Home AppliancesAir Conditioner

How To Reduce Air Conditioner Noise

How To Reduce Air Conditioner Noise

Air conditioners are designed to produce as little noise as possible, but that doesn’t mean they’re entirely silent. Running an air conditioner normally produces some noise, so you probably won’t hear it if the unit is far enough from your living space.

In other cases, however, the loud humming sound of an air conditioner can be enough to keep you up at night. So what can you do to silence a noisy air conditioner?

Here are some possible solutions.

  • Covers like sound blankets and bushes help dampen an AC’s noise.
  • Soundproofing your home with quilts, thick rugs, and drapes can limit the penetration of your AC’s sounds.
  • Moving your AC unit away from bedrooms and living spaces may be helpful.
  • Older units and certain types of air conditioners naturally produce more noise. Buying a replacement can help you achieve more silent operations.

Air conditioners work by circulating refrigerant back and forth through various coils. A motor moves the chemical, which then absorbs heat from your home to blow it back outside.

This stable motor performance causes most of the noise from your air conditioner. However, certain damages may also lead to a noisy AC unit.

Ways To Reduce Air Conditioner Noise

1. Use a Sound Blanket

Use A Sound Blanket

The noise you hear from your air conditioner comes from the unit outside. Covering the outdoor unit with a sound blanket can help dampen the sound and reduce the noise penetrating your home.

Sound blankets for air conditioners are sold all over the internet, and they’re usually pretty cheap. To use one, secure it around your air conditioner.

Of course, your outdoor unit should have some fence around it to allow you to install the blanket.

Do Not Directly Place the Blanket Over the Unit

Your air conditioner’s outdoor unit requires free-flowing air to prevent overheating and to guarantee the proper release of warmth collected from your home.

Anything obstructing airflow can affect your AC’s functioning and become a fire hazard.

2. Surround It With Shrubs

Surround It With Shrubs

Thick shrubs and bushes can work the same way as a sound blanket, dampening your air conditioner’s noise. Shrubs that grow thick and upright are perfect for hiding your outdoor air conditioning unit while reducing whatever noise it makes.

According to experts, some of the best bushes for hiding an AC unit include the following:

  • Hydrangea
  • Dogwood
  • Pyramidal boxwood
  • Pacific yew
  • False holly
  • Arborvitae

3. Soundproof Your Home

Soundproof Your Home

If you can’t silence your air conditioning unit, you can at least improve your home’s defenses against loud noises.

This can go as far as hiring someone to renovate your walls to incorporate soundproofing material. Or you can take the easy route and try a few DIY tricks.

Some soundproofing techniques you can do on a tight budget include the following:

  • Hanging thick drapes.
  • Weatherstripping your doors and windows.
  • Decorate your walls with quilts.
  • Use thick rugs and carpets.

4. Have Your Air Conditioner Moved

Have Your Air Conditioner Moved

If the noise is loud enough to disrupt the activities that happen in your home, then you could consider moving the unit entirely. However, the placement of your air conditioner’s outdoor unit will inevitably impact its noise.

For instance, if it lines up with a narrow hallway in your home, its sounds can amplify as they pass through the enclosed space.

Moving the air conditioner unit can be an option in certain situations. However, you must consult your HVAC specialist to determine how to proceed with the project.

5. Get a Replacement

Get A Replacement

Older units and certain air conditioners will naturally make more noise than others. For example, window air conditioner units are notoriously loud since the whole assembly is a single block.

Non-inverter air conditioners also produce more noise because their motors only have two speeds, unlike inverter units that fine-tune motor speed to maintain more silent operations when full speed isn’t necessary.

And, of course, older air conditioners produce far more noise than newer units. Moreover, as its parts succumb to wear and tear, the unit may rattle and roar more intensely than a brand-new AC.

Generally, air conditioners have a lifespan of about 10-20 years. So if yours has exceeded this period, it might be ripe for a replacement.


Air conditioners produce quite a bit of noise. But if the sounds are starting to get out of hand, there are some things you can try to achieve more peaceful indoor conditions.

If dampening the sound doesn’t work, you can consider moving the unit or buying a replacement.

Frequently Asked Questions

How Much Noise Does an Air Conditioner Make?

The indoor unit of an air conditioner will produce between 19 to 50 decibels, while its outdoor unit can reach sounds of up to 60 decibels.

Although slightly more peaceful than the sound of a vacuum cleaner (which ranks 70 decibels), the combined noise can be enough to disrupt the harmony in your home.

Will My AC Quiet Down if I Turn Up the Thermostat?

It definitely could. Turning up the thermostat reduces the workload on the unit. That means it won’t have to work as hard to regulate your indoor climate. This can be particularly beneficial if you’re running a non-inverter unit.

The unit has more time to rest with less warmth to remove from your home. This reduces the noise of the motor for longer periods, allowing you to cut back on the sound.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *