I'm getting ready to have my present 13 year old 3 ton AC unit and airhandler replaced. The outside unit is located near a screened porch and there is no suitable area to relocate it to(patio home...very small lot). I live in central South Carolina so the cooling season is 6 months long with pretty high humidity.

Assuming that I will need a 3 ton unit(my patio home is 1750 s.f. and the exact same plan as 30 others built by the same reputable builder...they all have 3 ton units)what might be good choices for reducing the noise level. Ive heard that some of the very high end equipment has sound levels as low as 67-69 db. Unfortunately, my budget can't accomodate the price of these very high end units.

Looking for a compromise between absolute lowest sound level and moderate price. I've got a sound blanket on my present Heil unit that hushes the compressor somewhat but the fan noise predominates. I'm not looking to get the absolute cheapest price unit. I'd be willing to spend up to twice what the lesser expensive condensing units cost to lower the outside unit's nosie level to say 72 db or so.