Air compressors are handy items to have around the house, but there is one thing that we cannot deny: they can be quite noisy. Not only will it bother you as you are doing your work, but you may also find yourself with an angry neighbor knocking on your front door.
Still, this can be avoided, as long as you are using the right technique to soundproof your air compressor. Granted, you won’t be able to make it completely quiet to the point where you won’t hear it – but you might get it to be quiet enough so that it doesn’t bother you.
What Causes Noise in an Air Compressor?
The first step in quieting your air compressor would be to find out where most of the noise is coming from. Here is what can make an air compressor to be particularly noisy.
1. Type and Size
The type and size of your air compressor might determine the unit’s noise level. For example, newer models were made to be very quiet, whereas an old one can roar into the high skies. A larger air compressor might also be sucking in – hence leading to more noise. If that particular type is made from thin materials as well, then you can once again expect a bit of noise coming from your air compressor.
Air compressors might also be noisy due to vibrations – but that is not necessarily because of the unit itself. Most of the time, it’s the surroundings that determine that. For instance, if it’s standing on a weak surface, even the quietest air compressor might make a lot of noise. The same thing can happen if you place it on the wrong even floor (e.g. direct concrete or hardwood).
3. Air Intake
Remember how your vacuum cleaner becomes much noisier the moment you crank up its sucking power? Well, the same thing happens with air compressors. The higher the air intake, the more noise the unit will make.
The exhaust is probably one of the loudest parts of your air compressor, running a close race with the air intake. Since every byproduct of your compressor’s operation is released through the exhaust, the result is – you guessed – a lot of noise.
Ways to Soundproof Your Air Compressor
If your air compressor is making more noise than it actually should, then it doesn’t mean it’s the end of the story. There are several ways for you to make it quieter, among which are the following:
1. Reduce the Unit’s Air Intake
Even the quietest air compressor can make a bit of noise if you set it at the highest air intake. That being said, if you have no way of adjusting the air intake, you may want to try installing a muffler.
Adding a silencer or a muffler to the air pipe is likely one of the most efficient ways to quiet down your air compressor, as it dampens the sound produced by the incoming air. You might also want to try using a longer air intake pipe – while it might not make the compressor quieter, it can keep the noise farther away from your ears.
2. Use Rubber for Vibration
If the noise is caused by vibrations, then you may want to steer your attention towards rubber.
Rubber is quite popular for its muffling and sound-absorbing properties, which means that it can easily absorb the shocks, vibrations, and impact sounds produced by your air compressor. You may either add rubber gourmets on the motor, or you can put rubber mounts on the floor, where you placed it.
3. Wrap the Body of the Compressor
This option is one of the oldest, yet still one of the most popular ways of quieting your air compressor – particularly if you are low on the budget. You can use some sort of noise dampening cloth. This will help reduce the vibrations while minimizing contact with anything around it.
4. Place It in a Soundproof Box
Think about how quiet and far away it sounds when you run your air compressor, but there’s a closed-door between you two. Well, the good news is that you don’t have to isolate yourself in a different room. Instead, you can isolate the unit in a box. You may either buy a soundproof box or make your own. Bear in mind that the box needs enough space for a cooling system or a fan. Otherwise, you just risk overheating the air compressor.
5. Check for Loose Parts
As you know, vibration can cause most of the noise – and obviously, if you have loose screws, they will all clank against the material and cause quite a bit of noise. This is why you need to be particularly careful that every loose screw has been tightened properly. Even if that may not be the problem, you may want to tighten them anyway, as this can help you discover the actual culprit.
6. Keep the Filters Clean
That’s right – something as simple as a dirty air filter may be the cause for your air compressor being ridiculously loud. Since it’s not clean, the air is struggling to pass through – resulting in quite a bit of noise. Moreover, dirty filters also imply the presence of buildups. And this may prevent the proper functioning of your air compressor – causing it to “protest” with a lot of noise.
The Bottom Line
Air compressors can become very loud – but in most cases, you can easily soundproof them. No matter if you add mufflers, wrap the unit, put it in a box, or make some adjustments, you can make your air compressor less noisy. Your neighbors will no longer be annoyed, and you’ll be able to finish your job without affecting your hearing in the process.