If you notice any air compressors ever, you find one thing common in all compressors, and that is noise! It may be impossible for you to stop making this sound, but you can quiet them to a tolerable level by applying several methods.
The best thing you can do in this case is to find out why the compressor gets noisy and adopt the appropriate noise reduction process. To help you out, we have done a little research and found several effective ways to quiet your air compressor.
Read the article all the way to the end, and you will learn how to quiet your air compressor by yourself.
4 Common Causes Why an Air Compressor Gets Noisy
It is quite normal for the air compressors to make noise. Typically an air compressor gets louder because of the moving parts. However, there are several other factors that contribute to the noises an air compressor makes. Moreover, the most common reasons an air compressor make noise are:
1. Vibration: Compressor vibrations do not make so much sound themselves, but they create vibrations in the whole body of the machine that causes loud noises. Generally, vibration depends a lot on the design of your air compressor and its location. It means that you might experience a lot of vibrations if you assemble the air compressor improperly. It is also possible for the level of vibration to increase if any part of the machine is not connected properly to the compressor. A compressor with a lot of shallow and hollow parts will also produce noise when it vibrates.
2. Placement of The Air Compressor: The placement of your air compressor has a significant impact on the amount of noise it produces. Vibrating objects can also increase noise during operation. As well as not being set properly on uneven surfaces, the air compressor can cause vibrations that create noise. In this case, a rubber mat would be better, or a soft surface would be even better. It must be level, regardless of where it is placed.
3. Type and Material of The Air Compressor: You are likely to hear a significant amount of noise if you use a powerful air compressor. Again, the compressor will produce much less noise if it is made from density- and thickness-rich materials than if it is made from thinner materials that are of lower quality. When you use an air compressor made of high-quality materials, it will vibrate less. In this way, noise levels remain acceptable.
4. Intake and Exhaust: The intake and exhaust action of air compressors is a good source of their noise generation. In order to work, air compressors must pull in air, which creates a lot of noise.
In the same way as before, all byproducts are allowed to exit the machine through the exhaust. So if your compressor doesn’t have a proper exhaust system, it will make a lot of noise.
8 Effective Methods to Make an Air Compressor Quiet
Now you know what things make them loud. So this time, we will look at some methods to quiet them down so that you can do it yourself.
1. Keep a Distance from The Air Compressor
Keeping your air compressor at a manageable distance from your work site is the best way to avoid all kinds of noise. If it is not attached to the house at all, you can place it in the garage or garden. Air compressors generate noise at the air intake, where the air enters the unit and enters the compressor. It is more noise-free to operate a compressor when there is a wide opening in the backyard or side yard. You won’t hear your air compressor as much since it will be farther away.
In the same scenario, imagine you can use pneumatic tools powered by extension hoses while you locate the machine in the previous location. Noise can be reduced by up to 25% just by increasing distance. Providing ropes and hoses with passage through the garage door can further reduce noise. For applications like painting, where air pressure is required to be constant, the length of the hose can slightly impact the pressure. It will also determine whether you can get a consistent finish indoors or outdoors based on the airflow.
2. Put It in A Soundproof Box, or Encapsulate It
You will definitely be able to get a quieter air compressor by encapsulating it. What we mean by encapsulating is that you create an extra room outside that is soundproof to house your air compressor. The sound of the air compressor almost never enters the house when you use soundproofing materials in the room (like a box). Sound-proofing materials, such as foam, rubber padding, or any other material, can be used in this case.
You can build a small building instead if it becomes too expensive for you. The market also offers a variety of soundproof boxes. Or you can make your own soundproof box using cardboard or plywood. It doesn’t matter how you enclose it, just make sure the room is spacious enough for the compressor and has enough ventilation. Otherwise, the air compressor might overheat, fail, or explode if it overheats.
3. Put a Muffler or Soundproof Blanket on The Air Compressor
For appropriate noise reduction, sound blankets absorb high-and mid-range frequencies to reduce volume. A wall surrounding a loud piece of equipment, like a blanket, reduces the frequency of the sound for outsiders. Sound blankets have become a popular anti-noise material in studios and rehearsal spaces where the blanket fibers absorb the amplification and block it from the rest of the house and the neighbors, too.
Using sound blankets with air compressors is a great way to reduce noise, especially from the piston cylinder, which is the noisiest part.
When you are going to use sound blankets to reduce sound, keep them inside a two-wall enclosure that has 45° angles between the walls. Now enclose the compressor area with a blanket-buffered enclosure and place it in the back corner of your garage. The two-sided enclosure method is good for both portable and stationary compressors.
Another way to block compressor noise with a sound blanket is to place the machine inside a large cabinet or box and then cover the outside with the blanket. If we talk about small horizontal compressors, for example, you can place them inside the boxes, or even you can place a blanket on top and sides like a tablecloth. Adding a blanket over a closed door can also protect a portable compressor inside a large cabinet.
Note: These setups should not be used for gas-fired units, as exhaust trapped inside can cause explosions.
4. Install an Intake Silencer
Many of the sounds produced by an air compressor come from the air intake, which can produce high-frequency pulsations. A silencer dampens the sound of inrush air using tubes or sound-deadening materials. As well as serving as intake filters, they can also be used as air filters.
5. Maintain a Clean Air Filter
As air enters the compressor’s inlet valve, dirt particles are trapped in the air filter. In order to prevent dirt from getting into cylinders, we recommend cleaning inlet filters every 12 months or less, depending on the operating conditions. If noise reduction is not possible without changing the device, install a new one.
6. Maintain Your Equipment Regularly
To keep its mechanisms in motion, an air compressor has to endure a lot of heat and speed.
When an air compressor suckers atmospheric air into its inlet, compresses it with a piston, and stores it in its tank as energy, it demands proper maintenance. During the course of time, the machine will become noisier as it works harder to handle each application’s demands.
Air compressors are also mechanical machines with moving parts that continuously rub against each other. It is impossible to keep these parts running without lubrication. All of these factors will cause the metal to grind, rust, and collapse, stressing the system and ultimately causing the compressor to be damaged. With all this happening, it will become harder and harder for the compressor to maintain its previous performance, and noise levels will rise as a result. Proper lubrication is, therefore, necessary for a compressor. If you notice the sound of your compressor becoming noisier than usual, it means it is due for maintenance.
7. Check Your Compressor Once a Year with A Professional
There are some simple maintenance tasks you may do by yourself on air compressors. While most simple troubleshooting tasks, such as lubricating and filtering, can be done yourself. But some specific tasks are best handled by a qualified technician. By doing this, you can avoid unwanted noise production, as well as add several years to the life of your air compressor.
Every year or if that is not possible, then every 2-3 years, once in a while, contact a nearby service center to check the parts and analyze performance. There is a need to replace compressor parts often, such as belts, gaskets, and valve plates, so be sure to check when they need any replacements.
8. Replace with A Quality Air Compressor
You should buy the quietest compressor if you can, without going through too much trouble. Yes, you can buy a new air compressor if the above methods don’t solve the noise issue with your old one. Make sure you check the compressor’s maximum noise level before buying a new product. If you want to know how a product performs, especially in terms of noise, it will be best to read some customer reviews.
How Loud Should Be an Air Compressor?
There is usually a 40-92 decibel difference in air compressor noise levels. That is a pretty big gap. An industrial air compressor, however, produces an average noise level of 85 decibels. That is too loud for a home air compressor to tolerate at this level, which is more than a phone ringtone. You can consider your air compressor tolerable if it produces less than 70 dB of noise. Suitable for home use, it doesn’t offer much.
However, you might want to keep your home quieter. Quiet air compressors with noise levels between 70 and 80 decibels are suitable for you, whereas ultra-quiet air compressors have noise levels below or at 60 decibels.
However, you can measure the sound level of your air compressor using some professional equipment.
It is common for compressors to produce a great deal of noise during their operation. So, you can follow our shared methods. Since professional workers have been using these methods for a long time, they are proven and reliable. It is not necessary to follow all the methods. The best thing you can do is to follow just one or two methods based on the problem you are facing. When using a compressor, you should always wear an earplug for your safety.