We are getting an outside unit AC installed (attached to our central-air system). As I've been reading in this fourm, proper installation is very important, and most AC systems can not be compared because of installation.
We have talked with some very nice, well intentioned, good sounding contractors, and will check some references (some, even NATE certified).
My question is concerning outside noise. Our neighbors have a TRANE system that seems VERY LOUD. We are considering a Lennox or an American Standard, both SEER 13, 3 ton. We have not considered a TRANE because of the noise. One contractor suggested that as the SEER rating goes up, units are better made and the noise level goes down. Another contractor we talked with said he'd not heard that.
If systems could be compared, is there a quieter brand or machine?
Your comments would be greatly appreciated.
Thank you in advance for your response.
Cheap units are generally noisy. Yes, as the price (and SEER) rise, the noise usually decreases. Keep in mind that the unit may be noisy outside the house but quiet on the inside, or vice versa. I have a Lennox with a scroll compressor that is almost noisier inside than outside, but it is a cheap unit.
The Trane XL19i is practically silent, inside and outside. It is also a fairly expensive unit but one of the best and most efficient you can buy. It uses 2 Climatuff reciprocating compressors which are heavily insulated and known for being quiet and reliable. Scroll compressors are very popular now and are used in many units but are notoriously noisy. Your neighbor probably has a cheapy. Trane didn't get to the top by making junk.
It's hard to go wrong with any manufacturer if you buy a quality unit. Just tell the contractor what you want and they should be able to provide you with noise ratings.
[Edited by man from trane on 07-09-2006 at 02:07 AM]
Got a Carrier 13 SEER with Puron located just outside the kitchen window. The only way you can tell it's on is if the leaves move nearby or look out the window and watch the fan blade. This unit is physically large and has a large fan which can move a lot of air quietly. The next door neighbor has a TRANE and you can definately hear it running.
Listen to a unit if sound is an issue. There are some very quiet units these days. The high end York brands, the Lennox Signature, some of the Carrier high end, some of the Nordyne units... can drop below 70 db which is whisper quiet. I don't think you'll find a Trane that low. Copeland scrolls tend to be very quiet compressors but if the unit has a noisy fan, that will more than spoil the quietness of the compressor. High end units usually have the compressor in an insulated compartment and have special sound deadening tops. Some units these days use a "swept wing" fan blade to avoid the usual chop.
Remember that the outdoor unit needs to match the indoor coil! The real high end stuff especially 2 stage, requires matching variable speed blower too.
Since I'm bored, I'll look up a few SRNs of 3 ton A/Cs
Lennox XC21 71db
York Affinity 18 71db
Carrier Infinity 17 71db high speed 70db low speed
but on a more practical note, deluxe 13 SEER units
York Affinity 72db
Heil deluxe 75db high fan, 73db low fan
There is a big diff in effective sound as the db rating goes up.
All of Trane units (prob other manuf too) are quieter than they used to be.
For example, the old XB1000 had 82db. I lived in an apartment that had those and they were 20 years old (probably even louder).
My neighbor has an XR12 AC which is almost as noisy at 79db. The new "builder grade" XB13 heat pump has 78db (per http://www.trane.com). I wouldn't want 79db.
My 2006 XL14i , the XL16i (all are scroll) and the XL19i heat pumps are all rated at 74db. With the insulated compressor, swept wing fan design and side venting, these units are very quiet. Ask your Trane dealer to let you actually observe an installed unit.
In my opinion, the only reason anyone would want anything quieter than 74db would be if the only location was to have the outdoor unit installed directly outside a window.
Because my unit is a small 2 ton unit, it has the Mexican manufactured Trane reciprocating compressor. You may find a significant price difference (retail installed) between XL14i, XL16i, and XL19i.
I could not find the American Standard db info on the website. Ask your contractor. American Standard owns Trane and I believe the compressors are made in the same factories. One person joked that the Carrer Infinity was named for its price (infinity). I didn't spend the $ on the XL19i either though.
Trane 19i may be expensive but if you want quite I think it cant be beat
The Carrier 38hdr is a quiet 66dba and is small 410a a/c unit front discharge.Performance series
go with lennox.go with a higher efficiency.compressors will be a scroll which are much quieter. go to the lennox website and check it out yourself you can check decibel readings etc.
I can't speak for other systems, but I have always believed "THE PROOF IS IN THE PUDDING"
Recently had a 3 ton TRANE XL16i installed and it is UNBELIEVABLY QUIET!!! You cannot hear the outside unit run if you are more than 10 feet away. (I have to look at my decorative grass plant blowing to tell if it's running, unless I walk right up to it...)
The indoor variable speed a/h is silent also. ( I have to go near the registers to tell if its running... unless of course I lower the tstat by 2-3 degrees, THEN you can audibly tell its running...)
P.S. I live in an END UNIT townhouse.
Most of my neighbors have 1.5/2.0 ton units, and mine is by far the QUIETEST unit in the development!!!
Cant imagine any "Pudding" being better than this.
QUOTE: "My question is concerning outside noise. Our neighbors have a TRANE system that seems VERY LOUD."
Be aware that TRANE makes 4 different levels of A/C units
Ultra Efficiency Units
Carefree comfort all year long
Super Efficiency Units
Standard Efficiency Units
I dont know about the others, but I CAN and WILL vouch for the XL16i's quietness!!!
Sound issue ! I will jump in here as a consumer - but one that spent alot of time on the noise issue and I do have a technical background
. Last year I bought a top of the line Infinity System. A part (a small part) of the reason I bought the infinity system was based on the Carrier Brochure promising a quiet unit. The unit is located just between my homes two back bedrooms.
Without going into a lot of technical issues I will summarize the following FACTS
1) The units today are quiet-er than units of old days but…..
2) There is no such thing as a whisper quiet unit – or one you won’t know is on when you are within 10 feet – or even more. Even inside my bedroom, I can hear the infinity AC unit running.
Please do look at sound ratings. A 69-dba unit will be noticeably quieter than a 73dba unit for you. However, when manufactures start producing 50dba rated units we can start to talk about them being truly quiet.
I use to own a 13 seer Rheem heat pump with scroll compressor, it was pretty quite. Currently own an XL14i Trane heat pump, it is also quite, though not as quite as the Rheem HP. Note that even if you buy the most quite HP . Your neighbor might have a loud heat pump which you will hear in your home as a result of your quite unit.
New units are quieter. The scroll compressor has a different sound than the old reciprocating compressors. Once the new unit has some age, it will probably not be as quiet as it was when it was new. Select a location to have the new unit installed where noise is less of an issue. Behind a bathroom. Not near a deck or patio. It would be best to find a quality contractor than look strictly at equipment brand. The best unit installed wrong can make more noise than the cheapest unit installed properly. Move the unit to a location where noise is less of an issue, if this is an option.