Searching for a quiet split type air conditioner for this hot summer? In this comprehensive guide (15-minute read) we’ll discuss what makes an AC unit quiet. This way, you can make an informed decision before you purchase.
After we explained what makes some ACs quiet, we’ll also discuss the advantages, costs (both upfront and long-term), return on investment (ROI) and a few important insights about quiet split air conditioners. Let’s begin.
Why some ACs are quiet?
Aside from cooling and efficiency, the noise level produced by ACs is now also an important feature. Individuals and families want to enjoy a cool and quiet room each night especially from December to February. This helps people get better sleep and achieve full rejuvenation for the next day’s work or leisure activities.
However, air conditioners have a few mechanical parts that produce noise. This is the case especially with the fan (from the indoor and outdoor unit) of the split air conditioner. Its rotation can produce a mild and yet a disturbing noise. Many people now are sensitive to even low noise levels. And as mentioned earlier, a quiet room helps many people get better sleep.
Also, the outdoor unit’s noise can be bothering especially at night. Its noise will stand out from 10pm to 6am. It might be hard to fall asleep if all you hear is the noise coming from the AC.
That’s why one of the keys to a quiet split AC is a quiet indoor and outdoor unit. The outdoor unit is now of the same priority as the indoor unit. First-time buyers often focus only on the indoor unit, while in fact the outdoor unit is as important.
It’s important to check the sound level (in A-weighted decibels or dBA). To give you an idea, the average sound level in a library is 40dBA. This is already quiet enough for most people. So if you want a quiet air conditioner, it’s ideal to look for a unit (or a feature of the unit) with a sound level near that range (for both the indoor and outdoor unit).
In the previous sentence we mentioned something about the feature. That’s because many modern split ACs now have a feature about reducing fan speed, thereby reducing the noise by a few decibels. You can enable this when you’re about to go to sleep or when you just need to focus in a certain activity. For example, many Daikin inverter split systems have this feature wherein you can enable the unit to run on a quieter fan speed in the indoor unit. The lower operating noise can make you get a better sleep or better concentrate on a mental task.
Lower noise levels means better efficiency?
Aside from quieter fan speed, a lower noise level is also said to be achieved because of the higher efficiency of the AC unit. After all, noise is often caused by the movement of mechanical parts. That movement causes friction which results to heat, vibrations and inefficiency.
Perhaps that’s one reason why split systems are said to be a lot more energy-efficient than window types. There’s a separation between the indoor and outdoor units. In window types, all the parts are crammed in a small space. The friction, heat and vibrations make the window type inefficient and wasteful in energy. In contrast, split systems have separate units. The transfer of heat is better. Also, the mechanical parts can operate much more efficiently because of less heat and fewer vibrations.
As a result, a more efficient AC often produces lower noise. There’s less heat and fewer vibrations. In addition, the design of newer models is now optimised for efficiency. In other words, you get the best of both worlds. If you purchase a new model split type AC now, you’ll probably get a quiet and highly efficient unit for your home.
Upfront and long-term costs of modern ACs
Earlier we’ve discussed what makes an AC quiet (quieter fan speed and higher unit efficiency). Next is let’s talk about the upfront (unit pricing and installation) and long-term costs (operating costs, future repairs and maintenance).
For less than $2,000 you can already have a quality unit fully installed (the installation and labour charge are already included). More expensive split systems might cost a little lower than $3,000 each including the installation.
Some units and models are more expensive probably because of the brand and extra features. For instance, an LG split system might have a filter feature that captures dust, microscopic particles and allergens. Other units and brands might have more power-saving features such as sensors. These sensors detect movements. If there are no or minimal movements, the AC unit will switch to a more energy-efficient operation.
Those mentioned advanced features can make an AC unit priced higher. Nevertheless, it’s recommended to stick with strong brands such as LG, Daikin, Fujitsu, ActronAir, Mitsubishi Electric, Samsung and Panasonic. These might be more expensive compared to lesser known brands. However, these are proven to be more reliable. In addition, technicians can readily find replacement parts for these brands.
Aside from the upfront costs ($2,000 – $3,000), let’s now talk about the long-term costs. After all, even though your AC runs really quiet, it can still be hard to fall asleep if you’re always worrying about its power consumption.
Up to 40 percent of what you pay for household electricity might only be for air conditioning. This is true especially during the summer months. That’s why if you’re trying to keep your electricity bills down, your priority should be on air conditioning.
Let’s come up with a very rough estimate. A 5kW reverse cycle inverter split system might add more than $150 to your monthly bill. During hot summers and daily AC operation, the numbers might be a lot higher. Whether it’s an AC with a very low noise level or not, expect at least $100 worth of electricity consumption.
As a consequence, a unit with lower kW will contribute less to your monthly bill. However, that’s not the whole story. That’s because power consumption also depends heavily on the room size. If a low-kW unit is cooling a very large room, the result is more power consumption because the unit will be struggling more to cool the space. In addition, you might not be able to achieve the desired comfort level.
The solution is to choose a unit appropriate for the room size. You can contact air conditioning contractors and ask them which AC units are appropriate for your room. You can tell them the size of your room and they can recommend the ideal unit which can deliver the most comfort at the lowest power consumption.
ROI of quiet split type ACs
The return on investment (ROI) involves monetary, aesthetic and health benefits when you buy a quiet split type air conditioner. Here are some of the benefits:
- Cost-effectiveness (ACs are now affordable and efficient)
- Better sleep and naps
- Increased productivity and better focus while working or studying
- Modern units have neat and compact design (blends with almost any home interior)
- Long useful lifespan (5-year warranty in parts and labour)
The longer the warranty duration, the more confident the manufacturer is about the product. This means the specific model is known to last within or beyond the warranty period. This is especially true with popular brands. The models were rigorously tested to gain an idea about their useful lifespan.
Aside from long warranty (which means fewer worries about future repair costs), split ACs are also known to blend with almost any home interior. Their compact and modern designs can even complement the design of any room. They add aesthetic value to the space.
A consistently comfortable temperature (without worries about unreasonably high electricity bills) can also help you become more productive and focused. Whether it’s a hobby, studies or a work-related activity, a quiet and fully functioning AC will help you perform at your best. The ROI goes beyond monetary or quantitative. You can get more value out of your learning with the AC on. You can also get more things done (in less time) if the AC is doing its work silently in the background.
As mentioned earlier, a cool temperature and quiet surroundings result to better sleep and naps. Our bodies expect a cool temperature during sleep time. If the prevalent temperature is a few degrees higher, the body will feel uncomfortable. It won’t be able to properly process the toxins, refresh the brain, consolidate daytime memories and relax the muscles. But with a cool temperature (plus the quiet surroundings), our brains and bodies will be able to refresh and perform at our best for the next day.
When it comes to the monetary ROI, the benefits are immense. It’s a relatively low investment compared to the benefits to health and overall well-being. The total upfront costs could reach $2,000 – $3,000 (with a minimum useful lifespan of 5 years). Each air conditioner’s power consumption could reach more than $150 each month. But the ROI will remain high because you get better sleep and become more productive each day.
As a result, you will have a better quality of life. Remember, you’ll be spending at least 8 hours or 33% of your life each day sleeping. If it’s quiet and you’re comfortable during those hours, it will make a huge difference to your daily living. After all, your brain and body deserves the best rest after an exhausting day.
Quiet split type air conditioner Sydney
In summary, you need to check the noise levels of both the indoor and outdoor units of the split type AC. To give you an idea, 40dBA is the noise level in libraries. Many ACs now can achieve a noise level lower than that. You should also confirm if there’s an additional quiet mode so you can lower the decibels further.
A quiet split type air conditioner properly installed (and the appropriate kW for your room size) can give you tremendous ROI in the long term. You will get better focus and sleep while the unit is operating silently in the background.
If you need more information about quiet air conditioners, you can contact us here at Conduct Air Conditioning. You can call us at 02 9708 5889 and ask us about our packages and specials. You can also tell us your room size and we’ll recommend an appropriate air conditioner for you.