Quiet Please – Evaporative Cooler or Air Conditioner?

A noisy air conditioner, irrespective of the make or model, can prove to be a nuisance. It can create serious problems especially between neighbors and the owner can have it rough especially in cities and towns where strict measures of noise pollution have been put in place. The main focus of this piece is to shed more light on the issue of noise pollution in air conditioners and evaporative coolers. It is going to be of much use in helping you make the right choice of air cooling equipment.

The main objective of owning either an evaporative cooler or an air conditioner is for your comfort benefits. It would, therefore, be unjust when the item meant to give you comfort becomes an irritant to your neighbors, or to you. In general, the level of noise production in HVAC units depends on various factors such as type, size, and capacity. Depending on the make, some cooling units are quieter than others. But then again, noise is one of the crucial factors to consider when opting between a swamp cooler and an air conditioner. So which is quieter-evaporative cooler or air conditioner?


Evaporative coolers basically use the evaporation principle to cool your indoor air [2]. Among others such as energy efficiency, fresh air production, humidification, affordability, and operational cost-effectiveness, quiet operation is one of the major benefits of evaporative coolers. During operation, the axial fan, a feature in many evaporative coolers, moves air in a circular motion inside the ducts. This may produce some level of turbulent noises in the ducts. The quieter type of evaporative coolers has a centrifugal fan that tends to move the air in a straight line inside the vents so be wise when choosing your evaporative cooler.


Sound Power: Be it an evaporative cooler or the air conditioner, Sound Power (LW) of the unit itself is what determines the noise from the unit. The lower the LW number on the sticker, the quieter the unit will be.

Motor Location: In addition, the location of the motor also is another crucial factor that determines whether the unit is quiet or not. In air conditioning, the split type of AC has the best placement of the motor. The split system unit with an inverter is a quieter type of air conditioning unit and is also more energy efficient. The inverter will slow down the speed while ensuring that the desired temperature is maintained.

The Size Factor: Choosing the right size of the unit, whether installing an evaporative cooler or central air conditioner is also another determinant factor when it comes to the noise produced by your cooling system. A small air conditioner in a larger room will end up getting overworked and the results will be an inefficiency, causing it to be noisy.

Design and Placement: When designing or renovating your house, it will prove helpful to ensure that the walls are well insulated and that your cooling unit is positioned right, during installation. One of the best ways to position the unit is placing it at or on the rear wall, ensuring that the air conditioner is facing the backyard. You can also position the air conditioner facing the streets. If the noise is in excess, it would be advisable to construct a barrier that will shield your neighbors from the noise.

At this point, however, it can be safe to conclude that evaporative coolers are generally quieter, basically because of the fact that they have motors and the water pumps that are fairly smaller compared to conventional ACs. Swamp coolers also don’t use a lot of energy. However, to be on the safe side, it’s always advisable that consumers check the noise level of the cooling unit before purchasing or having it installed by a professional evaporative cooling installation contractor.


Categories: Heating and Cooling