Soundproofing a Generator (12 Easy Ways)


soundproofing a generator

Is your noisy generator becoming a real nuisance? Is it keeping you up all night, ruining your peace of mind, and disturbing you like nothing else? Not to worry. I’ll tell you everything that you need to know about soundproofing a generator. Soundproofing a generator is not a hard job. There are many ways to soundproof it.

To soundproof a generator, you can build a soundproof box for it or install some good soundproofing material around it to reduce the noise. The most significant source of noise in a generator is the exhaust, so you can install an exhaust muffler or upgrade the one you have. 

With some great tips and tricks, you can even soundproof a generator without spending a single penny! So what are you waiting for? Just go through this article, and get started!

How to make a generator quiet? 

I’ve had a really noisy generator at my home, so I did a lot of research and finally, I was successful in making it quiet as a cricket. It was a bit technical though, but a few tips and tricks worked really well for me. Here is a list of 12 easy ways for soundproofing a generator. Just choose the right method according to your choice and budget, and you are good to go! 

  1. Use rubber feet
  2. Build a soundproof generator box
  3. Build a baffle box
  4. Install an exhaust muffler 
  5. Upgrade the exhaust muffler
  6. Install sound deflectors
  7. Place the generator on an anti-vibration mat
  8. Monitor the power consumption
  9. Use water for the exhaust noise
  10. Angle the exhaust upwards or set the generator away from your location
  11. Place the generator in a storage shed
  12. Go for an inverter generator

Use rubber feet

RUBBER FEET
PC: https://cutt.ly/iyhGQY9

This is a very easy and cheap method for soundproofing your generator. All you have to do is fix the rubber feet at the bottom of the generator. This will greatly reduce vibrations, hence, reducing the overall noise. My recommendation here would be the Sellerocity Rubber Pads. These are really good anti-vibration rubber feet, specially designed for the purpose.

 Build a soundproof generator box

soundproof box
PC: https://cutt.ly/gyhGPFi

A soundproof box will block all the generator noise within a closed container, and you will not hear any of it. Isn’t that cool?

This is one of the most effective methods of soundproofing a generator. However, with all the pros, it has one big problem; your generator becomes too heavy and difficult to handle. So, you cannot just move it around anywhere with you. Therefore, if you’re interested in soundproofing a generator to use for camping, you may consider any other option.

However, for soundproofing a generator that is placed permanently at a fixed position, this is the best option for you!

Now let’s just have a look at the method, shall we? To build a soundproof generator box, you will be needing a few materials that I have listed below. I have linked them to Amazon for your ease so that you can buy them online without any trouble.

So here is how you can build a soundproof generator box:

  1. Use a measuring tape to measure the dimensions of your generator. To build a soundproof box, add a few inches on each side.
  2. Cut 6 pieces of MDF, one for each side of the generator. Cut it out very carefully and make sure all your measurements are correct. You can use a right-angled ruler for straight lines.
  3. After this, cut the ventilation holes according to the size of the ventilation duct.
  4. Cut a ventilation duct hole in one corner of the ceiling panel. Additionally, cut another hole in the opposite bottom corner of another wall panel. Make sure these holes are almost diagonal to each other.
  5. Cut the Mass loaded Vinyl according to the size of the panels. Attach it on the inside of the panels with the help of green glue. Make sure it is properly fixed in place.
  6. Then, cut the foam mat just like you cut the MLV and attach it as an additional layer on the inside of the panels. Fix it tightly with green glue.
  7. Join the panels together with the screws and green glue. Attach the ceiling panel with hinges so that you can easily open or close the box.
  8. Finally the last step. Add the vents and seal them with the green glue. Use the ventilation ducts for air supply within the generator box. You can add Kinks in the duct to avoid noise traveling through it.

 Here is a video that can give you a good idea about how to do it. 

Some important things that you need to note here are that you must ensure that you provide a lot of air supply to the generator through the ducts. Without air, your generator can overheat and may stop working. Similarly, you can put a lot of kinks in the ducts for better soundproofing. Also, I would recommend you to always place the box on a solid, raised surface so that it doesn’t vibrate much and creates no noise. 

A zombie soundproof box
PC: https://cutt.ly/fyhGG27

If you do not want to make one yourself, you can even purchase a good soundproof box from the market. The Zombie Portable Soundproof Enclosures are specially designed for that purpose and are sold as a whole. These boxes are known to reduce the generator noise up to 99%, which is great, right?

Build a baffle box

A BAFFLE BOX
PC: https://cutt.ly/eyhGD70

Do you know what a baffle is? It is just a thing specially designed to reduce the noise in the air. A baffle box is similar to the soundproof box and serves the same purpose. The only difference is that a baffle box does not have a bottom panel and its lid is closed. This means you can simply place this box over your generator and that’s it. Its construction is also similar to the soundproof box. You just have to leave the bottom off and fix the top panel completely i.e. without any hinges. 

This method is not as effective as the soundproof box, as there will still be a lot of open space for noise to escape. However, you will observe a noticeable difference and it will do an overall good job for soundproofing your generator.

Install an exhaust muffler

EXHAUST MUFFLER FOR SOUNDPROOFING GENERATOR
PC: https://cutt.ly/yyhGJJ9

A muffler is a device that reduces noise. Most of the generators have this device installed with the exhaust. However, a few older ones might not have it. Check if your generator has a muffler in it or not. In case there is no muffler, you can easily buy one for your generator and get it installed by a professional. Here is a great article on the generator silencers and mufflers. Give it a read before buying a new one for your generator. It will be a great help to you.

Although this method does not completely soundproof your generator, if you combine it with any other option, you will feel a great difference.

Upgrade the exhaust muffler

If you have a muffler already installed in your generator and it is still not reducing any noise, just buy a bigger one. Mufflers come in different sizes and shapes, so just make sure that you find the right one for your generator device.

It’s awesome to know that there are many options when it comes to the brand and type of generator muffler you would like to buy. For instance, here on Amazon, you can find various options to suit whatever brand and size of generator you use.

Install sound deflectors

SOUND DEFLECTOR for soundproofing generator
PC: https://cutt.ly/TyhGzbX

You might be wondering what a sound deflector is? As the name implies, it is something that turns or diverts the path of the noise. For reducing the generator noise, you can use a sound deflector to direct the noise to any other direction so that it does not disturb you.

This method does not soundproof anything, but it definitely helps in a lot of noise reduction. It is a very simple and cheap option that you may want to use especially during camping. Just remember that this will not make the generator silent, but you can just use it as a temporary option while you look for a better one.

A good option here is using the plywood sheets as sound deflectors. These sheets are easily available in the market. Just purchase a few from a nearby store and place them like an A-frame on your generator. This will deflect the noise towards the ground, reducing it greatly.

Place the generator on an anti-vibration mat

AN ANTI-VIBRATION PAD for soundproofing generator
PC: https://cutt.ly/TyhGzbX

As we know, a lot of the noise from a generator comes due to its continuous vibration while it is working. You can reduce this noise by placing an anti-vibration mat under your generator. 

The technique is simple; just measure and cut the mat according to the dimensions of your generator and place it under it. This easy and simple technique will make a huge difference in reducing the noise due to the vibration of the generator.

Now, you might be wondering which anti-vibration mat would be good for use under a heavy machine like this one. I would recommend the Casa Pura Anti-Vibration Pad, and it is really thick and can reduce a lot of the vibrational noise. Just get one for yourself from Amazon, and give it a try.

If you want to learn more about how you can use the anti-vibration pads for soundproofing electronics, go through my article on soundproofing a refrigerator.

Monitor the power consumption

Another thing you need to know about soundproofing a generator is that if the power consumption is more, the generator will have to work more, thereby producing more noise. Thus, an easy way to reduce noise is to reduce the power consumption of your generator. Although it has a drawback that you won’t be able to power all your appliances, this will greatly reduce the noise from your generator. 

You can also find the right balance between sound and function. What I mean is this; by experimenting with your generator and the amount of load it can comfortably carry, you can know the number and rating of equipment you can connect before it gets too loud. Obviously, this takes some time and patience, but it is one way to go about it.

Use water for the exhaust noise

Although I do not really recommend this, it is a good and easy trick that can help with reducing a lot of noise from the generator. All you need is a bucket of water and a hosepipe. Just remember that the technique is simple but you have to be very careful while doing it. Simply fix the hose from one end to the generator exhaust and put its other end in the water. 

Water will absorb the noise and you will feel a great difference. If you are worried about the water getting into the generator, just make a very small hole in the hose to stop the pressure from building in, and thus, water will not move inside the generator.

Angle the exhaust upwards or set the generator away from your location

this is something you can try even right now! As we all know, the exhaust of a generator makes the most noise. So, all you have to do is just turn it away from your location or simply in the upward direction. I won’t say that it makes a great difference, but it does help a bit in noise reduction by directing the noise away from you.

Another easy thing you can do is to set the generator quite a distance away from your home. Using a long extension cord, simply fix the generator at a secure spot and that’s it! You will no longer have to bear the loud generator noise. This can be discomforting for your neighbors, but if you can do it without causing trouble, then you should try it. 

Place the generator in a storage shed

If you have a storage shed near your house or you have a long extension cord, you are lucky because you can place your generator there to save yourself from a lot of noise. In this case, you just have to consider a few things. For example, if your shed is a small and closed one, make sure that the generator gets enough air supply so that it doesn’t overheat.

For that, you can place a fan near the generator to keep it cool. Also, you have to take care of the ventilation inside your shed. A few vents would be quite helpful, or you can just make a few small holes in the shed for the ventilation purpose, I think that would be good enough for ventilation. One more method would be to find a way to extend the exhaust outside the shed.

HOLES FOR VENTILATION
PC: https://cutt.ly/TyhGzbX

Go for an inverter generator

Finally, if none of the above ways work, that means you need to replace your generator. You can look for a quiet inverter generator, which is new in the market. Although they are mostly designed to power small electronics, they make almost no noise. So, if you cannot handle the generator noise anymore, you can go for any of these to power your few, important electronics with zero noise.

In the next section, I will go into detail about the best generators in the market that I recommend for you. But just in case you want to know what inverter generator brands and types you can find on Amazon, you can find that here. The brands are quite numerous, and you can find these generators in various shapes and designs.

Top 5 generators for you

While I was looking for some good soundproofing options for my generator, I did some research and found out a few really amazing generators that make little or no noise and have excellent specifications. They were so good that I thought of sharing it all with you. So here it is, a list of top 5 quiet generators that you can get for yourself, and enjoy all luxuries with silence anywhere you want!

WEN 56200i:

WEN 56200i
PC: https://cutt.ly/eyhGBuG

This is one of the top-rated inverter generators in the market. It makes almost zero noise and can generate 1600 running and 2000 surge watts of output. The best part is that unlike the conventional generators, WEN 56200i is very light. This means you can carry it anywhere you want. Also, it is very fuel-efficient.

A 1-gallon tank of this generator can generate power for up to 6 hours, which is just incredible. It has a 2-year warranty and a friendly customer helpline, so you do not even have to worry about anything. If you ever get sick of your old and noisy generator and none of the techniques work for you, you can definitely go for this option. You can find it right here on Amazon.

Honda EU2200i:

Honda EU2200i
PC: https://cutt.ly/EyhGBX3

Honda EU2200i is also known to be one of the quietest generators available in the market. It can generate 1800W power input, which is great for running small electronics. The generator tank can work for up to 9 hours, which is great for a generator like this. It is small and compact, and you can also use it with any other generator to increase the power. Here is the link for more details.

Yamaha EF2000iSv2:

YAMAHA GENERATOR
PC: https://cutt.ly/SyhGN2C

This generator produces 2000W power output with almost zero noise. Isn’t that exciting? It is a light and compact model that is very easy to handle and move around. It can even operate for up to 10.5 hours with no refueling. This is simple and easy to use generator with so many benefits. The only issue here is that it is slightly costly. Nonetheless, if you are looking for a good, easy-to-use, and quiet generator, you can go for this one. Here is the Amazon link for more details.

Westinghouse iGen 1200:

Westinghouse iGen 1200
PC: https://cutt.ly/uyhG1oJ

This generator costs much lesser than Yamaha and Honda and is almost quiet like them. Its design is very portable and easy-to-carry. With such a lightweight, it is known to be the best quiet generator for campers. Additionally, it can run up to 10 hours straight on a single refueling. Here is the Amazon link for more details.

Generac iQ2000:

Generac iQ2000
PC: https://cutt.ly/VyhG0GV

It is one of the cheap options if you’re looking for a quiet generator at an affordable cost. The generator is very easy to use, and you can even carry it around wherever you want. Here is the Amazon link for more details.

Some essential things to note about soundproofing a generator

You can choose any of the methods you want, and even combine a few of them for the best results. However, there are a few things that you have to keep in mind whichever method you choose:

1. We all know that soundproofing means to cover a thing completely to block sound, but do not literally do that to your generator. A generator needs a good airflow or it gets heated up and in the worst case, may get caught up in flames. Nobody really wants that, right? So, just make sure that you do not block any holes so that the ventilation is not disturbed. If you have placed your generator in a closed area (like a shed), make sure you have a fan nearby for keeping it cool while it’s working.

2. You can never completely soundproof your generator. You may keep the generator far away from your location, but that might disturb someone else in the other location. This is actually not a good thing. So, my suggestion is to be wise and look for the best way of making your generator quiet.

3. You might not know this, but a lot of generators make noise if any of the parts are worn out or broken. Thus, if you hear an unusually loud noise, get your generator checked by a professional. There is a possibility that after getting the problem fixed, your generator actually becomes quieter.

Final words

In the end, I would just say that if I can soundproof my generator, anyone of you can! You just have to choose the right way of doing it, and by combining two or three different methods, you could make a significant improvement. Just remember that whatever method you choose, ensure that it does not heat the generator or affect its overall working.

That being said, I am sure that you can do a great job without any trouble. However, if your generator has become too old or the parts are worn out, you might need to purchase a new quiet one for yourself. In that case, I have shared with you some of the best options available in the market. Just choose the right option according to your use and budget, and you are good to go!

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