A refrigerator can be a noisy household machine! It was causing a lot of noise in my house lately, so I did some research and fixed the problem. For some reason, soundproofing a refrigerator sounds like a bigger deal than it really is. But guess what? It was not much of a big deal and even you can do it in your home. So, here’s the question: can you soundproof your refrigerator? The answer to this is yes!
For soundproofing your refrigerator, you first have to identify the sources making most of the noise, and then you can fix it with some easy tips and techniques.
Not to worry, I have covered it all for you. Just keep reading and learn everything you need to know for making your noisy refrigerator quiet!
The first step to Soundproofing a Refrigerator: Figure out the parts making the most noise
A noisy refrigerator can create a lot of disturbance, especially when you are trying to relax at home! To make it quiet, you have to identify the sources of noise in the refrigerator so that you can fix them. Let’s go through which parts make the most noise.
The compressor: The compressor is known for making the most noise in a refrigerator. This is because a compressor is composed of a motor and a pump, and is doing most of the work. It usually makes the normal buzzing sounds, which can be quite loud at times. Most of the noise is due to the compressor fan which helps to cool down the compressor coil. It might produce sound at intervals as the fan switches on and off. The noise from the fan is normal. However, if the fan is producing very loud noises, then you must look into it for any dust or debris that might be blocking the normal airflow and producing noise.
The Evaporator Fan: You can find this just under the freezer compartment of your refrigerator. The noise begins when the compressor is running. So if you hear noise coming from the area just below the freezer, you may need to hush the evaporator fan.
The Refrigerator walls: The walls of a refrigerator produce a lot of clicking and cracking sounds that are totally normal due to the temperature changes in a refrigerator.
The ice maker: Sometimes, the noise comes from the freezer during the formation of ice, which is a normal process.
The drip tray: You might hear the dripping sound from your refrigerator. This is because of the water being drained from inside it and collected by the drip tray.
The Evaporator Fan Motor Grommet: A grommet separates the motor from the mounting bracket in the refrigerator, thus it helps to reduce sound. If it wears out, you may hear a lot of noise. In this case, you may have to replace it.
Before you start:
Before you start, you need to know that all the noises I have mentioned here are totally normal. The sounds may come and go, like the vibration sound if the refrigerator is not on a level floor, the popping sound from the refrigerator walls, the whirring sound from the compressor, the dripping sound from the water drainage or the buzzing sound due to the evaporator.
If you feel that the noise is louder than normal, you may need to get your refrigerator checked by a professional. However, if you are just disturbed by the regular sounds that a refrigerator makes, you do not have to worry as I will tell you everything that you need to know to fix that!
Soundproofing a Refrigerator: A Step-by-Step Guide
As mentioned above, a refrigerator can make all sorts of noises, which can be very disturbing especially if you have some work to do. So here we are with all the tips and tricks you need to know for making it quiet. For reducing the refrigerator noise, you need to inspect the parts that make the most noise and soundproof them with the help of some of the best soundproofing materials available in the market. Also, with the help of some tips and tricks, you can reduce a lot of noise even without spending a single penny!
I will do my best to cover everything for you. From the easy tips and tricks to the best soundproofing materials you can buy for your refrigerator, there is a lot to discuss! So let’s gets started with the first basic step that I have been repeating over and over again:
1. Inspect the Noise
Listen carefully and identify the parts of the refrigerator that make the most noise. This will help you identify the cause of the noise, and you can fix it easily. If you are unable to do it yourself, you can get some help from a professional. Ask him to listen and tell you where the noise is coming from. After you are done with this step, the rest of it becomes quite easy for you.
Spending some extra time to inspect the refrigerator can save you some unnecessary expenses. For instance, if you skip this step, you may end up employing refrigerator soundproofing methods that are ineffective in your case. It goes without saying that the cause of the noise can differ from one fridge to another.
2. Relocate your refrigerator
One way to reduce noise significantly is to relocate your fridge. If you have placed it on an uneven surface, it may make a lot of noise. Also, sound travels in unique ways and some objects in a room can amplify the sound. So, by relocating the fridge to a flat and smooth surface and away from objects that are likely to amplify the noise, you can save yourself the headache.
Alternatively, you can opt to move your working or living area away from the fridge. This is pretty simple; if you work from home like me, you can choose to relocate your office space away from the location of the refrigerator. I spent a whole week making an article to help you soundproof your home office to avoid household noises. Check it out here.
3. Level out the legs of your refrigerator
Another way to reduce noise is to check the legs of your fridge. Most of the refrigerators have got adjustable legs, so you can set them independently and fix the problem. The easiest way to do this is to shake your fridge a little. If it moves, that means you need to adjust the legs accordingly.
Make sure that your fridge is both stable and evenly placed. If it will be placed like that, there are few chances that it makes too much of the noise. On the other hand, if for some reason you find that one of the legs is bad, then you need to get that fixed.
4. Place a good soundproofing material under your refrigerator
If adjusting the legs doesn’t work for you, the next thing you can do is to look for some good soundproof materials to place under your refrigerator. I’ve got three options for you that you can go for depending on your choice and budget. These are:
- Using a foam mat
- Placing soundproof blankets or rugs
- Installing the Anti Vibration pads
I will discuss each one of them in detail, along with the Amazon links, so that you can compare and choose the right product for yourself.
Use a foam mat:
Foam mats are made up of rubber foam and are adhesive, so you can easily install them anywhere you want. Luckily, I found some really good options on Amazon like the Dynamat and Hushmat that can help with reducing a lot of the noise produced by your refrigerator. Go for these products and you will definitely feel the difference.
If you are looking for the best results, go for the moisture-resistant mats like Guteauto and Noico. They are perfect for soundproofing your refrigerator and perform excellently. You can even use them for soundproofing your other electrical appliances like your washing machine.
Another good product that is known for soundproofing is the Mass Loaded Vinyl. Just cut the MLV according to the size of your fridge, place it on the floor under your fridge and that’s it! You will feel the difference for yourself.
Put a heavy rug or a soundproof blanket under your refrigerator:
This option is similar to placing foam mats under the refrigerator, except that the blankets are not usually moisture resistant and you have to clean and dry them regularly.
The technique for this is simple; lay the soundproof blanket or a thick rug on the floor and place the fridge in the center. Then, just tape the extra edges to the sides of the fridge (except the fridge door, obviously), and you’re done!
Now, if you do not know much about the soundproofing blankets, I would recommend you to go through some of the best options on the Amazon. The Sure-Max 12 Moving and Packing Blanket is one of the top sellers on Amazon. It can be used for soundproofing any of your electrical appliances or furniture.
The second good option is Audimute that is known for soundproofing a lot of areas within your house. For soundproofing your refrigerator, you can just place it under the fridge following the simple steps and that’s it! Easy and simple, right?
Install the Anti-Vibration Pads:
If you want to reduce the structural noise due to the vibrations of your refrigerator, you can use the anti-vibration pads for the purpose. These pads are great to reduce the noise produced by the vibrations of the refrigerator (while it is working), and the best part is that these pads are very easy to install! You do not have to hire a professional for the task, it’s just a 5 minutes work! Just like the soundproof blankets and mats, all you have to do is buy a good anti-vibration pad from Amazon and place it under your refrigerator.
Now, if you are looking for some good options, I can even help you with that! The Washer Dryer Shock Absorbing Pad is highly recommended for placing under your fridge or any electrical appliance that you want to soundproof. Another good option is the Peacemaker Isolation pad that is a very durable and effective option for soundproofing your refrigerator!
5. Clean the condenser and fans
If your refrigerator is old or dirty, there is a chance that particles are stuck in some parts of the condenser, which is why the refrigerator is making weird noises. For that reason, you must clean the condenser, fans, and the condenser coil. Ensure you clean them regularly so that no dust or debris gets stuck in there.
For cleaning your condenser, check the user’s manual and follow the instructions carefully. The mechanics inside a refrigerator are quite complex, and you don’t want to mess with that! So you have to be very careful while doing this.
Here is a short video that can help you with cleaning the condenser coil.
How to clean a condenser fan?
For cleaning a condenser fan, here are some basic steps.
- First, make sure that your fridge is unplugged.
- Take off the rear access panel that is screwed to the back of your fridge.
- Check for any dust, debris, or solid particles in the area. This might be producing noise, and you can easily remove that to fix the problem.
- Run a vacuum cleaner over the whole area. I would recommend you to use a less powerful vacuum cleaner like Handvac for this purpose.
- Look for any damage may be on the fan blade. If it is damaged and not spinning properly, it could be a source of the noise coming from your fridge.
- If you do not find any damage, just clean the whole area with a clean dry cloth.
- Fix the access panel back to its place and turn the fridge on.
If the refrigerator is old, the condenser may be worn out and thus, produce a lot of noise. In that case, you will have to buy a new one for your refrigerator. The bad part is that condensers are usually very expensive, and you wouldn’t like to buy an expensive thing for an old refrigerator. If that is the case, I would recommend you to buy a new fridge instead.
That said, if you are looking for some cheaper options, you can go for some off-brand versions that can fit in most of the refrigerators. Just choose one wisely, and make sure it is in good working condition. Get it installed with the help of a professional and I think that would make a good difference – at least for some time.
6. Soundproof the wall behind the refrigerator
Soundproofing the compressor is a technical job. An easier way is to soundproof the wall behind your refrigerator. As the gap between the back of the fridge and the wall is not too much, this would make a huge difference. For this, you can use any good soundproofing material like MLV or an acoustic foam paneling like Rockwool would also do a good job.
If you are using MLV to soundproof the wall, try making a soundproof board first. The technique is simple:
- Cut a wooden board according to the size of your refrigerator (cut a few inches extra for good results).
- Fix the MLV on it with the help of nails or a good adhesive. Cover the board with acoustic foam (that’s optional).
- Attach this board on the wall behind your fridge and you are done.
Hopefully, you will observe a great change with this! For more details, I would recommend you to go through our article on how to soundproof a drywall. That might help you a lot with soundproofing the back wall.
7. Build a wooden cabinet or a shelving unit for your refrigerator
This requires some extra space in your kitchen, and of course, you need to have some technical knowledge for this. The idea behind this is simple; if you build a wooden cabinet, all the noise will stay in a closed area and this can serve as a good soundproofing option for your refrigerator. You can use timber to build a strong cabinet and install the inside with some good soundproofing material.
Here is a YouTube video that can help you with that. Just make sure that you leave some room for the air to move for ventilation purposes. The rest of it is quite easy.
8. Soundproof your refrigerator from the inside
You can save this option as the last one for two reasons: Soundproofing a refrigerator from the inside can reduce the internal space and also, it is not very hygienic. However, if there is no other option left and you feel that most of the noise comes from the inside, you can go for soundproofing it.
I would recommend you to use Mass Loaded Vinyl for this purpose. The technique for this is simple; just ensure to turn off the fridge and let it defrost before you start the process. Here are the steps:
- Clean and dry the inside of the fridge completely and remove all the food and shelves from it.
- Measure the area you want to cover with the Mass Loaded Vinyl with the help of a measuring tape.
- Fix the MLV carefully on the walls using adhesive glue. Make sure you do not cover any holes, grooves, or anything that has to be inside the refrigerator.
- Fix the shelves back and turn on the fridge. Monitor the thermometer and regulate the temperature accordingly.
If you are looking to soundproof the inside of the refrigerator, I would recommend you to combine it with soundproofing the back of the refrigerator as well. This would make a lot more difference in reducing noise, even if you do not cover it completely.
9. Fill in your refrigerator
If your fridge is empty, it would be noisier as a result of the compressor going on and off. If you keep the fridge filled, the noise from the compressor will be much reduced. This is more like an easy hack for soundproofing your refrigerator, if you don’t want to put much effort into it.
I’m sure you are probably wondering to yourself why an empty refrigerator is likely to be noisier than a full fridge. Well, the answer can be explained by a saying that we have in my family when we talk about people who gossip; hollow chambers make more noise.
10. Buy a new less noisy refrigerator
If your refrigerator is old, it won’t be unusual for it to be noisy. So, if all the above techniques fail to help you quiet your refrigerator, I would recommend that you buy a new one for yourself.
Now, if you are looking for a new refrigerator, you have to pay attention to a few things to make sure it doesn’t make any noise. These are:
The energy efficiency of the refrigerator: The refrigerators with good energy efficiency have a lot of compressors that can be a source of the noise. So if you are looking for a silent refrigerator, you might have to compromise on its energy efficiency.
The age of the fridge: If you are looking for a secondhand option, make sure it’s not too old. Old ones make a lot of noise. The lesser the age, the quieter it would be.
Check if it has a fan in it: A lot of small and compact refrigerators available these days do not have a fan in them. If you are looking for a quiet refrigerator, you can choose one with a fan.
User reviews: No one likes a noisy refrigerator. If a refrigerator is too noisy, people will definitely talk about it. Make sure you go through these so that you can choose the right option for yourself.
Some tips to prevent your fridge from being noisy
Even if you buy a new fridge for yourself, make sure you follow these easy tips and tricks to enjoying your refrigerator for a long time:
- Clean your refrigerator once in a while, just to make sure that every part is clean and working in a good condition. Check the condenser coils, fans, tubes, and the compressor to make sure that no dust or debris is stuck inside any of these parts.
- Always place your refrigerator on an even surface. If your refrigerator is placed on a hard surface like tiles, it may produce more sound as compared to when it is placed on a wooden surface. So relocating your fridge and choosing the best option can save a lot of your time and money.
- Get your refrigerator checked by a professional, as soon as you hear an unusual noise. Never delay this! There might be some kind of damage inside the electrical components of the refrigerator, which might cause a greater loss if not fixed on time.
- Keep the refrigerator manual with you at all times so that you know everything about its working.
The final words
I think I have covered everything for you in this article. All you need to do now is to observe and understand the noise coming from the fridge. If you have done that right, the rest of it is very easy. As you would have observed by now, soundproofing a refrigerator is not as complicated as you may have thought.
You can choose any of the techniques to soundproof the inside or outside of your fridge. However, if none of this works, buy a new one for yourself. Just make sure you choose the right one with a quiet compressor so that you can enjoy all the peace in the world. So, go ahead and say goodbye to all the noise from your refrigerator!