How to Make an Air Compressor Quiet in 6 Easy Ways

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Silent Home Hub How to Make an Air Compressor Quiet

Most people have problems with air compressors being too loud and too noisy, but there are many ways to get an air compressor quieter.

The easiest way would be to get a new ultra-quiet air compressor model. However, if that’s not an option for you, DIY is one option that’s always available.

For a more in-depth explanation of how to make an air compressor quiet, here are a few hacks you can use to soundproof it.

Table of Contents

How to Make an Air Compressor Quiet: 6 DIY Methods

There are many different options for how to make an air compressor quiet, such as:

  • Covering the intake with a muffler
  • Blocking the compression
  • Moving the intake
  • Placing rubber grommets around the motor can help make an air compressor quieter

Place your enclosure in an area of your house that is furthest away from where you usually stay.

Ensure the air compressors are not in contact with any rigid surfaces to prevent noisiness from vibrations.

Regardless of which option you choose, here are the 6 most useful HACKS and tips for air compressor noise reduction.

You can try them all out to see which one is the best way for you to make your air compressor quieter.

Let’s get right to it.

1. Use Rubber Grommets on the Air Compressor

Rubber has many uses, and it’s also widely known as a quality soundproofing material.

One of the main causes of noise in air compressors is vibrations from the air compressor mount and the floor.

Since rubber is an excellent insulator and has isolation characteristics, a rubber grommet will take the compressor’s vibrations and dampen them, leading to noise reduction.

So here’s something you can do:

One of the steps you can take to quiet your compressors is to install a rubber grommet below the compressor mount.

The rubber will prevent vibration from causing any noisiness and make your air compressor quieter.

That’s not all.

The rubber keeps the actual compressor from hitting the floor, so the amount of noise is lessened.

Additionally, because the rubber will keep the air compressor from hitting the floor, it also protects the equipment from further damage.

The rubber ABSORBS shocks caused by the compressor and keeps your floors safe from possible damage.

2. Tighten Any Loose Parts on the Compressor

One of the first things you should check for when you want to make an air compressor quiet is to see if any loose parts or screws are moving inside the air compressor.

If there are any loose parts, they will cause noise once you start the air compressor.

Although this is not the most common cause of noise in air compressors, it is still ESSENTIAL to check on them, not only for noise but for the good upkeep of your air compressor.

An air compressor has several screws and bolts it needs to work, all of which could come loose after extended use of the machine.

Tightening these screws could make an air compressor quiet.

If this is the cause of noisiness in your air compressor, it would be best to call a technician or a handyman to fix this problem and show you how to maintain your air compressors properly.

3. Use a Soundproof Box

If your compressor is causing a serious noise problem, placing it in a soundproof box may be the best way to dampen noise from the compressors’ surrounding areas.

You can easily find soundproof boxes in your local hardware store or shopping centers, but a soundproof box is also easily made and does not involve too many steps.

Now, what in the world is a soundproof box??

As complicated as it sounds, you can make one YOURSELF!

All you need are some of the following:

  • Plywood
  • Screws
  • A drill
  • Some soundproofing foam

It could also be a good idea to use fire-resistant materials for your sound compressor box — materials such as gypsum board or concrete blocks.

You simply need to measure your air compressor and build a slightly bigger box than those measurements.

Your sound compressor box needs to be BIGGER than your air compressor and have extra holes drilled into it to prevent overheating.

This is the simplest and most straightforward way to create a soundproof box.

Some Reminders Before Building Your Soundproof Box:

Before building your sound compressor box, you need to remember: 

  • You should never restrict any airflow
  • You need to provide proper ventilation for the air compressor
  • Do not use any insulation material on or by the air compressor’s air tank. The air tank helps to condense moisture in the heated air produced by the pump, and this needs to remain uninsulated to function well.

You’ll find several different ideas online for other soundproofing boxes or sound dampening cabinets — from full compressor rooms to more simple ideas like using plywood or old freezers.

The choice for how you build your soundproofing boxes is entirely up to you, your capabilities, the amount of time you have, and what will work with your lifestyle.

READ MORE: Soundproof Generator Box: DIY Guide on How to Contain Noise

Bonus Tip: Use Sound Blankets to Wrap the Air Compressor

For added effectiveness to the sound proof box, using sound blankets around your air compressor will absorb much of the noise caused by any rattling or roaring of the compressor.

Don’t believe us? Here’s why.

Sound blankets absorb sound and reduce noise by creating a sound barrier.

Their dense and weighted design work for noise reduction by stopping sound waves from passing through their material.

They have gained much popularity, especially in home studios where recording happens. The fibers in these blankets absorb and dampen sound.

If any part of the soundproofing box is still not absorbing the noise levels very well, then you have two options:

  • You may place the blanket over that portion to add insulation and lessen the noise level.
  • You may also use the sound blanket as the actual material lining the inside of your soundproofing box or enclosure.

4. Install an Intake Silencer

Much of the pulsating air compressor noise actually comes from the compressor air intake.

When the compressor rotates, air rushes through an air intake component such as a reed or a flapper valve which shakes and causes vibrations, thus causing the noise.

Sounds painful, doesn’t it?

Air intake silencers or mufflers are a good idea if this is the particular cause of noise in your air compressor.

Air compressor intake mufflers are usually made up of an air filter and a silencing device.

The air intake is pushed through tubes or sound dampening materials that prevent the vibrations from causing too much noise while still maximizing the airflow in the air compressor.

Noise reduction via input silencer or air intake muffler is rather typical, and you can commonly find these mufflers in most hardware stores.

Here’s what we recommend:

Use a two-sided air hose and place your damper on one end.

You will also need to maintain your air compressor intake silencer along with the actual air compressor. Once you have purchased it, consider it as another one of the parts of your air compressor.

5. Lubricate the Joints of Your Air Compressor

Lubing joints is another way of maintaining the proper upkeep of your air compressor. This is an excellent way to help keep your air compressor quiet.

Like any other machine, air compressors are made up of metal pieces.

These parts will begin to wear and tear with continued extended use.

If your air compressor elements start to erode, they will wear against each other and produce grating metal sounds. This not only causes compressor noise but also damages the compressor.

Because of this, make sure your air compressor is adequately lubricated at all times. Use the necessary lubricant for your air compressors to prevent further noise and damage.

6. Clean the Air Filters

One of the things that can cause noise in your air compressor could be the air filters.

The compressor uses its filters to remove any dirt particles from the air from entering the compressor and possibly causing damage.

Even though air filters are supposed to protect the compressor, a dirty filter could create compressor noise and damage it.

A dirty and clogged filter in an air compressor makes it difficult for the compressor to operate smoothly.

Could you breathe well in a polluted atmosphere? You’d be coughing the entire way through it.

The air that struggles to pass through the filter and the compressor will make the compressor noisier.

Make it a point to regularly check on your filters to ensure they are in good condition. This will lessen any noise and keep your compressors working better longer.

What are Noise Levels in Air Compressors?

Before knowing how to make an air compressor quiet, it’s crucial to know the kind of noise it is causing. You should also know how loud is too loud.

The international standard of measure for sound is in decibels.

If the compressors are making noise below 70 decibels, this is still considered tolerable. Depending on the unit you buy, the level of noise may vary.

Some compressors are not made to be quiet, and these compressors can make noise up to 95 decibels, which is similar to being in a noisy bar. When you’re at home, that isn’t the kind of environment you want to relax in.

It’s ideal to keep the compressors below the 70-decibel measurement. It is easy to find out what level your compressors are by using apps on your phone.

Once you have figured out the level of noise of your compressor, then you can start planning how to make the air compressor quieter.

What Causes Noise in Air Compressors?

Several factors cause an air compressor’s noise. When finding out how to make an air compressor quiet, you should check for any of these problems.

Vibrations – Rotary or Reciprocating Compressors

Different types of compressors have different vibration levels. These types include:

  • Centrifugal compressors
  • Rotary screw compressors
  • Reciprocating compressors
  • Turbo compressors

For example, a rotary screw compressor is a gas or air compressor positive displacement unit, meaning that it gets energy from compressing gathered air into a certain pressure.

This type of compressor achieves high air pressure and may have less vibration than a dynamic displacement unit that gets its energy from moving parts.

As you’re well aware…

Moving parts create that itchy, rattling sound that’s almost intolerable.

Be sure you have assembled your compressor properly; otherwise, there’s a greater chance of it vibrating unnecessarily and causing more noisiness.

Vibrations, no matter how large or small, will make sounds.

Therefore it is best to minimize these vibrations through proper assembly or the use of rubber and rubber grommets, as mentioned above.

Materials Used in the Compressor

The materials used to build the compressors impact their performance significantly.

If you choose a cheap compressor, then most likely, the parts used for it will also be of lower quality.

The metal used will likely be thinner, and thinner metal VIBRATES MORE than heavier materials, creating more noise that’s harder to prevent.

Some manufacturers create compressors with higher quality materials. Even though they may be more expensive, it may be enough that they don’t cause too much noise disturbance in your home.

Where It Is Placed

Where you place your compressor contributes to a lot of the noise you hear from it.

If you place it on a hard surface, it’s more likely to vibrate stronger and cause more noise.

Similarly, if you have placed the compressor on an uneven surface, it will be unstable and move around.

Placing the compressor on an even and cushioned surface will allow you to keep it as quiet as possible.

Intake

One of the main contributors to noisiness in compressors is intake.

Like how a vacuum is noisy when it takes in air, compressors also take in air and cause some noisiness.

This can be remedied but not prevented because compressors need to take in air for them to work.

Exhaust

Among other things/factors, the exhaust is considered one of the loudest factors in a working compressor.

You need to ensure that the exhaust is functioning properly. Otherwise, it will be deafening when the compressor is used.

Conclusion

Zoom in air compressor

Air compressors, although much needed, can cause a lot of grief. However, remember that you are not the only one who suffers through these difficulties.

You do not need to use all of the tips mentioned above to make your compressor quieter. You can try some (two or three) in conjunction after finding which one works best for your particular unit.

Remember, taking good care of your air compressors will ensure not only a decrease of noisiness, but also prolonged use for the future.

If you’d rather not go through these DIY solutions, you can opt to buy a quiet air compressor instead. Check out our review of the Quietest Air Compressors on the Market.

About the Author

andrea_adams

Andrea Adams

Fidgeting with gadgets and electronics has long been Andrea’s expertise. She has assembled, disassembled, and tweaked almost every type of device you can think of. Through the years, she has come to realize that technology should never be fussy. And that’s where her interest in quiet products stemmed from. She hopes to become your go-to person for insight when deciding on noiseless goods to purchase.