How to Quiet a Noisy Air Conditioner: 5 Tips
Many people like seek to refuge from the hot summer sun inside in the comfort of a climate controlled by air conditioning. With temperatures in recent years breaking all known records, sometimes air conditioners have to work harder to keep you cool. That can be a noisy affair, making it difficult to watch television, chat with family or even think!
It is also worth considering the impact of a noisy machine on neighbours and wildlife. Whether a central cooling system or a window box unit, there are a number of simple strategies that can help to quiet a noisy air conditioning unit. We’ve prepared a list with some of the best ways for how to quiet a noisy air conditioner:
1. Sound absorbing blanket
It is useful to remember that sound waves have physical properties and as they travel through the air unobstructed, they will be louder than when they are physically blocked or muffled. Safely putting layers in between a noisy air conditioner and everything else can make a difference. Find a soundproofing blanket suitable to apply to a frame or fence around the noise unit. This basic soundproofing is inexpensive and fairly simple to accomplish. Acoustic blankets can be purchased from climate control experts, hardware stores, music stores and other big box retailers.
The soundproofing blanket will diminish noises coming from the unit. Use hook-and-loop fasteners (popular variations of the product offered under the brand name Velcro) to seal the blanket in place while still allowing easy access to the unit. The same soundproofing method can be applied to a window unit.
Be careful that the unit does not become overheated, and make sure that the sound blanket effectively covers the unit without having a negative impact on the working of the machine. Be sure also to leave space for the air intake portion of the unit to ensure proper air flow and prevent overheating.
2. Make a stable platform for the air conditioning unit
Noises might be coming from vibrations caused by the workings of the machine. This can be true for window or outdoor units. Building a stable support for the unit will reduce any noise related to a rumbling or vibrating A/C unit. For window units, you might surround the unit with foam at points where it comes into contact with the frame.
A stable wooden platform supported by sound muffling foam or even Styrofoam can be useful outdoors as well. The trick will be in finding the correct position for the unit to perform at its best with minimal noise.
3. Build a Fence or Frame
Framing or fencing off a unit can really help with a noisy air conditioner. A small wooden fence no more than four feet tall will do the job, as long as the fencing is higher than the outdoor unit and leaves space for adequate air flow and ventilation. Maple and bamboo are useful and inexpensive woods. You can also cover the air conditioner from every side, as a simple wall or two-sided cover might have the unintended effect of amplifying sounds.
You can also build a cover for better results. Building a box around a window unit will help reduce noise and keep the unit clean as well. For the best results leave at least a foot or two between the unit and the fencing. This will allow for optimal air circulation and better reduce noise. You can use sound proofing material on the inside of the fence to further reduce sound.
4. Plant shrubs, hedges, bushes or small trees
Plants are great ways for how to quiet a noisy air conditioner. Not only can they camouflage the unit, but they serve a function of muffling sound much like the fencing or soundproof blanket. Shrubbery, hedges, bushes and small trees like evergreens are great options. As with fencing, a distance of a foot or two is ideal to allow space for air flow. These plants will also provide shade that can reduce heat.
5. Upgrade Your Air Conditioner
It is important to note that these suggestions are for repairing noisy air conditioners that are otherwise operating normally. Abnormal noises emanating from an air conditioner can be a sign that something is wrong.
If you hear a hissing sound experienced with diminished cooling function, this is probably due to a leak in the refrigerant. A humming sound might signal an electrical problem. The same is true of a buzzing noise or metallic sounds, which can also be associated with cooling mechanisms. For all these irregular problems, see to it that the unit looked at by a professional soon. It may be time to upgrade.
Air conditioning units have come a long way in the last ten years with newer units outperforming old as they have become more self-consciously energy efficient. If an air conditioning unit is built to last about 20 years, experts suggest that after ten it might be time to replace or upgrade. To help otherwise normally functioning air conditioners that is making too much noise, here are some winning strategies to try.