How to make air conditioner quieter? 6 simple tips that work!​

How to make air conditioner quieter? 6 simple tips that work!

In today’s post, I will be touching on some of the most simple and practical ways to make your air conditioner quieter, hassle-free. So, read on for more on this.

how to make an air conditioner quieter pinterest 1

But first, why reduce the air conditioner sound? Well, this is to reduce the overall noise allowing you to have a quiet stay in your house.

So, if your air conditioner is noisy, then, follow the following simple tips and soon you’ll enjoy a peaceful silent night’s sleep. 

If you prefer not to read through the entire thing, here’s my take on the most effective and cost friendly method: get yourself a soundproof air conditioner cover

Before we can look at the nitty-gritty, let’s look at the common types of AC noises.

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Related: Best Quiet Fans

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5 types of air conditioner noises


If you hear a banging sound, chances are that you have a faulty compressor. 

The compressor primarily circulates the refrigerant, which is the gas or liquid that cools your house. 

Due to everyday tear and wear, inner components of the compressor may become loose and produce a banging sound as they come into contact with the outer casing.

Unfortunately, it is daunting to repair a broken compressor. The only option is to buy a new air conditioner.

noises from air con

Related: How to make a soundproof box


Buzzing noises are common near the outdoor unit and air handler. 

It is an indication that your compressor has an electrical issue that requires immediate repair.

The most common is loose wiring, defective motor, defective capacitor, or arcing.


The most common source of this air conditioner sound is a leaking refrigerant. 

Other causes can be a defective expansion valve and duck leak. You’ll have to contact your technician to ascertain the source.

Over time, the copper coils through which the gas or liquid pass may form leaks. When this happens, the refrigerant escapes producing a hissing sound due to extreme pressure in the coil.


A click sound can be initiated by different triggers.

For example, if a small object gets stuck in the blower, it might hit against the rotating fan producing a click sound. 

Also, an electrical malfunction within the capacitor, compressor, or thermostat produces this sound when you try to start the AC.

Related: How to choose acoustic partitions


Depending on the position of your air conditioner, it can be caused by a defective motor blower, faulty fan motor, or faulty compressor.

If the AC is outside, it is likely due to a faulty motor or compressor.

If the AC is inside your house, it is likely due to a defective motor blower. 

Those are the main five types of AC noises. So how can you eliminate these noises?

Let’s find out in the section below where I show you 6 of the best ways to reduce air conditioner noises.

how to make air conditioner quieter

Hey, quick one. If you intend to start a soundproofing project soon, check out our Best Materials for Soundproofing post to get a headstart. Most projects require similar materials, so this post will save you a ton of time researching.

6 simple tips for air conditioner noise reduction

1. Pick the ideal location

First off, you need to choose a suitable location for your AC. 

You don’t want to place it near windows, doors, or near commonly used rooms such as bedrooms and the living room.

That said, you should not place it near your neighbor’s household. 

A perfect area to place it is at the back of your house. Not only will you eliminate the need for soundproof products, but also reduce noise disturbance.

If in limbo, you can discuss it with your technician.

Remember? The further it is, the better.

2. Use soundproof blankets

If you are short of ideal positions, then you can opt to use an acoustic enclosure for air conditioning. 

There are thousands of quality sound blankets out there, but more of that later.

They dampen the sound hence helping in air conditioner noise reduction. You can combine this tip with the first one to significantly beat the annoying sound. 

In fact, they offer 5 decibels insulation resulting in 40 percent noise reduction.

The best part? They are relatively cheap and won’t compromise on your AC’s performance and efficiency. 

You don’t have to worry about your AC overheating since they are designed with that in mind.

3. Erect a fence around the AC

Next off, you can install a simple fence around the air conditioner. While it takes time to achieve the end goal, it is as effective as the above two tips.

All you have to do is erect a four-sided fence around it. Erecting a two-sided one will not aid in air conditioner noise reduction, but rather facilitate sound reverberation.

This in return will increase the overall noise.

erect a fence

So, what should you do? Well, you can go for a vegetation fence. Ensure that the plants are taller than the unit.

Alternatively, you can opt for wood fencing. The wood will seamlessly absorb the sound waves hence reducing overall noise. 

That said, ensure that there is a clearance of at least 2 feet between the AC and the wall. Too little space can lead to overheating.

Also, keep in mind to prune the vegetation often to achieve the predetermined spacing. 

Another alternative is to build your own DIY sound panel or acoustic fence.

4. Pick an ideal installation surface

It might sound weird but, you might be a victim of vibrations due to the unsteady installation surface. 

When you install your AC on a robust surface or steady ground, you are likely to significantly reduce vibration in return reducing noise levels.

One way to go about it is to fix anti vibration foam beneath the AC. 

Of course, you can combine this with other shared tips.

5. Connect an air duct to the AC’s drainage

It could be that the noise is not from the air conditioner itself, but water dripping onto the concrete floor, which frankly can quickly become a steady source of disturbance.  

If this is so, you should connect an air duct to its drainage through which the water will flow out into a container or any of your desired spots such as a drainage pipe. 

Related: How to ventilate a soundproof room or booth?

6. Conduct regular maintenance

Lastly, you should schedule regular maintenance with your technician.

The air conditioner noise can be caused by damage or clogs which can be rectified through regular maintenance.

You can update your unit, make replacements, and get drains cleared during a standard maintenance visit. 

conduct regular maintenance

As such, not only will you achieve air conditioner noise reduction but also improve air quality, enhance energy efficiency, and bolster its lifespan.

I recommend you to do this at once every 3 months if you use the AC on a daily basis if you want to make air conditioner quieter.

What should you look out for in an air conditioner?

While the above tips will ensure air conditioner noise reduction, a simpler way to reduce air conditioner noise is to make a wise purchase decision.

Here are a few crucial aspects you need to consider.


As earlier mentioned, the AC requires a stable ground to minimize or eliminate vibration.

Sturdy mounts can significantly reduce AC noise. They reduce the noise produced by the condenser and compressor.  

Be sure to survey your home surroundings together with your contractor to size up the right spot. 

AC compressor insulator

The compressor is the main source of noise when the AC is operating. And unfortunately, the AC can’t perform without it.

A simple way that manufacturers reduce noise from this component is through the installation of an insulator.

So, check out for ACs with such sound insulators or discuss with your contractor if that is an extra option they can throw in. 

Improved fans

Fans are also chief producers of noise especially when the AC is running at 100 percent capacity.

But thanks to advanced fan technology, current AC fans are less noisy and dampen the noise as the air leaves the system.

Speed regulators

Conventional air conditioners run at 100 percent capacity.

This is poised to produce loud annoying air conditioner sound. 

Current ACs come with speed regulators that regulate the speed of the fan. 

As such, you will be able to  have a quieter air conditioner, especially when running at low speeds. 

Air conditioner thermostat

Recommended Gear

One of the methods discussed earlier was to make use of soundproof blankets to cut down the noise of the errant air conditioners, and I’ve personally used a few of the following models for various projects in the house. 

Do check them out as they can be multi-purpose and can be easily reused in another DIY project.

Brinmar SBUHD Universal-Fit Air Conditioner Compressor Sound Blanket Wrap

Measuring 10 x 10 x 19, it reduces the air conditioner sound by 40 percent. 

It is easy to install and fits a wide array of models out there.

Buy now

SugarHouse Outdoor Air Conditioner Cover

Whether it’s snowing or raining, this cover provides full coverage while eliminating condensation.

It is fade resistant as it is water repellent. This cover is ideal for large outdoor air conditioners.

Buy now

COSFLY Air Conditioner Cover

This is also an ideal cover for air conditioner noise reduction. 

It is also waterproof and comes with string hems that enable it to withstand strong wind.

Installation is easy and protects your AC from dirt, snow, sun damage, and more.

Buy now

Little World Air Conditioner Cover

This heavy-duty soundproofing blanket significantly reduces the noise produced by the air conditioner. 

Like other covers, it is easy to install, water repellent and eliminates water condensation. 

These and more soundproofing covers will significantly reduce noise levels produced by the air conditioner.

Buy now

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Which air conditioner model is most quiet?

It really depends on what models and brands are available in your area, but typically, Mitsubishi StarMex, LG and Haier.

They have a noise level ranging from 60dB to 40dB.

How loud should the air conditioner be?

An average AC should have a maximum noise level of 70dB. 

Look for an AC with a lower rating.

What are the best soundproofing materials for a noisy air conditioner?

The first thing I would do is to check where the sound is coming from. Many a times, an anti vibration pad and a few tightened screws can do the job. With a tight budget, you should really be getting an aircon cover. It is somewhat weather proof and does a good job at reducing noise. 

Why are window ACs quieter than portable ACs?

This really comes down to the way each of them is designed. 

Window air conditioners are designed to have a maximum noise level of 50dB while portable air conditioners have a noise level of up to 70dB.

How to make portable air conditioner quieter?

In the event you have a portable air conditioner instead, the steps to make it quieter are somewhat similar.

There are 5 methods you can employ, so give them a shot to reduce noise in your portable air conditioner: 

  1. Check if the portable air conditioner is sitting on flat ground. As gas and liquid moves inside the machine, they need to be level with the ground for optimal performance.
  2. Look at where you are placing the portable airconditioner. Flat ground is great, but if you place on a hard surface like wood, sound gets reflected more easily. Place a rug below it if you cannot move it elsewhere. You can also place it on a carpet or thick cloth that acts as a cushion to absorb sounds made by its vibration, or get yourself an anti-slip vibration pad instead. 
  3. Adjust your settings. It is tempting to turn it on full power each time, but doing so can lead to wear and tear faster, which results in noise. Once a room is cooled, switch the setting to low.
  4. Location of the airconditioner. If you place it in a spot with direct sunlight, then you can expect it to work harder. The result? You probably know by now. Move it to a shaded area instead. 
  5. Wrap with blankets. They can absorb the vibrations caused by the portable air conditioner and thus reduce noise. Make sure not to cover the air outlet though. 

I really find anti-slip vibration pads to be the best solution though. These are super functional and you can use it for many other purposes too such as dishwasher insulation or acting as a base to quiet your PS4

Make air conditioner quieter: Conclusion

Air conditioner noise reduction can be achieved through the above tips, and for me, the most important is really at the start of the purchase decision, where to place it. 

After which, it is crucial to have your air conditioning unit serviced regularly, at least once every 3 months. This will prevent the machine from breaking down easily and keep it trouble free. 

Also, consider components such as fans, compressor insulation and more when buying a new AC.

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Bryant Littlewood is the Chief Editor behind SoundproofingHacks. He shares all the lessons he has learned in turning his home and office into quiet sanctuaries across the blog posts here. Bryant is also a part-time audiophile, and some of the posts here will reflect that passion of his too. Connect with him on LinkedIn or read more on the about page.