How To Quiet a Noisy Air Conditioner? (Explained)

During the summer, the temperatures get higher and higher. And this is not surprising at all. Because of this, air conditioners are becoming more and more popular. As temperatures are highest during the day, that’s when the air conditioners work the most.

However, these devices can be quite noisy, which is frustrating. No one likes noise, especially in a house where there should be a relaxing atmosphere. This article will teach you a few different ways how to silence a loud air conditioner. So, let’s start!

How To Quiet a Noisy Air Conditioner? Methods that can efficiently quiet a noisy air conditioner are compressor blankets that cover the AC unit, lining the AC frame with insulating foam, using acrylic sheets while setting the AC to the wall, or even building a noise barrier around the whole AC unit.

The noise that an air conditioner creates during operation is irritating, but it doesn’t have to be like that if you know how to silence your device.

In this article, you will learn more about why these sounds are present and how to silence them. To learn more about air conditioner noise problems, continue reading.

How To Make A Window Air Conditioner Quieter?

In the case of window ACs, unpleasant sounds usually come from the outside through gaps between your home and outdoors. To reduce sounds entering your home, you should try closing any potential gaps and spaces by blocking them in different ways.

Way To Soundproof a Window Air Conditioner

Soundproof An Noisy Window AC Unit

Window air conditioners are, in most cases, lined with plastic frames. Those frames are not soundproof because of how thin they are and the fact that plastic isn’t the best isolator. The perfect way to isolate outside sounds is by lining that plastic frame with insulating foam.

That option is inexpensive, simple, and fast. You can get spray foam in any local hardware store along with the foam gun. The foam is a durable option but not a long-term solution.

Besides using the foam, there is also an option of using acrylic sheets that help the AC cling to the wall and block out noise. Those sheets must be cut precisely so they fit into an air conditioner opening.

This can be done at home or by a professional that will make a custom-made format for your window. The acrylic sheet has sticky cushions at all sides, so they isolate sound. Acrylic is known for being a great isolator, much better than glass too.

Here are some other methods to silence your AC unit:

  1. Search for dust. If there is dust at the coil fin, the AC is more likely to be louder while working.  
  2. Make sure to check on the fan blade’s functionality. The blades might be malfunctioning and therefore creating sounds. For example, if the blades are bent, they can run into a wall or piece of plastic and make a loud sound.
  3. Peek into all possible holes looking for any dirt or object stuck in any of the AC parts.
  4. Press onto the air conditioner to make sure it is closely placed against the wall. If not, check on the screws. They might be loose. That would create a vibrating sound. Try tightening or placing new ones if they are missing.
  5. Make sure that the fan motor is not rusty. If it is rusty, especially the motor, make sure to clean it and put some building oil on it afterward. That will lubricate it and get rid of the sound produced by rust. This rarely happens on new AC units but is very common on older models you’ve had for years.

For those who don’t know the Difference Between a Chiller and an Air Conditioner, be sure to read this article.

How To Make An Indoor Air Conditioner Quieter?

Soundproof An Noisy Indoor AC Unit

Indoor air conditioners can get noisy, just like window air conditioners. This can interfere with your work and concentration, and you certainly don’t want that. The indoor AC units make such a loud sound because the motor is placed inside the room where you are staying. That motor pulls the warm air into the air conditioner and releases the cold air into the home.

Other than the motor, the sound can be coming from the compressor. The compressor is a part that circulates the cooling liquid called refrigerant.

The best way to reduce sound coming from the compressor is to place a layer of Mass Loaded Vinyl or some other soundproofing material on the wall.

Keep in mind that the noises can’t be silenced entirely, so the location of your AC unit is crucial. If possible, install your AC in a less frequently used room. Also, try to place the AC as further away as possible from the air duct. Air ducts are parts of the AC unit that take air from the outside to the inside.

How To Make An Outdoor Air Conditioner Quieter?

Soundproof An Noisy Indoor AC Unit

An outdoor air conditioner makes noise because of the compressor to which the unit is connected. The irregularities can be broadly divided into those that are related to electrical problems and those related to structural problems. This problem will annoy your neighbors more than you since the AC unit is located outside.

Noise Caused By Electrical Issues On AC Unit

Electrical problems inside your AC device can also cause noise. Generally, electrical issues are resolved by replacing the faulty part with a brand-new one. However, in most cases, the complete AC unit must be replaced. Here are a few instances of typical electrical problems:

  • A crocked fan blade hits other parts of the AC unit
  • A broken compressor creates a loud sound
  • Buzzing sounds come from all kinds of system faults like a broken capacitor or disconnected wiring

Technical Issues That Create Aditional Noise

Technical Issues That Create Noise on AC Units

Most technical problems are usually connected to how the air conditioner is arranged and installed. Those problems usually create sounds such as vibrations. Newer ACs have an improved structure that makes those sounds quitter.

Even if they are older, some can readjust the speed of blower fans which can quiet them if putting the blower fans to a lower mode. Continue reading to find out more about methods that can block out sound caused by technical issues:

1. Get Rid Of Vibrations

Air Conditioners are often fixed to the most convenient and closest surface. If that surface is uneven, the AC can produce sounds while working and thus creates loud vibrations. This problem can be fixed by tightening the AC to the surface with screws.

Additionally, you can add some memory foam pads or anti-vibration material between the surface and the AC unit to act as a muffler. If none of these options work well enough, try to place the AC unit on a flatter surface.

2. Use Soundproof Blankets

Older AC units don’t come with enough cushioning around the compressor. Because of that, they are often loud when they work.

If you aren’t looking into purchasing a new AC unit, try using soundproofing blankets. Here are some of the pros of using a soundproofing blanket:

  • Lowered levels of noise by 40%
  • Highly functional option
  • Inexpensive
  • Simple to place, install or remove
  • Very long-lasting

3. Add A Noise Barrier

Air conditioners are usually installed in an open environment with nothing around them. Large institutions such as offices, hospitals, or schools have a noise barrier around outdoor air conditioner units. The noise barriers help with quieting the sounds that AC produces.

The sound barrier can be made of many different things and is usually around 7 ft tall. It’s important to leave some spaces between your AC unit and the barrier (around 3 feet), so the airflow is unrestricted. Here you can see how this is done:

How To Soundproofing the Barrier?

Once the noise barrier is placed, it’s important to soundproof it to get the best results. Here is how you can do this:

  1. Inside of this barrier, attach a soundproofing material, such as MLV, using acoustic adhesives.
  2. Use acoustic caulk to tighten the seams and isolate the sound even more by shutting any potential openings.
  3. If you want the barrier to fit into the house’s interior and exterior, paint the material you used as a barrier to match the house aesthetic.

The barriers, even though they are not 100% effective, do their job really well. HVAC professionals say that if the barrier is built like it is supposed to be, it will isolate around 95% of the AC’s sound. Installing a barrier is not easy, but it’s worth it in the end, considering how well it does.

4. Change The Location Of the Air Conditioner

As mentioned above, if the AC is placed in a place where you stay often, the best solution is to change the device location.

There are other reasons for changing the AC’s location, such as moving it away from bedrooms, moving it from places where it faces walls and cramped hallways because then it echoes, or removing it from it the proximity of air ducts to avoid echo.

Ask An HVAC Technician For Help

On paper, AC units can last around 15 years, depending on the model. In reality, air conditioners rarely last that long without malfunctions. Therefore, if there are any malfunctions, it is best to contact an HVAC specialist.

HVAC specialists can help fix problems you wouldn’t be able to and advise you on what to do to prevent the same problems from arising again.

They can also give you advice on what type of AC to purchase in the future that will suit the size of your space. Those newer models are usually very quiet and more efficient in energy usage. Even though replacing the AC is the costliest option, it is something to look into because it is a long-term solution.

I wrote a full article about the HVAC system, so be sure to read it if you want to learn more about it.

Final Thoughts

As the heat can be unbearable during the summer, the air conditioner has become something almost every household needs. However, these devices produce a sound that can sometimes be unbearable during operation. In this article, we have explained a few ways how you can silence that sound and create a more pleasant atmosphere in your home. We are available for all questions.

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