When it comes to central air conditioning, one of the most common issues that homeowners struggle with is the noise from the compressor. Even though it's typically placed outside, the compressor itself can be loud enough to disrupt your sleep or that of your neighbors. If you're looking for a new central air conditioner or want to quiet the one you already have, there are some things that you can do. Read on to learn about air conditioning compressors and their noise levels.
Understanding The Noise Level
Most noise, including that from air conditioners, is measured by decibel. Some of the quieter air conditioners can have a decibel rating as low as around 40. You can have your compressor volume-tested or check the manufacturer's information for the decibel rating of the unit.
It's important to remember that exposure to loud sounds over a prolonged period can actually cause hearing damage, so if your compressor is noisy, it can not only disrupt the peace around your home but could also cause long-term hearing problems.
Muffling Air Conditioner Noise
If you're not interested in buying a new air conditioner yet, you can take some steps to soften the noise from the one that you do have. The best place to start is an acoustic wrap. Also called a sound blanket, you wrap this around your air conditioner to help dampen vibration and noise. These wraps are usually made from a Teflon-based material and are designed to permit air circulation, which is essential for keeping your compressor from overheating.
In addition to wrapping the compressor, you can also put some money into building a sound barrier around the installation area. Whether you opt for a solid fence with soundproofing foam installed on the inside surfaces or thick shrubs, you can help to muffle the transmission of the noise. When possible, consider also putting a mat around the base of the unit that will absorb and dampen vibration.
If you decide to plant shrubs, choose a dense, tall shrubbery that will form a solid barrier. Plant them in a straight line on each side of the compressor, digging just beyond the concrete pad. When paired with a sound blanket, this can help keep the noise from passing into your home or to your neighbors' home.
For more tips to dampen the sound from your compressor, visit a site like http://calldoctorfixit.com or consult a professional HVAC contractor.