Quiet appliances can make your home a more restful, relaxing place. Hero Images/Getty Images

The noise generated by the appliances in your home can add up quickly and make quite a racket. With washers, dryers, dishwashers, heating and cooling units, vacuums and more in modern homes, the sound can easily overwhelm you. That’s why it’s important to pay attention to decibels (dB) when choosing quiet appliances for your home.

Some brands offer appliances designed to run silently or, at least, much quieter than older models. The last thing you want is for a load of laundry or your home’s heating system to drown out a conversation or your favorite TV show.

Okay, so you know you want quieter appliances. What should you look for when shopping? Here are important tips for finding quiet appliances for your home.

How to find quiet appliances

The important number to remember is 60 dB, the level of an average conversation between two people. You don’t want to buy any appliances that run louder than that. Otherwise you’ll have to compete with your dishwasher for the last word during dinner.

That said, appliances with a dBA rating of 38-40 dBA are considered to be silent. Which means you won’t hear it over your conversation and other background noise. Many common appliances do creep above the conversation range — garbage disposals and blenders usually operate in the 80’s. But these are usually less of a concern since they only run for short periods of time.

You should focus on appliances that run for extended periods, like your dishwasher, washing machine, dryer or air conditioner. When you shop for appliances that are located inside your home, look for a rating between 40-50 dB. Equipment that’s normally outside of your home, like an HVAC system, can rate a little higher at 70 or 80 dB, since you won’t be exposed to the sound all the time. To make it easy on shoppers, most product websites will display their decibel ratings. For example, Trane does this for its air conditioners and other systems.

Benefits of quiet appliances

Thinking about the sound generated by appliances in your home has several benefits. Purchasing quieter appliances can make your home both more peaceful and more energy efficient. Many quiet appliances use less energy and offers smart home applications. It can also increase the value of your home when you sell your house, if you aren’t taking the appliances with you.

When shopping for quiet appliances, remember that the average conversation is around 60 dB. Consider how long appliances will run during a normal cycle, if it’s located indoors or outdoors and how close you’ll be to the appliance during your day-to-day routine. These factors will help you decide if an appliance has the right decibel rating.