An air compressor is a must-have, whether you’re into DIY projects or it’s a question of mega-scale industrial assignments. The thing that sticks out like a sore thumb is that some of them can be offensively loud. So much so that sometimes you want to put a sock in its mouth quite literally to shut that ruckus-causing thing up.
A number of reasons could be responsible for their loudness. Today we will share with you a few methods that will counteract the noisiness of your air compressor. Keep reading to know how you can effectively quieten your air compressor.
Why an Air Compressor Makes Noise?
Before you jump to noise-reduction tips, you need to know about the factors responsible for the obnoxious loudness of your air compressor. Some most common causes are friction, vibration of the machine, use of cheap parts, air intake and exhaust components, placement of the air compressor, and type of the air compressor. Generally, dual-piston compressors – reciprocating compressors – are notorious for being the loudest.
How much Loudness is Tolerable?
When to call the noise level beyond the threshold of tolerance? An air compressor making below 70dBA noise is tolerable because volume ranging from 60 – 70 dB sounds something between a regular conversation and a classroom chatter. This much loudness is acceptable, especially in a home environment. However, most cheap air compressors or 1HP units usually have around 80 to 90 dBA or even higher.
It’s a downright ruckus. According to OSHA, extended exposure to 85dB loudness will leave you completely deaf. Not to mention the noise explosion will make you deal with whiny and pissed neighbours. So, now you know when it gets too loud for comfort.
How to Make Your Air Compressor Quiet
Now that you know what makes an air compressor noisy and when the noise level goes beyond the tolerable limit, we will give you some easy and affordable cheats to shut your air compressor up.
Modify Air Intake
The noise of air intake is the loudest, so you need to deal with that component first. A little tweaking with that part can give you the desired results. Install an intake muffler on the air intake pipe. The gadget contains a silencing tool and an air filter. This technique might seem complicated but could chop around 2 to 4 decibels off the noise slab. Worth the effort, right? Make sure you pick the accurate pipe thread size for your compressor’s air intake head.
Another trick is to move the air intake component of the compressor to open space, preferably outdoors. Get a longer air intake pipe or connect a longer air hose to it so that you can transport it to open space, like a backyard. By doing so, the compressor will draw air from outdoors and not a closed room – the process becomes extremely noisy in closed quarters. The distance further muffles the noise.
Use Rubber to Reduce Vibration
Rubber is famous for its sound absorption quality. The use of rubber for your air compressor will prevent the sound of vibration, shock and impact from spreading and therefore dampen the overall noise of the compressor.
You can apply rubber grommets on the motor to mute its vibration when running. Also, place a rubber mat between the air compressor and the surface it is placed on to prevent the unit’s body from constantly hitting the hard floor, eliminating the impact sound.
Similarly, you can also install paddings on the walls surrounding the air compressor to prevent echo. Consider doing that when placing the air compressor in a corner or small room.
Lubricate the Bearings
Machines with movable parts employ bearings. These bearings move in different directions when the machine starts running, which causes friction. The same is the case with air compressors. If you don’t contain the friction, not only the noise will grow higher, the metal parts of the air compressor will also start decaying. The air compressor will die before time. You need to lubricate the bearings and metal components of the unit to minimize friction. Proper and quality lubrication will both effectively muffle the noise and extend the unit’s life. Also, regularly clean its air filters to prevent the accumulation of dust in the air intake passage. Else, the blockage will force the unit to run harder and louder.
Cover the Compressor’s Body
This is the simplest method for silencing your air compressor. You can either use an old carpet or a sound-dampening material to wrap around the compressor’s entire body. This approach will sever the unit’s contact with the surrounding surfaces, and you will notice a significant reduction in the voice level of your compressor. Budget-conscious customers prefer this technique as it is inexpensive as well as easily available online.
Imprison the Air Compressor in a Soundproof Box
Literally locking up the air compressor in a spare room away from your worksite or in a soundproof box will definitely quieten it down. Soundproof boxes for air compressors are available in the market. You just have to find the one that best fits your unit’s dimensions.
A budgeted way is to make one from scratch right at home using concrete blocks, cardboard, plywood or some fire-resistant material. Make sure the construction has proper ventilation and ample room to comfortably accommodate your air compressor. Otherwise, the air compressor will burn up and might catch fire or explode.
Speaking of hazards, you should always use earplugs or ear mufflers to prevent your hearing from getting damaged.
Although silencing the air compressor seems a taxing job, the above-listed tips show otherwise. The use of a few of these techniques will allow you to bring down the volume of your air compressor to comfortable levels. Investing in an expensive and quieter air compressor is always an option. However, it isn’t feasible for on-budget owners. If that’s the case, then these do-it-yourself tricks are your only way to get out of this unpleasant situation.