Air compressors are infinitely useful, but they are also quite loud. This is annoying when you simply want to work and get stuff done but you can’t escape the frustrating noise. Many people understandably struggle with how to make an air compressor quieter.
The best way to make an air compressor quieter is to put a rubber mat beneath it to reduce the vibration. Tighten the bolts and replace loose and worn bearings so the metal in the compressor won’t rattle loudly. Replace the belt if it’s worn or kinked and put a soundproof blanket around the compressor to make it run quieter.
Air compressors are always loud, but you can at least use several tips to make them quieter for your comfort. Follow along as we explore how to make an air compressor quieter without spending a fortune.
Why is My Air Compressor So Loud?
Air compressors get loud when the metal parts rattle and rub against each other. This can happen when a compressor is on a hard surface and the vibration gets to be too much. It can also happen if the gaskets, bearings, and valves are corroded.
Corrosion can ruin an air compressor, and it can also make it quite loud. Low oil levels can also make an air compressor run loudly because of the lack of lubrication.
How to Make an Air Compressor Quieter
Whether you change the filter or put a rubber mat beneath it, you can make your air compressor quieter with several simple steps. There’s no reason to suffer each time you use your air compressor because it’s too loud. Follow along as we explore 10 ways to make an air compressor quieter so you can use it without going crazy.
1. Tighten the Bolts
Mounting bolts are essential for any air compressor, but they are also quite fickle. The bolts rattle when they are uneven and loose, and it can get loud. Air compressors vibrate more when the bolts are loose, and the sound can become overwhelming/
Old mounting bolts that are rusty and corroded won’t typically fit, and you must replace them. Otherwise, you can simply remove the bolts and screw them back into place if they are just uneven.
2. Muffle the Air Intake Valve
The air intake valve is the loudest part of an air compressor in most cases. As the name suggests, the valve essentially controls how much air goes into the compressor. Understandably, many people look for ways to make an air compressor quieter, and using an intake silencer is the best option.
Intake silencers don’t eliminate the sound, but they make your air compressor quieter. They muffle the otherwise loud noise from the intake valve without affecting the performance. Air intake silencers start at $55 but can run up to $100 or more depending on the brand.
3. Think About the Surface Beneath the Compressor
Does your air compressor sit on top of a hard surface? If so, that could explain why it’s so loud when it runs. Think less about how to make an air compressor quieter and more about how to give it a soft surface to sit on.
Most air compressors are in warehouses, garages, and workspaces with hard flooring. Your air compressor will sound quite loud if it’s on top of a wood or concrete surface with nothing beneath it. Air compressors vibrate more when they sit on hard surfaces.
Measure your air compressor and find a rubber mat that is the same size. Move your compressor and put the rubber mat on the ground. Carefully move the compressor back into its place on top of the rubber mat and run it. This is one of the cheapest and easiest ways to make an air compressor quieter.
4. Use a Blanket
It may seem simple, but you can make an air compressor quieter if you just use a blanket. Soundproof blankets are common in the film and music businesses, but they are just as useful in manufacturing. They often include dense fiberglass which helps absorb and block noise.
Carefully cover your air compressor with a soundproof blanket to make it quieter. Make sure you don’t cover the ventilation holes or air intake as that can make your compressor overheat. Soundproof blankets cost between $40 and $120, but they’re worth the cost if your air compressor is too loud.
5. Soundproof the Room
Sometimes, you simply cannot make an air compressor quieter. In that case, you must shift your focus to make sure sound doesn’t escape the room. Use soundproof panels to help absorb the sound within the room.
The air compressor may still sound loud in the room, but the sound won’t escape and fill the space. This comes in handy if you have a large workshop or use an air compressor at home. Soundproof panels are made of cellulose, wool, and fiberglass in most cases.
Foam soundproof panels are also effective, and they are often much cheaper than fiberglass panels. Soundproof panels made of foam start at $20, but you can expect to spend between $40 and $100 or more for high-end fiberglass and cellulose panels.
6. Use an Oil-Injected Air Compressor
The market is flooded with air compressors, so it’s hard to choose between them. Oil-free compressors are cheap, light, and easy to use. That said, they also run much louder than oil-injected compressors, and that can be quite annoying. Switch to an oil-injected air compressor if you are tired of the loud sound each time you run your compressor.
The oil lubricates the compressor so you won’t have to listen to metal rubbing into metal. Not only are they quieter, but oil-injected air compressors are also much more powerful. They often have better airflow, offer more power, and can help increase your output.
You don’t need to worry about how to make an air compressor quieter if it is well-lubricated. An oil-injected air compressor will also last longer, so it’s a quiet, safe investment.
7. Change the Oil
The oil level in an air compressor affects everything from its performance and longevity to how loud it is when it runs. Air compressors run loud when the oil level is too low because there isn’t enough lubrication. Conversely, compressors can also get loud when there is too much oil because oil leaks out and gets into the other components.
This includes the valves, hoses, and air tools you connect to the compressor. Never put more than 4 liters of oil into an air compressor unless it is rated for more. Keep track of how often you use your compressor and replace the oil every 100 to 200 hours of use.
8. Dirty Filter
Just like an air conditioner, your compressor will run loud if you don’t clean or replace the filter when it’s dirty. You must replace your filter twice per year or more if you use it a lot. Some people can replace the filter once per year if they don’t use it much, but compressors work much better with clean filters.
How often you wait to replace the filter isn’t as important as how many hours you use the compressor. Most people need to replace the filter on an air compressor after 2,000 hours of use. That said, you may need to replace the filter sooner if you keep the filter in a dirty environment.
Dirt, dust, and debris in the air can settle in your compressor and get stuck in the filter. Over time, the filter will become clogged, and air will struggle to pass through it. You can make an air compressor quieter if you check the filter each day and replace it when it becomes clogged.
9. Replace the Bearings
Air compressors are annoyingly loud when the bearings are rusty or loose. Check the bearings right away if your air compressor screeches when you use it. Bearings can get rusty and corroded over time, and it happens quickly if you keep your compressor in a humid environment.
Air compressors screech when the bearings wear out because metal rubs against metal. The scraping sound is unpleasant, and it’s also a sign that your compressor will suffer cosmetic damage. That doesn’t always affect the performance, but it will affect the resale value if you plan to sell the compressor.
You can replace air compressor bearings for anywhere from $6 to $55, but it varies based on the brand, material, and compressor model.
10. Check the Belt
Does your air compressor have a belt? Not all compressors feature belts, but many of them do. The belt on an air compressor can fail and make your air compressor run loudly.
Air compressors with belts are preferable to units without them in many ways. They let you easily adjust the speed and power of your compressor, but they are also susceptible to damage. Belts can suffer damage if they fall out of alignment or corrode over time.
Replacement belts typically cost $20, but the price varies between brands, materials, and sizes. Kinks in belts will slow your air compressor and increase the noise it produces, and that can be quite annoying. It’s worthwhile to simply replace the belt before it’s too late.
So, How Do You Make an Air Compressor Quieter?
Put a rubber mat beneath your air compressor to make it quieter. Change the oil if it’s too low and replace the filter to boost the airflow and reduce the noise. It also helps to wrap the unit in a sound blanket and install soundproof panels in the room.
Ruben has been doing online marketing for the last 4 years. Prior to that, he spent 15 years managing different brick-and-mortar businesses, in the home improvement and logistics industries. Overall, he has 20 years of business experience under his belt. Recently, he added SEO, affiliate marketing, and link building to his business skills.