If you’re shopping for an air conditioner for the first time, or if you’re getting fed up with your old model, there’s one consideration you need to factor into your next purchase: noise. It’s widely accepted that a quieter air conditioner is better, but with so many other things to think about (efficiency, reliability, cost), noise often gets forgotten. The fact is, though, there are many times when you’ll be thankful for a quiet unit – here are just a few.
1. When you’re trying to get some shut eye
Sleep can be hard enough to catch at the best of times – and experts are now claiming a good night’s sleep is imperative for good health both physically and mentally. While an air conditioner can help keep your bedroom at a comfortable temperature (vital for good sleep), this is not going to help if the unit is so noisy it keeps you up at night! So, when checking out your options, ask about indoor unit sound level, especially if you’re a light sleeper.
2. When you’re on a deadline
Whether you’re working or studying, silence is certainly golden. But a quiet room isn’t just more peaceful, silence can also improve our ability to focus and create our best work. If your air conditioner is located in or near to your study (or where ever you choose to work), it’s worth making quietness a priority.
3. When you’re prone to migraines
If you’ve ever suffered from a migraine, you’ll know just how real the pain can be. Migraines can also cause sensitivity to light and sound – meaning light and noise (like an air conditioner) can bring on the pain.
4. When you want to stay on good terms with your neighbours
With so many Australians living in close proximity to nearby residents, it’s important to think about how much noise your unit makes outside the house, as well as within. Councils enforce state-specific air conditioner noise restrictions – but it’s also just basic good manners to minimise the impact of your lifestyle on your neighbours. To be on the safe side, invest in a quality unit and choose a good installer who can make sure the job’s done properly, and ongoing noise will be kept to a minimum.
5. When there are little people in the house
If you have children, you’ll no doubt treasure the times when they’re peacefully sleeping – after all, these are often the only moments you get to yourself! So, if you’re considering an air conditioner for a baby’s or child’s room, it’s worth investing in a quiet model. Not only can exposure to constant sound interrupt a child’s sleep, recent studies even suggest that it can affect their ability to concentrate, problem solve and memorise.
Wondering what level of noise is acceptable from an air conditioner? These days, most units make less than 35dB of noise indoors, and some Daikin split systems lead the way, rating as low as 19dB. Outdoors, noise restrictions will vary by state and councils within the state – but as a guide, in NSW, the allowable noise level is at 5dB above background noise between 7am and 10pm, and 0dB above background noise outside these hours (to put this in perspective, ordinary conversation measure around 40-60dB).
While the constant hum of an air conditioner may not seem like the biggest deal in the world, there’s a fine line between barely-there and unbearable – so don’t forget to make noise a priority. Your family and your neighbours will thank you for it!