How to Make a Compressor Run Quietly


A compressor is used to power various types of equipment such as water filtration systems and plant cooling systems. It does so by supplying the equipment with a continuous stream of concentrated air at high pressure. Unfortunately, this function of the compressor produces two unwanted by-products: noise and vibration. Luckily, there are ways to lessen the generated noise.

Keep the filter clean

The function of the air compressor filter is to clean the air that enters the compressor and keep out dust particles that can potentially harm the machine. If left unchecked, dust will accumulate and eventually block the intake. The machine will then struggle to operate and produce a lot of noise. To prevent this from happening, you must clean the filter at least once every six months.

Modify the air intake

This is considered as the loudest part of the compressor due to the noise created by the entering air. There are two steps that you can take to remedy the situation. You can either elongate the intake pipe or install a muffler.

If you choose to extend the pipe, note that this will not make the machine quieter; it will only move the noise away from your workspace. To do this, you will need a rubber hose and a bracket. Once you are ready, attach the hose to the intake and make sure that the connection is secure. Then put the tube in place with the use of the bracket.

When this is done, get the free end of the hose and place it in a suitable location. It would be a great idea to direct the extended pipe to a location that can contain the sound better. An abandoned space or an open area will do.

If you choose to install a muffler, you need to carefully select the right size of the pipe thread that will be put on in the intake head. If you cannot find the specific size you’re looking for, choose a bigger one to prevent it from limiting the airflow. You might also want to consider putting a muffler on the engine exhaust to make the machine even quieter.

Tighten loose parts

Man holding a compressor

Since a compressor is a machine that regularly vibrates, its bolts and screws tend to get loose over time. This can cause a rattling sound. You will be able to spot loose parts that need tightening through regular maintenance. You may opt to do it yourself or get a technician to do it for you.

Drain the receivers

Frequently drain the receivers to avoid the accumulation of moisture in the unit. Most compressors have a drain valve at the tank’s bottom. All you have to do is to put a bucket at the bottom of the valve and twist it open to release the liquid. You might also want to remove the entire valve to be able to fully clean the tank. But if automatic drain systems are present, feel free to skip this part.

Apply lubricant

Lubricate the constantly moving metal parts to avoid the unnecessary production of noise and corrosion. Include this step in regular maintenance checkups to avoid potential damage.

Soften vibrations with the use of rubber

Consider placing rubber mats or vibration-isolating mounts under the compressor to prevent its body from touching the floor. In case this happens, the rubber will minimize the force and the sound of the impact.

Aside from mats, consider getting rubber grommets as well. Install grommets in the motor, and it will reduce the noise by absorbing shocks and vibrations. Lastly, some compressors have pre-installed rubber, while others need manual installation.

Wrap the compressor

Another way to mask its noise is to wrap the noisiest parts in a carpet—new or old is entirely up to you—or a sound blanket. This technique works because the blanket’s fibers muffle the sound caused by vibrations.

If the compressor is located in a closed-off area, put up blankets on its parallel walls for maximum effect. This is one way of making the room soundproof.

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