cooling system would be. Going ductless with your air conditioning is better on your ears and your wallet then.

If you want to learn more about your ductless air conditioning options, give us a call at PowerSave AC today.