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How to Reduce Noise From Outside Air Conditioner in 5 Ways

Silent Home Hub How to Reduce Noise From Outside Air Conditioner

Are you sick and tired of noisy air coming out of your air conditioner unit? Is it destroying the peace of your living room or home office?

Well, we’ve got a list of ways you could consider before resorting to soundproofing your whole house. Some of these solutions may require some sacrifices, but the results will be rewarding.

Shall we quiet that machine down?

Table of Contents

Materials You Will Need

Before we get into some tips and details of how to reduce noise from outside air conditioner units, be sure to gather all these materials first.

Sound Blanket

Simply put, a sound blanket can work to REDUCE THE COMPRESSOR NOISE of your air conditioning units by ABSORBING ALL OF THE SOUND WAVES.

In even simpler words, a sound blanket should be able to work its noise reduction abilities by lowering down the noise level of your air conditioners to almost negligible levels.

It removes the noises, tones down the echo, and, more importantly, the sound reverberation!

Bamboo Wood

We’ll be getting into this a little bit deeper later on, so listen well!

But if there’s anything you have to know, it’s that a fence made of bamboo wood could work as a SOUND BARRIER surrounding your air conditioning unit.

You’re going to need a few pieces for the fence, enough to cover your outside airconditioner from all sides.

Mass Loaded Vinyl

Mass loaded vinyl (MLV) is a renowned material for soundproofing purposes, and it does just absolutely fine with air conditioners!

It’s a material used to block unwanted noises and reduce noise transmission levels.

5 Solutions on How to Reduce Noise From Outside Air Conditioner Units

1. Sound Blanket

If we’re talking common sense, the logical and simplest solution is to ADD LAYERS!

That’s exactly why noise from an upstairs room doesn’t usually reach the dining room; unless the walls are extremely thin.

Soundproofing your AC unit isn’t any different!

Choosing a Sound Blanket

You could use an acoustic sound blanket as a solution or opt for a blanket product specifically for your outside-air-conditioner-noise-reduction purposes.

This option saves you some bucks, so with a few steps, everyone around your house will be happy!

A sound blanket could typically reduce up to 40% of compressor sound level noise.

Tips for Choosing Models of Sound Blankets:

A few tips for choosing between models of sound blankets for your air conditioning unit is to pick one with HOOK AND LOOP CLOSURES.

This makes it easy to attach and ensure the noise compression unit.

You’ll also want to ask about how the blankets affect the AIR FLOW and AIR CIRCULATION in general.

That is, your A/C won’t be overheating due to the products you’re using. After all, we don’t want to have the problem of either us or the A/C unit burning under the sun.

2. Build a Fence Around A/C Unit

If you’re a bit skeptical about using a sound blanket, we present to you the ART OF FENCING!

Building a fence barrier around your A/C unit is a more effective improvement method, although it does take a bit more effort. Many popular heating, ventilation, and air conditioning or HVAC system units have barriers.

However, the concept is simple and straightforward. All you have to do is make sure the fence covers the air conditioners on every side!

Building a Fence: Bamboo Wood

If you make a 4-sided bamboo fence that’s enough to cover the A/C unit or HVAC system, there shouldn’t be anything to worry about!

Make sure to put this fence a few feet away from the AC, at least 1-2 ft at best.

This ensures that your sound barrier will provide quality air circulation properties and some good noise reduction abilities.

And you should know, proper air circulation is ESSENTIAL in any home!

Building a Fence: Greenery

Prefer to be a little bit more green and healthy? We get it, but your greens aren’t just great for food!

By locating some bushes to the side of your air conditioner unit, you’re also able to reduce noise from outside air conditioner units.

This gives a similar effect to the bamboo wood, acting as a barrier with a lot of design!

Some people actually use a mix of the fence technique with the greenery. Besides reducing noise from the air conditioner sound, it also gives quite the sight.

Neat, huh? And using greenery for sound reduction shouldn’t cost you that much, either. Even for an HVAC system!

Building a Fence: Mass Loaded Vinyl

This one’s quite the classic, as MLV is a well-known noise reduction technology material. It doesn’t cost much too.

Yes, you could simply wrap your AC unit with MLV at all four of its sides, and it should be good to go!

What Happens If You Build It Wrong?

There are only a few different ways you could get a fence for reducing noise from outside air conditioner units incorrectly.

One of them is building it wrong.

You want to make sure you’re covering all sides. Failing to do so will contradict the point of how to reduce noise with a fence; you’re going to get the opposite result.

Yes, sound reverberations, amplified sounds, and noise all around the place.

3. Positioning On Suitable Surface

If you suspect that most of the noise from your A/C unit comes from the vibration, then you might want to RELOCATE YOUR A/C to a steady surface.

Positioning it on the steadier ground should reduce the vibrations that the A/C and the surface are making with each other.

Still suspicious of the new surface causing those vibration sounds? USE FOAM TO EVEN OUT THE RATTLING SOUNDS your AC unit is making.

TAKE NOTE: If the noise isn’t coming from the vibrations the AC unit is making with the ground, then this method won’t solve your problem!

4. Water Dripping Noises

Are the subtle but annoying noises of water dripping familiar to you?

This problem might be a little bit more common when your AC is placed against the wall.

Luckily, you can fix this tricky problem with a bottle and one of those hoses of yours!

How to Nullify Water Dripping Noises: Bottle and Hose

Step 1: Attach Hose

Grab the hose of your air conditioners, and attach that to the hose you picked up just now.

Make sure to TWIST THE MATERIAL PROPERLY, as you won’t want any of the water dripping from the hoses instead.

Step 2: Plastic Bottle

Now, it’s time to figure out how to reduce the noise!

Pick up the other side of your hose, and simply insert that into the opening of your plastic bottle.

The bottle should nullify the noise coming from the dripping and reduce the noise at a greater speed at better quality once the bottle has some water in it.

Why Does This Work?

Remember how when water drips straight to the ground, and it makes a splashing noise?

That doesn’t occur when water is dropping to a pool full of water, doesn’t it?

That’s because there’s already a certain amount of volume in the container. With this, the small particles won’t be crashing down to a solid ground anymore.

Instead, it bounces off.

That’s general chemistry for you, we guess? Or is it physics?

Check Where the Noise Is Coming From

A few times, an AC unit makes noise because the leak is coming out somewhere it’s not supposed to be leaking at.

There’s also the possibility of it leaking something it shouldn’t be. Let’s take a refrigerant as an example.

In these cases, it’s actually quite a good thing that your AC is making a lot of noise. This way, you and the people around and in your home are easily alerted of the situation.

If you suspect that the dripping noise isn’t from water, immediately CALL YOUR AC COMPANY to your home and have it fixed.

5. Right Location for an Air Conditioner Unit

Sometimes, you’ll feel as if you can’t do anything about how to reduce noise from outside air conditioner units.

Perhaps you don’t have any other choice but to relocate your AC unit in the first place and move it away from certain rooms (like the living room).

By certain rooms in your home, we mean balancing between your bedrooms, dining room, and the home of your neighbors.

This should cause you less trouble, as you or your neighbors won’t hear the units in the first place.

An excellent location to place your AC unit would be at the BACK OF YOUR HOME, away from people.

You could, of course, also just solve this whole problem by just investing in a high-quality, quiet wall air conditioner.

Where NOT to Put Your AC Unit:

For people who aren’t experts with air conditioners, it’d be in the best interest to CONSULT A PROFESSIONAL about where to locate your AC.

But if you happen to be quite the stubborn kid, here’s a list of ideas you should avoid immediately.

So here’s what NOT to do:

Between Two Walls

This one is a no-brainer.

Putting your AC unit in between two walls is simply not an option, and it ruins everything your efforts have done.

By doing this, the noise will be amplified as it will continue to bounce between the walls.

Moreover, some noise will also reflect in different directions you wouldn’t even begin to expect.

Remember your physics class? Yeah, there are a lot of vectors involved when it comes to waves. And your AC unit won’t be any different.

Save you, your neighbors, and the people in your home the cost of noisy speed blower fans and poor air circulation.

Alongside Materials Which Reverberate

It’s not just your air conditioner that should be prone to reverberations.

In fact, if your AC happens to be beside a material that causes reverberations, then you’re going to want to relocate it again anyway.

Even if it’s just surrounded by one wrong material in one area, it’s going to cause some problems.

And no one wants that and everything else that comes with it.


Man fixing an outside air conditioner

There are, no doubt, many things you could do to reduce the noise from your outside air conditioner.

Kind of a lot, at least.

Choose a soundproofing method that meets your problems best, and don’t be shy of contacting a professional to help you out.

And don’t forget, if worse comes to worst, the best option is just to block noise and soundproof the whole house and everything that comes in its way!


July 12, 2021 – updated article links, removed product links

June 21, 2021 – fixed article formatting and content, updated article links, optimized content

About the Author


Andrea has always been bombarded by the hustle and bustle outside her home. Living in the city doesn’t get any quieter. The never ending noise from construction, traffic, and dogs barking on the streets day in and day out drove Andrea to a breaking point.

For 3 years, Andrea committed herself to studying DIY hacks, performing soundproofing experiments, and installing noise-free solutions. Now, she lives a quiet life free of the stress from noisy environments.

She hopes to share this knowledge so that others don’t have to endure the noise reigning in their ears and live a peaceful, stress-free life.