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Old 07-06-2014, 06:07 PM   #1
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Numbers on Air Conditioner noise level

I am not sure where this thread fits, moderators can move it as needed.

I have two 20' Airstream products, a 1974 Argosy, and a 2014 Airstream FC.

The AC unit on the old Argosy is an Emerson Quiet Kool and is at least 20 years old. 13,500 btuh. The one on the Airstream is a new Dometic heat pump, low profile unit. Also 13,500 btuh.

I have a decibel meter App on my cell phone, just how accurate it is of course I don't know, but it should give relative numbers.

It is 90 outside today here. The trailers are parked nose to tail under a 50' long carport so they are similar in how sound would be created around them, outside.

The numbers are very interesting:

Argosy, high fan, inside: 55 to 56 dBa

Airstream high fan, inside: 70 to 71 dBa

Argosy, high fan, outside: 62 to 63 dBa

Airstream, high fan outside: 66 to 67 dBa


Look at the huge difference between the interior noise of the old Emerson and the new Dometic. No wonder people complain.

The exterior number is not quite as bad, but still higher.

A 6 dBa increase in sound level is generally perceived by the human ear as a doubling of sound.

For comparison, I am using a ductless split system to heat and cool my home now. I sat in a chair 5 feet from the inside unit and measured 45 dBa. Almost dead quiet. The river flowing by my home makes much more noise than the outside unit, so I cannot measure it.
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Old 07-06-2014, 09:40 PM   #2
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It is my understanding, confirmed by multiple sources including Wikipedia, that due to the non-linear characteristics of the human ear, it takes an increase of 10 dBA to be perceived as twice as loud.

Al
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:00 AM   #3
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You certainly are right on that, I was doing it from memory. My course in acoustics was a very long time ago. Most seem to say that 10 dB increase sounds twice as loud, not 6 as I stated. Thanks for the correction.
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Old 07-07-2014, 12:10 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by idroba View Post
You certainly are right on that, I was doing it from memory. My course in acoustics was a very long time ago. Most seem to say that 10 dB increase sounds twice as loud, not 6 as I stated. Thanks for the correction.

Yes. +3dB electrically is a doubling of power. +6dB is a doubling of amplitude. Acoustically +10dB is perceived as twice the loudness.
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