Having an air compressor at home is great, and it comes in handy in many instances. However, having one is not always pleasing, especially when it is deafening. Air compressor noise can be annoying to some user if not all, but the better part is that you can make your compressor run quietly without necessarily having to invest in a quiet compressor.
Any machine within the noise level of 75 dB and below can be considered tolerable, but anything above that, then you can easily consider it as a loud compressor. Unfortunately, loud compressors can cause irreversible hearing damage and so you should look for effective ways of air compression noise reduction. If you can identify the source of the noise, then it will be easier to make your compressor quieter. The major causes of noise in an air compressor include;
- The air intake; as the compressor takes in air, it tends to create a lot of noise, and in fact, this is considered as one of the loudest parts of a compressor.
- Vibrations; It is not uncommon for a machine like a compressor to vibrate, and while doing so, it may make a lot of noise. The level of sound produced by the vibrations is going to depend on the design of your compressor, as well as it is placed. For example, if the compressor is hollow, it is going to vibrate more hence creating more noise.
- Air exhaust; just as with the air intake, compressors tend to make a lot of noise when disposing of byproducts through the exhaust port.
- Type and size of the compressor; the bigger the compressor, the high the noise volume. However, they are still some big models than are designed to be quieter than the small ones.
- Built material; if your compressor is made with high-quality material, it will definitely produce less noise. Otherwise, you will have to deal with the noise.
- The surface where the compressor is placed; if your compressor is placed on a solid and stable surface, it is obvious that it will keep the noise level down. An unstable surface will make the compressor make a lot of noise.
How to make your air Compressor run quietly
1. Installing a silencer/muffler at the intake
As we have already established, the intake is one of the primary sources of noise for an air compressor. This is because the intake valve is responsible for the entire air suction. Installing a silencer or a muffler is one of the easiest and fastest methods of silencing your compressor by reducing noise levels from the intake.
Often, these devices are a combination of an air filter with silencing capabilities allowing you to reduce the noise when the compressor is too loud. All you need to do is to connect one end to the air hose to the intake and the other end to the silencer. This will help bring down the noise level with up to 4 dB.
2. Use rubber to dampen sounds and vibration
The interaction between your compressor and the floor below may make your compressor more loud due to the resultant vibrations. The level of impact noise produced will depend upon the type of the floor, and the harder the floor, the higher the level of the impact noise. Rubber is known to have great sound insulating properties, and you can use it to nullify the vibrations and absorb the noise.
The rubber grommets should be placed between the floor and the compressor’s mount so that it can absorb the sounds completely and that none is leaked into the ground. The rubber grommets come in different sizes so you should choose one that suits your compressor.
3. Extending the intake to the Outside
Other than using a silencer or a muffler, you can try and reduce noise from the air intake by extending the air intake outdoors, away from where your compressor is using a rubber hose. You can then use a bracket or a rubber grommet to hold it tight. The hose needs to be fitted snugly onto the air intake and extend the other end to the outside, where noise may not be an issue. This is an economical intervention, and you can drill a hole to pass the hose to the outside instead of moving it through a window or the door.
4. Installing the compressor in a Soundproof Box
Making a soundproof box at home is ultimately one of the best solutions for making your compressor run quietly. Although it can prove a hard task, it will yield the best results and can easily acquire the materials needed for the project at a local store. For this project, you’ll need;
- A soundproof foam
- A circular saw
- Screws and a drill
The box should be big enough to fit your specific compressor, so you will need to take the dimensions of the compressor and make the box based on the measurements. Also, you can make it a bit bigger to avoid issues with overheating. You can also drill some extra holes where excess heat can escape and also for outlets such as air hoses. However, the holes should not be too big, as this can lead to excess noise leakage.
When it comes to the actual box, use the screws to fasten the plywood and install the soundproof foam on the interior surfaces of your box. You can use adhesive spray to fix the foam to the surfaces. Keeping your compressor inside the box is going to help reduce the amount of noise significantly.
5. Wrapping the compressor with a sound dampening material
Covering your compressor with a sound-dampening material such as rubber will help suppress the unnecessary sounds coming from the compressor. You can also use materials such as a mat or a carpet if you are on a budget. However, the rubber seems like a great option since it is a good sound insulator, and besides, it will prevent vibrations made by the motor not to echo. Also, if you place your compressor near a wall, it may get louder since the sounds will be echoed on the wall. You can cover the wall with a sound blanket to help reduce the noise and the echo.
6. Regular lubrication
An air compressor consists of many moving parts, and in order to keep all the components running smoothly, you’ll need to maintain routine lubrication. If you don’t lubricate your machine, it will cause friction among the moving parts leading to wear and tear, and when this happens, your compressor may begin to make noise. So once in a while, you’ll need to lubricate all the moving parts, including bearings and on contact surfaces, to ensure your compressor performs quietly and optimally.
7. Check and tighten any loose parts
Bolts and screws tend to loosen up after some time, and they may be behind the rattling and banging sounds you are hearing. Any loose part, including screws and internal components, may cause those exaggeration noises due to vibrations. As such, they should be tightened and also ensure that the displaced components are in place, and the good thing is this will not cost you anything.
We believe now you have an idea on how to reduce air compressor noise. Although it is impossible to reduce the compressor noise completely, applying the above hacks will definitely bring down the noise level considerably. Also, it is better to try and reduce air compressor noise instead of spending more on buying a quiet compressor.
You may also read: Air Compressor Piping Diagrams and Tips