A photo of a ac unit being soundproofed

How To Easily Soundproof A Noisy Air Conditioning Unit.

There’s nothing quite like a good AC unit that takes care of the cold on a freezing day and the heat on a sweltering hot summers night. However, the noise can be so loud that at times it is difficult to think straight.

It’s moments like those where I imagine throwing my garden spade directly at the unit in hopes it catches the propeller and blows it up in a grand blast. Just like in an action movie. In fact, I’ve had many thoughts like this recently. How do you like me now Bruce Willis.  

Hence, fixing this problem was a priority that could not be put off any longer. I could not have my wife see me lose my composure to that extent. It would scare her and in fact could get me arrested. Orange is not the new black. 

Having said this, I did a bit of digging to find the quickest most efficient way to solve this annoyance, and to my surprise found a few methods that work extremely well. 

Let me share with you what I found to be the best in solving this sound problem. 

Cover with a soundproof blanket.

I was amazed to find the Sound Blanket. In fact so thrilled, that I ordered one on the spot. I now have many of these amazing soundproofing blankets that I use to soundproof various noisy items around my home!

At first my main concern was that it might make our AC unit overheat and damage it, but with some further research I was very happy to find out that it in fact does the total opposite. 

A soundproof blanket improves air circulation inside the unit making it more efficient and less noisy. 

Everything I needed to install the blanket on the AC unit was included in my purchase which really made my life very easy. The best part was that it literally reduced the sound immediately after installation. 

I highly recommend this product, it is fantastic. Take a look for yourself to see if it is something that might also work for you. Brinmar SBUHD Universal-Fit Air Conditioner Compressor Sound Blanket Wrap from Amazon. It is fairly cheap, very effective and super easy to install, which is always a win.

An infographic showing the benefits of soundproofing an air conditioning unit
The above infographic summarises the benefits of soundproofing your air conditioning unit.

Enclose Your AC Unit

This solution is not as easy as the AC Blanket, but it is definitely something worth taking a look at if your unit is rather big that a blanket won’t do it.

While covering up the unit will hide its appearance and help with sound reduction, there are a few things to take into account before going ahead and making these changes.

  • Make sure that the unit is not sitting in between two walls. This is a very bad idea as the soundwaves will bounce between the walls, shooting the sound all over the place. This can not only cause intense sound in your house but also for your neighbours. You don’t want to find a foreign garden spade laying in a black deep hole where your AC unit once was. 
  • While installing the covering of the unit, it is best to leave a bit of room in between the unit itself and the structure. This is to ensure an even air flow to the unit, so that it does not over heat and more so to prevent reverberation between the unit and the barrier. 
  • When installing the fence or sound barrier, be sure to insulate it with some Mass Loaded Vinyl to absorb the sound. MLV might not be the prettiest, but it sure is effective. Take a look at this MLV I recommend you use from Amazon. This is the same MLV that I have used in all my other soundproofing projects. The quality is amazing and the soundproofing capability is second to non.
  • Make sure that the fence you use is slightly higher than the AC unit so that it can capture as much of the vibration as possible. 
  • A lot of people prefer to use greenery in the garden to buff the sound and that can work just as well. In fact, a bit of greenery with a quaint wooden fence can transform that piece of your garden into something spectacular. Like with this inexpensive ac unit fence in the photo above from Amazon. These fences are designed specifically to hide your air conditioning unit from voew and to reduce the amount of noise from them.

Make a Firm Foundation for your AC unit.

Making sure to keep the foundation surface of your AC unit level and stable is the biggest trick to less noise. 

The best way is to lay a small slab of concrete that is just big enough to house the unit comfortably. If there are any spots where it can wobble or move even the slightest bit, a great deal of noise can come from that. 

A sure way of handling this is to insert foam into those gaps to give the machine a sturdy, buffed surface to live on. 

Stop Water Dripping Noises

While fun to joke about, Chinese water torture is in fact not a joke. In the least. Especially when you can hear it in the dead of night while trying to catch some shut eye. Trust me on this, I know. 

Albeit that there are only a few droplets, if they are dropping from a relatively high vantage point – it can sound very loud.

A great way to overcome this is to add an extra piece of hose to the AC unit’s hose to prevent the drip. 

It is good to monitor these drips too, as they can indicate a problem with the unit. However if it is very hot out, it is normal for the unit to drip slightly. Yet if the drip is constant, further investigation needs to be done to discover where the drip is coming from and if there is a problem. This essentially will prolong the life of your unit.

Move Location

I do not mean pack and move house, I mean, move the AC unit to a place on your property where it would be better suited. 

For instance, downstairs outside the laundry, avoiding areas of your home that you and your family spend the most time in.

Generally calling in a professional would be my best advice. They normally have a solution to these problems and can give a better informed solution to where the best location would be for the unit.

Soundproof Your House

There are many options available to soundproofing your home and it might be beneficial from the point of view of noise in general. I highly recommend investing in some soundproofing curtains and making sure that your windows are well soundproofed as well. This will stop any noise your AC unit makes from entering your home

Yet if you do not battle with loud noises that bother you in your surroundings and it is only the AC unit that is the issue, perhaps looking into replacing your unit would be the better more cost effective option if soundproofing it did not work.

Last Word

Your AC unit will always have that bit of noise but reducing it as much as possible does go a long way to less sound disturbance and a more peaceful environment. 

While a unit is not a good looking thing, it can make a space look rather ugly. 

Taking the time to build a barrier and adding in some shrubs or greenery will make your home softer on the eyes. 

I say, take your time to see what works best for you and enjoy yourself while doing it. 

Hope you found this post helpful. Please feel free to share, like and leave me a comment. I would love to hear how your project worked out and if you have any extra handy hints that worked for you that was not mentioned in here.

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