How to Reduce Noise from Outside Air Conditioner
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An air conditioner is a handy thing that nowadays every household has. They are basically not that noisy, but sometimes they might hit your nerves in the matter of seconds.
That’s not all. They often annoy your neighbors as well. So, don’t be surprised if you see your neighbors knocking on your door cause of your old AC system.
But an even worse situation is to have to constantly hear noise from your neighbours air conditioner.
Even though they are quite welcome during the summer, they are popular for generating a lot of noise as well. This relates mostly to some older models.
When it comes to new models, they are kind of better insulated and a lot quieter.
With a lot better insulation around the compressor, drastically improved fan design that is meant for silent working, and a better-designed vent, they are all that you need to cool yourself down and keep a peaceful environment.
In the sea of improvements, there are variable speed blower fans as well. This all impacts the overall noise of AC. In other words, new AC will run at a lower speed which will logically make them quieter.
With that said, you should probably look for some new AC, but only if every other soundproofing method fails.
Now, I will talk a bit more about soundproofing your current air conditioner.
Frankly, there are few effective ways of soundproofing it, but if it fails, you can always search for a newer version that runs (as we explained) a lot quieter.
Let’s get straight to the point and see all of the possible solutions to help you have your quiet outside time as soon as possible.
How to Reduce Noise from Outside Air Conditioner
What You'll Be Needing:
1. Use a sound absorbing blanket
Generally, when you want to soundproof something, you need to add several layers in between it and the rest of the world. Therefore, soundproofing your outside air conditioner will not differ.
Adding a layer of soundproofing defense is an easy job when it comes to soundproofing air conditioner.
So, you can use for example an acoustic blanket. The sound blankets are quite handy things when it comes to soundproofing.
These particularly designed soundproofing blankets for air conditioner are somewhat cheap and will in a few simple steps make you and your neighbor happy.
It will reduce up to 40% of compressor noise and bring the noise to the ignoring levels.
For example, this one is the one that I would personally recommend. It can fit different models and sizes of air conditioners.
With its hook and loop closures, you will easily attach it. If you are worried about the air circulation, fear not! This one will ensure the maximum when it comes to this matter as well.
Of course, this thing is quite important. Air conditioners that are working constantly can overheat if there is not enough air flow.
Since this one is a frankly inexpensive solution, I would recommend you to try with it first. Nevertheless, it might be everything that you need to reduce the noise.
At the same time, it’s also one of the most inexpensive soundproofing ways to eliminate air conditioner noise or at least reduce it drastically.
Of course, if this one fails to sound isolate (and it shouldn’t, at least at some level), there are few alternatives that you can try.
2. Install a Fence
Building a fence can do the job. It’s a harder method than the previous one, but more effective surely.
Well, the logic behind this one is simple- just make the fence high enough to cover your air conditioner from all sides.
Basically, anything that you use as a material can do the job. The problem is “how should you use it”. For example, building just 2-sided fence can be a double-edged sword.
Lush greenery can be helpful as well. If you place some bushes and shrubs around your air conditioner, you will achieve the similar effect.
With the distance of at least 1-2 ft, you will be able to effectively decrease the noise. These distances are somewhat better because noise isn’t hitting the fence directly.
Putting it a few ft away will ensure better air circulation as well, yet the sound barrier for air conditioning unit will still be decent.
Another way is to build a fence with mass loaded vinyl - see the guide here.
3. Build the best suitable surface for your air conditioner
It might sound irrelevant to you but it really isn’t. The most of the noise might come as a vibration due to its unsteady contact with the wall/ground or any unsteady surface.
Attaching it properly or positioning it on a steadier ground will most definitely affect the noise level, at least reducing vibrations to 0.
For this purpose, you can use some kind of foam to fix it with. Once positioned properly, your air conditioner will not produce any unpleasant vibrating noise.
Therefore, this is one of the best solutions to deal with loud noise from outside AC unit – which is in most situations a vibration noise.
Of course, if you find some other type of noise present, this step won’t help you.
4. Null the Water dripping noises
If your outside air conditioner is placed on the wall, you might be facing some water dripping noises.
So, during the hot summer nights, you will naturally open the window to enjoy some fresh air while sleeping.
Well, the problem might be dripping water while falling down from your air conditioner. At least this one annoyed me.
The solution is quite simple and requires just one bottle and a hose from you. Just attach your hose with the air conditioner’s hose and put the other side into the plastic bottle.
The bottle will nullify the water dripping sound and you won’t be tortured with the constant sound of water drops falling down the wall.
Since you won’t hear water drops anymore and you will be able to fully enjoy hot summer’s nights.
On the other hand, dripping noises can be soothing for others so this step isn’t necessary for some people.
5. pick the right location for your AC
I know that sometimes you can’t choose much, but if you are in a position, preferably you should put your HVAC system as far as possible from certain rooms.
Of course, you will need to balance between your own bedrooms, living room, dining room, and the neighbors’ household as well.
The further it is, the less it will trouble you.
Placing it in the back of your house might be a good strategy. You will save some cash that you would use for soundproofing.
6. Think outside of the box
Few may figure this out, but you can soundproof your home as well.
Since the air conditioner is outside of the house, simply soundproofing critical parts will help you ignore the noise.
There are many soundproofing techniques when it comes to soundproofing your home and all of them will do the job just fine.
For this purpose, this would be more of an acoustic air conditioning solution which will only work well if you mind the noise inside the house. On the outside – you’ll still have to deal with the noise.
Okay, this might solve your problem but not your neighbor’s problem. So, if there are neighbors whining about your air conditioner, then you should try with some of the previous steps.
This step will only save you from an annoying air conditioner sound.
For example, you can soundproof only one side of your home (one wall) that is closer to the air conditioner.
As we said, it will prevent the noise effectively. There is a downside to this one, and it’s about the situation when you open the window (you will be able to hear the noise).
But on the other side, who opens the window when the air conditioner is turned on?
On how to quiet a noisy air conditioner
In light of everything already mentioned, we can only conclude that there is not much that you can do. Nevertheless, you will not even need more solution.
In most of the cases, you will manage to deal with the noisy air conditioner with some blanket or by building a fence.
However, these solutions are quite inexpensive and will not take more than a few hours to install. For example, if we are talking about the blanket, it will take no more than few minutes to install it.
The worst case scenario is (when it comes to an effort required) building a fence. But if you build a fence for air conditioner unit properly, you will eliminate the noise up to 98%. Therefore, it’s a really rewarding work that’s worth it.
True, it will take you some time to build up, but once done, you should not be worried about the noise passing through it.
- Use A Sound Absorbing Blanket
- Install a Fence
- Build The Best Suitable Surface For Your Air Conditioner
- Null The Water Dripping Noises
- Pick The Right Location For Your AC
- Think Outside Of The Box