How to Make an Air Compressor Quiet [8 Easy Steps]

How to Make an Air Compressor Quiet [8 Easy Steps]

Air compressors are typically noisy because they have to pump a lot of pressure. This can be especially annoying if you want to sleep or work while it’s running. But what if you want to know how to make an air compressor quiet

Quick ways to make an air compressor quiet are to Get a Rubber Grommet, Tighten any Loose Parts in the compressor, Use Sound Blankets to Wrap the Compressor and Lubricate the Joints.

We’ll investigate how low-noise air compressor manufacturers design their compressors to help reduce the noise they produce. And see if we can improve our compressor by incorporating any of these designs.

If you want to know how to make an air compressor quieter, this article is for you.

How Loud is an Air Compressor?

To power their devices, air compressors are by no means quiet.

In fact, they can be louder than a lawnmower.

If you’re lucky, your compressor is 40 decibels; but larger or heavier units could reach 90 decibels.

For your reference, 55-65 dB is about average for a conversation, while 40 dB is really quiet. A vacuum cleaner could be as loud as 60 to 85 dB.

Lawnmowers typically produce a noise level of 90 decibels.

On the other hand, an airplane taking off produces around 140 decibels- that’s where long-term hearing damage becomes at risk.

Still, even prolonged exposure to noise levels between 80 and 90 decibels can lead to hearing damage.

It takes time for this to happen, though but if you’re running your air compressor often enough, you could lose your hearing early.

an air compressor that produces a noise level at or higher than 80 decibels is noisy, and if it makes sounds below 75 decibels, we can say the machine is quiet.

Noise from compressors can range from approximately 70 dB to 90 dB, and unless they are specially designed to be quieter, the noise they make will probably be around 80-85 dB.

This is not particularly quiet since this noise level ranges somewhere between medium and outdoor ambient levels.

How can you measure the noise level of your air compressor? Well, this is an easy task. You can even use your smartphone to do it!

There are several apps in app stores that can measure the noise level. Pick one and identify the sound level of your air compressor. You may also use some professional tools.

Understanding Your Air Compressor

To make your air compressor quieter, there are several things you can do. But before we get into that, let’s talk about the different types of air compressors available for you and they are:

  • Centrifugal compressors: Air compressors are common in many engineering and manufacturing sectors. The impeller or rotor is enclosed, meaning fluid flows through a sealed system. Due to the high pressure inside the appliance, it creates an air velocity that boosts its performance.
  • Turbo compressors: Regardless of their name, this unit uses an airfoil to generate gas pressure by spinning.
  • Scroll compressors: A common type of compressor is a spiral or scroll. The motion in which they work makes them part of an air conditioning system as they can move refrigerant and air.
  • Rotary vane compressors: Rotary vane compressors are characterized by vanes that allow the rotor to move within its own cylindrical compartment.
  • Rotary screw compressors: This air or gas compressor, called a positive-displacement unit, can achieve very high air pressure volumes.  If you use an impact wrench or jackhammer, it’s a rotary screw air compressor.
  • Compound compressors: Compressors are made up of several cylinders in a series. The air goes into the first cylinder and is compressed, then cooled down. It moves to another cylinder for further compression before being released from the compressor.
  • Single-stage reciprocating compressors: If an air compressor only compresses the air one time, then it’s considered a single-stage reciprocating compressor.
  • Two-stage reciprocating compressors: The same goes for units that use two-stage reciprocating compressors, a common type of compressor. These kinds of systems take the air, compress it, and then send it through an intercooler before compressing it again.

No matter what type of air compressor you use, it will have several attributes. These are as follows:

  • CFM: Cubic feet per minute, or CFM for short, is the measurement of the delivery of air from the compressor.
  • SCFM: SCFM refers to standard cubic feet per minute – the CFM but with a ‘standard’ unit added.
  • HP: Horsepower is a measure of the power available to the compressor. Most compressors produce 1.5 horsepower at the lowest and 6.5 horsepower at the highest levels and will be noisier according to this scale.
  • PSI: There are two figures to be aware of when looking at compressor power. It is the pounds per square inch or PSI (the air pressure rating), and CFM (airflow) ratings. PSI can influence CFM, making it higher or lower than the original figure.

All air compressors can be placed into three broad categories. The first is a high-pressure air compressor which has a discharge pressure above 1,000 PSI

Medium-pressure compressors will have a more variable discharge pressure, ranging from 151 PSI to 1,000 PSI.

Low-pressure air compressors are also available with an even lower pressure of 150 PSI or lower.

Displacement is a term used to describe air compressors.

They are most commonly classified as either dynamic or have positive displacement.

With the help of moving parts, kinetic energy becomes pressure energy in an air compressor that uses dynamic displacement.

An example is a centrifugal compressor.

A positive displacement compressor is when air enters the chamber, gets compressed at a certain pressure, and back out to an outlet.

There are three types of compressors: vane, rotary screw, and reciprocating that can be used for this process.

How to Make an Air Compressor Quiet

Below are 8 steps that will help make your air compressor quieter. These are affordable ways you can do it right now.

Get a Rubber Grommet

One of the issues that make air compressors noisy is the noise from it vibrating around on a hard surface. 

The rubber grommet will stop that vibration and help make your compressor quieter.

The thing you need to do is insert the rubber grommet between your compressor and the surface it is resting on. 

If you are operating the air compressor and it has a rubber grommet, vibrations will be reduced. Due to this, you can notice the reduction in noise too.

Proper rubber measurement is needed to prevent the compressor from making too much noise. 

As all measurements are done correctly, the noise will be reduced at tolerating levels but not much quieter.

As, I assume that you are thinking about where to buy this rubber thing, nothing to be worried about. 

It is available at any tool store. You can also find them in online stores.

Nevertheless, you will be able to use the rest on something else; after all, I believe that you are handy with tools around your house.

I recommend you try this because it might make your air compressor quieter.

Tighten any Loose Parts in the compressor

Though not common, loose parts in the compressor can contribute to noise.

Screws and bolts are all over the compressor and they are not always tightened up.

That’s why you need to regularly maintain your compressor so that it doesn’t make too much noise. If you hear any unusual noises, tighten the screws or call a professional for help!

Sound Proof Box

A soundproof box for your air compressor is the best way to keep noise away.

There are different types of soundproof boxes available in the market. When you’re looking for a box, make sure that it meets the size of your compressor.

If you want a DIY solution, you can use some foam and drywall material to make one at home.

The downside of this option is that it may not be as sturdy or heavy-duty as those designed by professionals in industries.

You will need to measure the size of your unit before purchasing any materials so they fit right into place while still allowing for proper ventilation and airflow around them.

Next, cut out an opening on either side where the pipes go through – these openings should be about three inches wide (preferably wider). 

This will not only help soundproof the compressor but also make it easier to move them around in case you were planning on storing or moving your unit.

Now, build a casing for the box using some drywall material and tape together with foam insulation – this should create an even more effective noise barrier that is capable of blocking out unwanted sounds while still allowing airflow through.

Finally, put everything into place before filling up any gaps in between with acoustic caulking – this will prevent vibrations from transferring back inside your home. 

Now, enjoy peace and quiet without having to worry about how loud your compressor may be.

Work Away from the Air Compressor

If you cannot get the quieter one, it is best to find a place where you can work away from the air compressor.

since working near an air compressor means that all sound vibrations are increased due to close proximity with no additional insulation.

Speaking of which, this also applies to people sitting around or even standing next to your loud machine as they too experience amplified levels of noise without any protective barriers.

With a little know-how, you can reduce the noise that is emitting from your air compressor to make it more tolerable.

To do so, move your compressor as far away as possible and put walls between yourself and the device.

With this tip, you can dramatically reduce the noise of your air compressor.

Purchase an extra-long hose, and connect it to your air compressor. That’s all there is to it.

In addition, the increased distance reduces noise by about 25%.

Use Ear Plugs

This is the most basic way of soundproofing. You need to wear earplugs when working with an air compressor.

earplugs are essential,  especially when you need to use the compressor for a long period of time.

However, this does not eliminate noise completely because it will still be heard but at a lower frequency and volume. 

It will also make you feel tired after a long day of work done on your hand tools due to its inability to block out all sound from reaching your ears. 

You can purchase earplugs from your nearest pharmacy store or hardware store, but make sure it is made with foam that will suit your hearing level and budget.

If possible, choose plugs that are noise-canceling so they reduce sound waves near them.

Use Sound Blankets to Wrap the Compressor

Sound blankets can help keep the decibel level down by absorbing noise.

These blankets, which have become increasingly popular in homes with recording studios, can help absorb the noise.

For this reason, neighbors or tenants living next door won’t notice that sound so much.

You can also use sound blankets to cover the compressor.

Compressors are generally made of metal, and usually have empty space on their sides or at the back that you can fill with a blanket for added sound absorption.

This is not just more effective than using an air conditioner but costs less as well since it doesn’t require any specialties for installation.

Blankets are not the only option, however. For those who don’t want to go through the hassle of getting and installing sound blankets, you can also use foam rubber or towels. 

These materials work well for absorbing noise from compressors.

because they’re soft but still have a dense surface area that will keep most of your compressor’s vibrations from being transferred to the ground.

Lubricate the Joints

One of the most common reasons why an air compressor makes noise is because it needs lubrication.

The joints are usually those that need to be lubricated, and this should happen every six months or so.

This can prevent the metals from wearing out quickly as well as reduce sound generated by friction between them.

You simply have to remove any excess grease on the joint.

before you apply a small amount onto your fingers then rub in a circular motion until all surfaces have been covered with grease.

You must have the right amount of lubricant to apply to the joints.

This should not be too much nor too little. If there is an excess amount, it will end up dripping from the joint and producing sound.

If you have applied less than enough lubricant, then your compressor might start making squeaky sounds that are quite annoying to hear.

Clean the Filters of the air compressor

The easiest way to make an air compressor quiet is by cleaning the filters of your device.

When the compressor takes in air, its duties include filtering dirt. If you do not check the filters regularly, they can accumulate and clog with dirt, causing an unbearable noise.

when the air compressor filters are clogged, the straining sound becomes louder.

Air does not quickly go through the filters, and dirt particles inside your cord will be everywhere. 

Bouncing from one section to another, results in the loud noise you are hearing.

Cleaning your air compressor filters regularly will not only make it quieter but also prolong its lifetime.

When you take a filter out for cleaning, consider replacing the old one with new ones to give your device protection and extend its service life.

Buy a Quieter Air Compressor

If you cannot make your old compressor any quieter, the best solution is to stop using it and buy a new one. 

Read the reviews of air compressors online to find out which ones are quietest before purchasing a new model.

The maximum sound level from the air compressor should be less than 70 dB. This can be tolerated and you can continue to work with it.

Ultra-Quiet Compressor Manufacturing Methods

Manufacturers of the quietest air compressor models reduce noise through various methods including:

  • Reduced Friction Pumps
  • Rubber Vibration Isolation Pads
  • Scroll Type Compressor Pumps
  • Rotary Screw Compressor Pumps
  • Intake Air Filter Silencers
  • Sound Dampening Materials
  • ​Rubber Vibration Isolation Pads
  • Lower RPM Operation
  • Oil Lubrication
  • Multi-Piston Reciprocating Pumps

Final Words On How to Make an Air Compressor Quiet

It’s not uncommon for people to complain about the noise created by air compressors.

In fact, a lot of garage owners have complained that their neighbors are always complaining about the loud compressor noise coming from their house.

because they can hear it all day long.

If you want more silence in your life and fewer complaints from your neighbors, we suggest you try out one (or more) of these tips to make your air compressor quiet.

They may be cheap yet effective hacks but if none work then getting a new quieter compressor might be an option.

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Baloch A.H
By Baloch A.H

A.H Baloch is a seasoned content writer having more than 7 years of content and copywriting experience. He has written hundreds of articles in many niches, specifically, he has expertise in tech, music, and pet niches. A.H Baloch is fond of music, art, pets, and electronic gadgets.A.H Baloch is a teacher by profession and blogger and content writer by hobby. He has started to build websites in 2018, Since then he builds, grown and sell websites as a side hustle.

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