This is a complete guide on 5 ways of soundproofing an air conditioner.
So, your air conditioner is killing you. Okay, maybe not literally. But the noise it keeps on making is blowing your mind. Heck, I’ve gone through the same experience myself. I surely don’t want to go through it again.
However, you’re probably still going through it, and you want to make it stop. You want to get rid of all the incredibly annoying sounds and enjoy some quiet time. But you might be wondering whether soundproofing an air conditioner is even possible. Well, I’ve got the answer for you.
Soundproofing an air conditioner is as easy as A-B-C, and there are ways to go about it. You can use a soundproofing blanket or even build a fence around the AC to reduce the noise. Placing it at the right location can also help minimize the noise that is bothering you.
There are several other tips and tricks as well, that can help in soundproofing the AC effectively and cheaply. In this article, I will be sharing with you everything that you need to know about soundproofing an air conditioner. But first, let’s start with a backstory that got me thinking of soundproofing an air conditioner.
Last summer, I was working on a project from home. I would spend a lot of my time in the bedroom where an old air conditioner is installed. It worked well as far as the cooling was concerned.
The only thing that bothered me was the weird noise it would make every time I turned it on. This noise distracted me a lot from my work. To fix that, I decided to use some of my technical skills. Luckily, I was able to do that without even spending too much of the money.
I have all the techniques I used right here in this article. So, without any delay, let’s just dive in to learn everything about it!
SOUNDPROOFING AN AIR CONDITIONER – 6 COMMON SOUNDS THEY MAKE
Now, before we move on to discussing the soundproofing techniques, you need to know the types of noise that an AC can make and its possible causes. Identifying the type of noise is essential because there might be some technical problems in the AC that is the main reason for the noise. It could be a broken or worn out part. Whatever it is, you would need to identify it before the functioning of the AC is affected.
Just remember that the typical humming sound of the AC is due to the working of the compressor. However, if you observe any unusual noise, it is recommended to get a professional to check it.
Below are the typical sounds an air conditioner makes and their possible causes.
A POPPING SOUND
You might hear a popping sound in your AC due to these reasons:
- The compressor is taking in the liquid refrigerant
- The blade of the motor fan is hitting something in the AC
- There can be any electrical problem like loose wires in the AC connection
If you hear any such sound, you must immediately shut down your AC and call a professional to check it for any breakage, leakage, or electrical problem.
A LOUD VIBRATING SOUND
Most of the time, the loud ratting or the vibrating sound is due to the compressor, which is the noisiest part of an AC. Another reason for this loud noise could be the fan blades. These fan blades can be easily replaced if they are faulty.
However, if you are just bothered by the compressor’s loud noise, you can use a soundproofing blanket to fix it (I will be discussing that in the later section to keep reading for more information).
Another tip that can help you solve this problem is to ensure that you f AC is fixed correctly in the window frame, and you have covered all gaps in-between. This can reduce the noise due to the vibration of the AC, and you will no longer hear the loud vibrating noise.
A LOUD SCREECHING SOUND
If you have a window AC, you might have heard this a lot of times. There are two main reasons for this. The first is that the front grill of your window AC might not be installed properly. The second reason is the dirty grills.
Therefore, if you hear any such noise, check if the front grill is installed correctly. Also, check if there is dirt stuck inside it, and it needs to be cleaned. If that’s the case, you can simply wash it with water a couple of times before you no longer hear the noise.
However, if you still hear the noise, it can be due to the worn-out ball bearings inside the AC. This can be a possible reason if your AC is old, and the ball bearings are no longer rolling correctly. In that case, you can call a professional to help you solve this problem.
A LOUD SCREAMING SOUND
If you ever hear a loud screaming sound coming from your air conditioner, you must immediately turn it off and call a professional. This loud sound could be due to the pressure build-up inside the AC and is very dangerous if it keeps on working.
A BUZZING SOUND (WHEN IT IS TURNED ON, BUT IT DOESN’T START)
This can be due to two reasons. One, if the capacitor is dying and two, if the fan motor of the compressor is dying. You can check this by a simple technique.
Just take a wooden stick and rotate the blades of the compressor unit. If it starts working, this means that these two components are dying and need to be replaced. If it doesn’t start, it means that the motor has already died and is no longer working.
Here, you must keep in mind that if the technique doesn’t work and the AC keeps on buzzing but doesn’t start, turn it off ASAP, or it can completely burn the AC motor.
A CLICKING SOUND
The clicking sound can be due to two significant reasons:
- An electrical issue in the AC
- Any obstruction in the fan blades
You can confirm if there is an electrical issue in the AC if you hear the clicking sound when the power-point is connected, but the AC is not turned on. This can be due to a wiring issue, and you must get it checked by an electrician.
However, if you hear a constant sound, it could be due to any obstruction of the fan blades. All you need to do is remove whatever that’s blocking the fan-blades to get rid of the noise.
Alright, so once you have identified the noise, you can quickly figure out if there is any technical issue or it’s just the usual sound of the compressor that is bothering you. If you find everything normal and yet you are disturbed by the AC noise, you can go through my soundproofing techniques to fix that quickly and efficiently at home.
Let’s have a look at these techniques to learn everything about “soundproofing an air conditioner”!
5 EASY WAYS OF SOUNDPROOFING AN AIR CONDITIONER
If your AC makes a lot of noise, you can easily soundproof it using some cheap techniques, rather than putting in a lot of money to buy a new one.
Here are all the methods you can use for soundproofing your air conditioner effectively and cheaply at home.
- Use a good sound-absorbing blanket
- Place a fence behind the AC
- Choose the best surface for your AC
- Null the dripping water noise
- Choose the right location for your AC
Now, let us discuss each of these in detail.
USE A GOOD SOUND ABSORBING BLANKET
If you have some knowledge about soundproofing, you would know that it’s all about putting up layers of soundproofing materials to reduce the noise. The same goes for an AC as well.
You can use the acoustic blankets to reduce the AC noise to significant levels. The best thing about this technique is that it is very cheap and easy to install. Just choose an excellent acoustic blanket from Amazon or any other market and fix it over your AC.
You can do it easily with the help of the hooks and loop closures. This will reduce about 40% of the compressor noise, and you will experience a vast difference yourself! Just remember that you do not block the airflow of the AC or else, it will overheat.
My recommendation for the best acoustic blanket would definitely be the Brinmar soundproof blanket. This blanket fits in almost all sizes and models of a compressor and is very easy to install.
You just have to open up your AC unit using the screwdrivers to access the compressor. Then, with the help of hook and loop straps, you can cover it up nicely so that there are no gaps left.
You can even overlap the blanket and cover the sides as well for even better results. Once you do that, fix back the AC unit, and you will notice a considerable difference within no time. The good thing is there are lots of places to get air conditioner blankets. If you want to, you can make a purchase here.
Watch this video to get a better idea of how Brinmar blankets help in reducing the AC noise.
This option helps in reducing a considerable amount of noise but does not entirely block it. For that, you can combine this technique with any of the other methods for even better results.
PLACE A FENCE BEHIND THE AC
There are two options for this. You can build a soundproofing fence yourself, or you can simply purchase one from Amazon or any other market.
This first option is the hard one, but you can definitely go for it if you like doing such work. Another reason you might go with building a soundproofing fence is if you’re low on a budget. All you have to do is build a fence that is high enough to cover the AC entirely from all the sides.
For that, you can either use the bamboo wood or simply place bushes and shrubs around the air conditioner for soundproofing it. Here is an article that can help you with building a fence using bamboo wood. <<—
Mass Loaded Vinyl is another good option for building a soundproof fence. You can purchase the MLV materials here. Anyway, I came across an in-depth article that goes over building a fence for soundproofing an air conditioner. So, if you want to learn more, you can check it out here.
Whichever material you use, just remember to keep at a distance of at least a few meters to let the airflow from the AC. If you didn’t consider that, the AC might overheat and burn, so that is very, very important!
CHOOSE THE BEST SURFACE FOR YOUR AC
Most of the time, the noise from an AC is due to the vibrations of its compressor while it’s working. If you don’t rightly position the AC on a smooth surface, the noise will become more prominent.
To fix this problem, you can use the soundproof rubber foams to position the AC properly. Once placed correctly, you will not hear any unpleasant vibrating noise.
NULL THE DRIPPING WATER NOISE
This used to be very disturbing for me, especially when I was trying to concrete on my work. With a simple, straightforward technique, I was able to fix it in no time. The method requires just a bottle and a hose.
All you have to do is simply attach your hose with the AC hose and put the other end in a plastic bottle. All the dripping water will now fill up in the plastic container, and you won’t hear any noise.
However, a few of you might like the sound of dripping water. If you’re one of them, just skip this option.
CHOOSE THE RIGHT LOCATION FOR YOUR AC
I know that this option may not be relevant for those who have already installed their ACs in a fixed position. But, if you get a chance, just choose your AC location wisely. For instance, you can put it somewhere at the back of your house so that the noise doesn’t disturb anyone. This easy tip can even save you a few bucks, so I think you must consider it whenever it’s feasible.
With that said, if you want to learn more about keeping your home quiet, you can check out my 3000-word article on How to Soundproof Your Home. And if you just want a quieter room when you sleep, you can check my step-by-step guide on How to soundproof your bedroom.
To summarize everything, you’d need to choose a good location for your AC and use a good sound absorbing blanket to soundproof your AC. Also, placing the AC behind a fence and on a flat surface will help reduce the noise it makes.
So, there you have it – the 5 ways of soundproofing an air conditioner. As you can see, the techniques we explored are straightforward and don’t cost much to do. Hopefully, one or two of the tips will do the trick for you. If not, you can combine all five of them. However, if you think soundproofing an air conditioner is out of your league, you can always get a professional to do it.
Best of luck!