An oxygen concentrator is a must-use tool for a patient who finds it difficult to breathe in open air due to severe to mild respiratory diseases. These oxygen-providing kits are used in hospitals, homes, and many patients carry them with them. But unfortunately, oxygen concentrators produce a squeaky, hissing sound or rattling noise which may appear to be very annoying to people around you.
So, if you’re using an oxygen concentrator that is producing a loud, irritating sound, it’s time you do something to fix the problem. Even if you know how to block out noise without earplugs, it’s still better to soundproof your oxygen concentrator.
Let’s see the detailed procedure of how to soundproof an oxygen concentrator.
Why Does the Oxygen Concentrator Make A Sound?
Oxygen concentrators suck in air from your surroundings and turn it into breathable, pure oxygen. The compressor of the older version of oxygen concentrators was placed on rubber vibration mounts. The rubber mounts are used to absorb the compressor’s sounds and vibrations. When the rubber gets broken, it starts to create hissing and cracking sounds.
The newer ones have their compressors mounted on a spring. This helps it to be quieter, but still not quite enough. The motor is the main culprit here. The portable oxygen concentrator produces only a little sound. But the home oxygen concentrators have bigger internal parts and supply a high flow of oxygen. The higher the flow rate, the more there is a sound.
So, the sound can be reduced by decreasing the flow rate, but if you already have an oxygen concentrator, you have to work on that.
Soundproofing An Oxygen Concentrator: 5 Ways
For a variety of reasons, people have been looking for ways to soundproof their oxygen concentrators. Depending on the problem, oxygen concentrators can produce sounds ranging from 30 dB to 70 dB. But here’s the deal, there are several ways to quiet them down.
1. Tightening The Internal Parts And The Case
The case covering the internal parts of the oxygen concentrator might get loose as they age. The case is attached to the motor with a set of screws. It attaches the motor, which is set on a number of springs, to the case.
So when the screws are not attached well to the case, or the case gets broken for any reason, it starts to make noises. Also, when the springs are broken, the motor keeps banging the case, creating irritating sounds.
If it is the case, then you’re facing the worst-case scenario. The only way to fix this problem is to tilt the machine to the side where the springs are still good. If the case is broken, you can replace it with a newer one that has pads.
2. Placing It On A Smoother surface
We already know that the engine keeps shaking on the springs. So if we put the machine on hardwood, that’ll make the sounds even worse. So we should place it over a smoother surface. We can use one of these in this case:
- One or two rugs
- A cloth
- A cardboard
- A new carpet
- Dish Sponge
3. Making The Surface Smoother
Many of these units vent from the underside, so make sure it has enough room for the air to flow. Almost all the noise comes from the bottom. So damp and redirect that and don’t block the airflow.
- Putting a few layers of cotton towels or wool blankets underneath really does help.
- Raise the machine above the blanket layers about 1″ or ½” by putting a short length of the thick board under the left side and another on the right side.
- A clean dish sponge under each wheel on top of the boards is held in place with a bit of carpet tape.
- The 6 layers of wool blanket really dampen the noise, and the sponges just might absorb any vibration coming through the wheels.
4. Fixing Problems With The Muffler
A lot of these machines have mufflers inside them. If anything goes wrong with the muffler, it’ll make a lot of noise. Well, that’s a repair thing. In this case, the only way to reduce the sound from the surroundings is to move the oxygen concentrator further away. So we can place that in a hallway or another room. We only need additional oxygen tubing in this case.
If the muffler assembly is fine, give it a little turn so that the ends of the plastic tie wraps don’t contact anything. The whole inside of the case and motor are covered in medium-density acoustic foam, but not the bottom plate. There should be room on the inside of the bottom on both sides of the compressor for a little fiberglass insulation, which might help too.
But not too much that you block the fan blades on both ends of the compressor. If you can’t do it, focus on the exterior damping. Check the 3 cooling fans and make sure they’re clean.
5. Placement In Room
This is an important thing to keep in mind. These concentrators give off a low-frequency sound, rather like the bass notes from a speaker. If you put the unit up near the wall or near a hard corner of a room, the acoustics will worsen. Keep the object at least one foot away from any walls.
Soft padding- foam or wool or a chair seat pad- on the vertical surfaces near the unit can also dampen sonic reflections.
An oxygen concentrator is often a must-have kit for some patients. Some people stay in close proximity to it on a regular basis. Some people carry it with them in places surrounded by other people.
As a result, the noise produced by the oxygen concentrator can be extremely upsetting for both the patient and those around them. So it’s really important to know how to soundproof an oxygen concentrator.
Redirecting the sound from the bottom of the machine and increasing stability inside the case will help a lot to reduce any noise coming from the oxygen concentrator. So that, you can have peaceful sleep at night while supplying enough oxygen to your lungs.