{19 Hacks} To Make a Portable Air Conditioner Quieter

Portable air conditioner is really a great way to cool down a space, there is no doubt about it. However, the noise from these units can be annoying and disruptive.

Many homeowners have asked me many times that: How can I make my portable air conditioner quieter?

So yeah, if you have the same question and want to quiet your noisy portable air conditioner, you are in the right place.

This post will provide you 19 helpful tips to make a portable air conditioner quiet. Keep reading!

Why your Portable Air Conditioner is making noise?

Before you take any steps to quiet your portable AC unit. It is super important to identify the causes or the sources first otherwise what would you do, right?

Here, we’ll take a look at the some of the most common causes of a noisy portable air conditioners.

1. Faulty Motor

The motor is like the heart of portable air conditioners. But this heart can cause unwanted noise if it is bad condition or if not functioning properly.

A faulty motor ranks high among the primary culprits responsible for generating noise in portable air conditioners.

Common issues include clogging and wear and tear, which can lead to motor damage and subsequently result in more noise production.

2. Loose Screws

Honestly, tell me one thing: Have you ever really think about the loose screws or bolts on your portable AC unit? Probably not, right?

Portable air conditioners have several moving parts that can become loose over time.

If the screws holding these parts together are not properly tightened, they can cause rattling and banging noises.

As the unit will operates, vibrations will occur, which will cause the loose screws to rattle against surrounding components. This rattling noise can be quite disruptive and may affect the overall performance of the unit.

3. The fan

Believe it or not, the fan is the noisy center of the portable air conditioner. This is one of the main sources of noise.

Basically, when you turn on your portable AC, the fan starts spinning rapidly to circulate the air. However, if the fan blades are bent or damaged, your portable AC unit may make a loud humming sound.

4. Bad compressor

Look, the compressor is one of the crucial component of an air conditioner whether it is a portable or a window air conditioner. It pumps the refrigerant throughout the system and is responsible for cooling the air in your room.

However, this can be a common cause of a noisy portable unit. The compressor makes noise because it works by compressing the gas, which creates high pressure, and then forcing it through the other components of the system.

This process produces vibrations that result in a loud sound. Any compressor issues can cause a banging or clanking noise from your portable unit.

5. The evaporator coil

The evaporator coil, which is located inside the portable air conditioner, is the most important component of it and its job is to absorb heat from the air in the room and cool it.

When the air from the room passes over the evaporator coils, the heat gets absorbed, leading to the cooling of the air. As the cooled air is pushed back into the room by the fan motor, some noise is generated in the process.

Typically, the noise originating from the evaporator coil will be a low-level humming sound. However, it may become more noticeable when the unit is working harder than normal due to higher temperatures or increase humidity levels.

6. The ductwork

The ductwork in a portable air conditioner is responsible for carrying air from the unit to the outside of your home. However, if it is not properly sealed, this can cause noise to seep through walls and floors. 

Metal ducts have a tendency to expand and contract with changes in temperature, and this can result in rattling sounds within walls and floors. Additionally, any cracks or tears in the ducts can allow air to escape and cause a whistling sound.

7. Faulty Fan Motor Bearings

Over time, the bearings in the fan motor of a portable air conditioner can wear down.

And a bad bearing causes the fan motor to become unbalanced. As the fan spins, the imbalance creates vibrations and these vibrations can amplify the noise and produce a noticeable screeching or squealing sound.

8. Dirt particles get trapped in your condenser

Dirt particles can be sneaky troublemakers when it comes to your air conditioner’s condenser.

Dirt particles can get stuck in your air conditioner’s condenser, which may cause a high-level noise.

As dirt starts to clog the condenser, it becomes a barricade that blocks the smooth flow of air.

With restricted airflow, your poor air conditioner has to put in extra effort to cool the air, resulting in a symphony of noise

9. Environmental factors

Sometimes, the environment can team up with your portable air conditioner to create more noise. Two culprits are high humidity and high temperatures.

Humidity is all about the moisture in the air. When it’s really humid, the air conditioner has a harder time cooling things down. It has to work extra hard to remove the excess moisture, and that can make more noise.

When it gets super hot outside, your air conditioner has a big job to do—cooling you off! But extreme heat pushes it to its limits. It has to work really hard to bring down the temperature, and that can create more noise as it tries its best.


19 Ways to Make a Portable Air Conditioner Quieter Than Ever

Ok! Here are 19 actionable ways to make your portable air conditioner quieter. Read on..

1. Check and clean or replace the air filters regularly

Listen carefully, keeping your unit’s air filter clean and clear is the key for portable air conditioner noise reduction. A clogged or nasty filter forces your unit to work harder, resulting in increased noise levels.

To keep your air conditioner running smoothly and quietly, clean the air filter regularly. According to Energy.gov, you should be cleaning the filter every month or two during the summer months.

Here’s how you can clean it effectively:

  1. First, remove the filter cover.
  2. Then remove the filter itself.
  3. Gently wash the filter using warm, soapy water and a soft-bristled brush.
  4. Let it dry.
  5. Once the filter is thoroughly dry, place it back in its original position.

However, if you notice that the filter appears extremely dirty or heavily clogged, I would recommend to replace it with a new filter. Ideally, you should replace it every 90 days of use.

2. Make sure the unit is properly installed and level

A level and properly adjusted portable air conditioner can make a huge difference in its noise level. Follow to the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that the unit is installed correctly and is level.

When positioning the unit, try to find a sweet spot on the floor or wall where it will not be affected by drafts or vibrations.

In addition, make sure the exhaust hose is fully extended out and is not bent or twisted.

A bent or kinked hose can restrict airflow and increase noise levels. So make sure the hose is straight and properly connected to both the unit and the window or vent.

Learn: How to properly install a portable ac?

3. Remove any debris or dirt accumulation from the unit

Cleaning your air conditioner is an important part of maintaining its efficiency and keeping its noise level low.

Dust and dirt can accumulate on the unit’s coils, filters, and fans, causing it to put extra effort, I mean to work harder and generate more noise.

So you can clear the dust and dirt from your unit and get its benefits in term of low noise level, better efficiency and more.

debris or dirt accumulation on the air conditioning unit

To remove debris or dirt accumulation from the unit:

  1. Firstly, unplug the unit and turn off the power.
  2. Inspect the unit carefully and look for dirt accumulation.
  3. Then, use a vacuum cleaner or brush to remove accumulated dirt, dust and debris.
  4. Also, wipe the exterior of the unit with a soft cloth to remove all particles.
  5. Once you’re finished cleaning, plug the unit back in and turn it back on.

4. Use a white noise machine

using a white noise machine

White noise machines is a fantastic device that can help quiet your portable air conditioner. 

White noise refers to a soothing, low-level background noise that can effectively mask and minimize the impact of other loud sounds, including the noise produced by your air conditioner.

White noise machines are affordable and can be used in combination with other noise reduction methods to further reduce the sound of your portable air conditioner.

To make the most of a white noise machine:

Position the machine near the air conditioner or in another room where you want to reduce the volume of the unit.

Experiment with different placements to find the sweetest spot for noise reduction.

Adjust the volume of the white noise machine to the lowest setting that still provides a comfortable environment.

The idea is to create a consistent background noise that masks the louder sounds without causing additional discomfort.

5. Use Soundproof Curtains

Using curtains can be extremely helpful in noise reduction of your portable air conditioner. Curtains act as a buffer between your air conditioner and the outside environment, trapping noise inside.

This can be especially beneficial in areas with a lot of outdoor noise pollution, such as near busy roads or in urban areas.

Another great benefit of using noise-reduction curtains is that: they can provide additional insulation and keep your home cooler in hot weather.

So using these curtains is a win-win situation.

6. Tighten any loose components of the unit

If your portable air conditioning unit is producing a rattling sound, it could be due to unsecured components within the unit.

To prevent this, check carefully that all components of the unit are snugly tightened.

If they are not, use a wrench and tighten all screws, bolts and nuts. Pay close attention to any components near the fan blades, as these are more prone to becomes loose. Also, check the exterior vent cover and make sure it is securely attached.

Once all parts are checked and tightened, turn on the unit to see if the noise level has reduced. Hopefully, the rattling sound should be significantly reduced or eliminated.

If it’s still making loud noise as before, you need to take additional steps to make your portable air conditioner quieter.

7. Use a Fan

Using a fan alongside your portable air conditioner can be an effective and wise strategy for reducing noise portable ac noise level and improving overall comfort as well.

This is because, the fan helps circulate the cool air produced by the air conditioner throughout the room. By doing so, it helps maintain a more consistent temperature and reduces the workload on the air conditioner. This, in turn, can result in lower noise levels as the air conditioner doesn’t need to work as hard.

Additionally, a fan can help keep the air moving and create a more comfortable environment for you. You can use ceiling fans, tower fans, or box fans in conjunction with your portable to keep the unit’s noise level down.

And in case you have a big sized room then you may need to purchase more than one fan to help distribute air more efficiently.

8. Replace any damaged or worn out parts

If your portable AC is making a very loud noise, it could be a sign of damaged or worn parts.

To address this issue and reduce the noise level, follow these steps:

  1. Begin by disconnecting the unit from the power source and removing any visible screws that hold the panel or components together.
  2. Next, inspect the motor, fan blades, and other parts of the AC unit for any visible cracks, chips, or missing pieces. If you identify any worn parts, replace them.

You can buy replacement parts from a local hardware store or order them online from retailers such as Amazon or Home Depot.

It’s crucial to get the parts that are compatible with your AC model. If you’re unsure, feel free to contact the manufacturer for advice.

Once you have the new parts, reassemble the air conditioner following the instructions in the manual.

Then plug in the unit and turn it back on to check if the noise level has been reduced. You will definitely notice a significant noise reduction if the damaged or worn parts were the source of the loud noise.

9. Lubricate the moving parts of the unit to reduce friction and noise

Lubricating the moving parts of your portable air conditioner is indeed a helpful method for reducing noise caused by friction.

By reducing friction, you can minimize the wear and tear on the components and promote smoother operation, resulting in a quieter unit.

Here’s how you can go about lubricating the moving parts to fix your noisy portable air conditioner:

  1. Identify the moving parts: The key areas to focus on for lubrication are the fan motor, fan blades, compressor, evaporator coil, and condenser coil. These components experience regular movement and can benefit from lubrication.
  2. Choose the right lubricant: It’s important to select a lubricant that is compatible with the specific components of your air conditioner. Consult the user manual or contact the manufacturer for recommendations on the appropriate lubricant type. They can guide you in selecting a lubricant that is safe to use and won’t damage the parts.
  3. Put a few drops of lubricant on moving parts: So once you have the right lubricant, put a few drops on the moving parts that you have identified. Be mindful not to use excessive amounts of lubricant, as this can lead to unwanted buildup or dripping.
  4. Distribute the lubricant: Once you have applied the lubricant, gently move or rotate the parts to help distribute the lubricant evenly. This will ensure that the lubricant coats the surfaces and reduces friction effectively.

However, if you are unsure of how to do this. It will be best to consult a technician who will be able to advise you on the best lubricant and methods to use.

10. Adjust the fan speed to a lower setting

Adjusting the fan speed of your portable air conditioner is a simple and easy way to reduce noise in no time. With no additional costs involved, this simple tweak can make a significant difference in noise reduction.

But before making any adjustments to the fan speed, check the manufacturer’s instructions to ensure that the settings are compatible with your unit.

In general, the lower the fan speed the lower the noise will produce, but it may also reduce the cooling performance of the unit. Meaning the unit will take a long time to cool the room.

However, if you find that adjusting the fan speed is not suitable for you or not enough to reduce the noise level, don’t worry!

There are additional steps you can take to further soundproof your portable air conditioner.

11. Use a soundproofing material to reduce the noise level of

Soundproofing your portable ac unit is an excellent way to reduce the noise that your ac units makes. A useful method is to use sound-absorbing materials to the walls of the room where the AC unit is installed.

These materials can be soundproof curtains, acoustic foam panels, or soundproof blankets.

Furthermore, placing the air conditioner on top of a soundproof mat or pad can help to reduce vibrations and further reduce noise levels.

12. Use a longer exhaust hose to allow for more flexibility in positioning the unit.

In the quest for a quieter portable air conditioner, the length of your exhaust duct can be a game-changer.

This simple yet effective technique offers a brilliant solution: positioning your unit farther away from the area you intend to cool, resulting in reduced noise impact.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Install a longer exhaust duct that allows you to position the air conditioner at a greater distance from the desired area.
  2. By increasing the physical distance between you and the unit, less noise from the AC will reach your ears, creating a more serene and peaceful atmosphere.

13. Keep the unit away from windows and doors to minimize drafts and vibrations.

Drafts and vibrations are common sources of noise, so it’s important that your unit is located away from any windows or doors.

By doing so, you can reduce the amount of air that escapes from the room, as well as limit the amount of sound generated by the AC unit.

14. Place the unit on a soft surface, such as a rug or mat, to absorb sound.

To greatly reduce the sound level of your portable AC, place it on a soft surface is important. This can be a rug or mat, that can absorb noise.

This will also help reduce the vibration caused by the unit and reduce the overall noise level. It is a go-to solution for soundproofing a portable air conditioner.

When choosing a rug or mat for this, make sure the rug or mat is not too thick nor too thin as it can obstruct air flow and prevent the unit from cooling effectively. 

Taking this step will make a significant difference in reducing the noise level of your portable air conditioner for sure.

15. Install the unit in a location that is not in close proximity to people or noise-sensitive areas.

If you have a portable air conditioner, make sure it’s installed in a location that isn’t too close to people or noise-sensitive areas. If the unit is too close to people, the noise generated by the unit will be very annoying.

For example, if the air conditioner is placed near your bed then the noise generated by the unit will interfere with sleep. So it is best to install the unit in an area where the noise will be less noticeable.

16. Avoid using the air conditioner in extremely hot or cold weather

Too hot or cold weather can really be a enemy for your air conditioner. The unit will has to work harder to cool or heat the air when it is extremely hot or cold, which will definitely increase noise levels. 

This is especially true of portable air conditioners as most of them are not designed to handle extreme temperatures. To prevent this, just avoid using the unit in temperatures that are too hot or too cold.

17. Use earplugs or noise-canceling headphones to reduce the effects of noise.

If you’re looking for an easy and convenient way to reduce the amount of noise generated by your portable air conditioner, earplugs or noise-canceling headphones are a good option.

Not only do they provide soundproofing and help block out loud noises, but they also provide comfort and help reduce stress levels.

try using earplugs

You can also combine them with other noise reduction methods, such as using a fan or white noise machine, for better results.

18. Consult a certified technician to diagnose and fix any underlying issues with the unit.

If you’ve tried all of the above methods to reduce the noise of your portable air conditioner, but it still isn’t working, it may be time to consult a certified technician. 

A technician can inspect your unit and diagnose any underlying problems that may be causing the excessive noise.

Common problems that can lead to increased noise include faulty motors, damaged fan blades, refrigerant leaks, and other issues. They may also recommend appropriate repairs and maintenance to ensure that your unit operates as quietly as possible.

19. Buy a Quieter Unit

If you’re looking for a more permanent solution to making your portable air conditioner quieter, it may be time to invest in a newer, quietest portable air conditioners.

The best way to be sure you get a quiet unit is to read customer reviews and compare different models. Look for reviews from customers who have tested the same unit in their home, as this will give you an accurate sense of the noise level.

When buying a new portable air conditioner, look for units that have a noise level of less than 60 decibels, or db. The lower the rating, the quieter the unit.

Related: Can I vent a portable ac without a window?


My Final Thought on how to make a portable air conditioner quieter

In conclusion, there are many simple and effective ways to make your air conditioner works quietly.

From regularly cleaning and changing the air filter to consulting a professional technician to diagnose and fix underlying issues, such there are several steps you can take to reduce the noise and improve the performance of your air conditioner.

By following these tips and taking proactive measures to address noise issues, you can enjoy a peaceful and comfortable living environment without the disruption of loud and annoying noises. 

So don’t let the loud noise of an air conditioner ruin the enjoyment of your home – take action today to keep your air conditioner works quietly and efficiently!


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David Jack

David Jack

David Jack is a veteran when it comes to air conditioners, he love helping people find solutions to their problems with AC units. His specialty is helping people find the right Air-Conditioner for their needs, whether that means replacing a broken unit or adding on to an existing system. He is also great at diagnosing problems and fixing them quickly. He learned this from my father Jack Smith who was an air conditioner repairer, he has 2 years of experience in this field.

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