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DIY Methods to Reduce Noise from Outside Air Conditioner

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An air conditioning unit can be an absolute lifesaver when it comes to warm summer days.

Compared to some other methods for cooling your home, an air conditioner is more cost-effective, and can cool large areas of your home surprisingly efficiently.

But for all the good things that air conditioners offer, there is one bad thing that will always come with them, and that is the noise. Just like pretty much all heavy machinery, air conditioning units are generally quite noisy.

They are even nosier if you opt for an outside air conditioner unit as the operating noise isn’t a priority in the design.

So even if you buy a brand new air conditioner you will usually find that it is quite loud. 

How to Reduce Noise From Outside Air Conditioner

Seen as all air conditioners are noisy, fixing the problem isn’t as simply as buying a newer, quieter air conditioner unit. Instead, you will have to use different hacks to make your air conditioner quieter.

In this guide, we’ve put together 6 of the easiest, cheapest, and DIY methods to reduce the noise of your outdoor air conditioner. So if you want to find out how to reduce the noise of your home air conditioner, then keep on reading.

1. Change the Location

Before we get into this method, be aware that this isn’t an option for everybody. But if you are someone who has the option to choose the location of your air conditioner unit, then you should take advantage of this.

Even better, you might be able to choose the location of your HVAC air conditioner system before it is fitted. Not everybody gets the chance to do this, so if you do, you really are privileged.

But before you choose just anywhere to have your air conditioner fitted, you should consider what is the best place to reduce the noise that it makes.

In an ideal world, you would place your air conditioner system near a room in your home which isn’t used all that often. These machines are very noisy, so you shouldn’t put it near a room that you use regularly.

With this in mind, it is best avoiding areas that are immediately outside your bedroom, living room, or dining room.

These rooms are generally quiet areas, or at least they are areas where you want peace. So, the last thing that you want is a noisy air conditioner unit disrupting the peace and quiet in your bedroom or living room.

Even though you are being offered the choice of where to place your air conditioner system, the decision isn’t all on you. If you are struggling to decide where to place the system, then the professionals will usually give you a hand.

But as we have said, this is not always an option. So how else can you reduce the noise of your air conditioning unit if you can’t move the system? Let’s take a look.

2. Change the Surface

If you are looking to take precautionary measures to reduce the noise of your air conditioner unit before you have it fitted, then a great way to make it quieter is to choose the surface carefully.

Some materials will absorb the sound of the air conditioning unit which will make the operating noise quieter.

Although it is best to do this when your air conditioner unit is new, you can also use this method if your air conditioner has already been fitted. It will just make the job a little more difficult.

Generally, air conditioning units will be installed on a hard standing that is constructed using cement or concrete.

Often, the air conditioner unit will be larger than the concrete ground that it is laid on, and this partly contributes to the loud operating noise which these devices produce.

To reduce the operating noise of your air conditioning unit, you should ensure that the ground that it is placed upon is completely even. If there are any bumps or dents in the ground then this will cause the air conditioner to rattle.

This noise will just multiply the operating noise and make it sound much louder than it needs to be.

So, if you are having a new air conditioning unit installed, you should have a solid, flat layer of concrete laid on the area of the floor where the unit is placed.

If this is not possible, and you are aware that your air conditioning unit is already laid on uneven ground, there is another method that you can use.

Simply use foam to fill the gaps beneath the air conditioning unit and this should reduce the amount of noise that it produces while running.

3. Enclose the AC Unit

Moving on from precautionary measures, let’s take a look at how you can dampen the noise of your existing AC unit. One of the most common ways to do this is to enclose the AC unit with material that will dampen the noise.

You can use pretty much any material to do this, and because of this it is one of the most common ways to reduce the noise of your AC unit. If you decide to use this method, you should begin by building two walls on either side of the AC unit.

However, you should not leave it like this as this will actually increase the noise, not reduce it.

If you leave your casing at just the two exterior walls then the noise will bounce off of the walls, amplifying the noise to the point where it will not only annoy you, but also your neighbors.

As soon as you have built the two side walls of your casing, you should move onto constructing the front panel of the unit. This should always be done using some sort of doors to ensure that you can always access the air conditioning unit inside.

But if you use this method there are some things to bear in mind.

For one, you should ensure that you always leave a gap between the AC unit and the casing as this will ensure that air circulates around the machine and that it doesn’t overheat.

Finally, you need to think about the type of material that you want to use to construct the casing. The most common material seems to be wood as this is excellent for dulling noise, and also easy to access.

So, if you want to dampen the noise of your AC unit while also keeping to the aesthetic of your garden, then enclosing the unit might be the best option.

4. Use a Sound Blanket

Alternatively, you might want to use a sound blanket to reduce the noise that is produced from your air conditioner.

If you want a cheap and quick way to reduce the noise produced by your air conditioning machine then a sound blanket is probably the most effective method that you can use.

Sound blankets are also an excellent choice if you are somebody who isn’t the best with DIY activities. This is mainly because they are very easy to understand, and also very easy to set up and use.

So, unlike other methods for reducing air conditioning noise, a sound blanket will not require you to call a professional to do the job.

It is a common misconception that using a sound blanket will affect the circulation of air in your unit, but this isn’t the case. In fact, a sound blanket will have no effect on the way that your AC unit operates, instead it might allow it to operate better than normal.

If you own an air conditioning unit then you will probably be aware that they are prone to overheating. This is why some people worry about putting a sound blanket over their device.

But there’s no need to worry because sound blankets dampen the noise while also leaving plenty of room for air to circulate around the machine, ensuring that it remains cool while operating.

However, there have been occasions where an AC unit has overheated and become damaged because of the sound blanket. So always ensure that you buy a top quality blanket to use on your unit.

If you desperately want to reduce the noise that your air conditioning unit produces, then using a sound blanket is always a great place to start.

This is primarily because they are low in cost, so if this method doesn’t work, you can move onto another method without having lost too much money.

5. Soundproof Your Home Instead

This is perhaps not the best method to use, but if your efforts to dampen the noise of your AC unit itself have failed, this could be a good option.

Sometimes, despite your best efforts, it is impossible to soundproof the AC unit completely, so this is another way to reduce the amount of operating noise that enters your home.

Some people think that soundproofing your home is very expensive, but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, you can soundproof your room at very low cost and with very little effort, so let’s take a look at how to do this.

If you are on a budget then there are lots of different ways that you can soundproof your room. When doing this it is best to target all areas of the room at once, so not only think about the doors and windows, but also consider the walls and ceilings at the same time.

When it comes to reducing the noise that is produced by your AC unit, one of the most effective ways to stop it from entering your home is to invest in a good pair of curtains.

In fact, you can even get curtains that come with soundproofing qualities. So these are definitely something to consider if you are trying to soundproof your home.

But remember, just because you are reducing the amount of operating noise that enters your home from the AC unit, your neighbors will still be experiencing the noise. So while this might fix the issue for you, you might still need to take extra measures to make your neighbors happy.

6. Stop the Water Dripping

The final way to reduce the operating noise from your outside air conditioner is to stop the water from dripping inside it. Some people think that water dripping inside your AC is a sign that something is wrong, but this isn’t always the case.

If you can hear water dripping then there is a possibility that something has gone wrong with the unit, but most of the time it is perfectly normal for this to happen. Especially if it is a particularly warm day.

The amount of noise that will be emitted by this dripping will depend on your specific unit. If your unit is lifted off of the ground then this can make the dripping noise much louder, to the point where it can become a nuisance.

Thankfully, it is a fairly easy job to fix this dripping problem. To fix this, you will need to take a new piece of hose and attach it to the existing air conditioner hose inside the unit.

This will extend the length of the hose and prevent the dripping noise as the water will run down the hose pipe rather than drop out of it.

However, as we have said, there are some cases where a dripping noise is a sign that something is wrong.

In this case, it is usually a good thing that you can hear the dripping noise that is inside the AC unit. So if you do hear dripping from inside your AC unit, it is usually a good idea to check it out.


So there you have it, a complete guide to 6 great ways to reduce the amount of noise that is produced by your AC unit.

If you have a particularly noisy AC unit that is affecting day-to-day life in your home, check out these methods to reduce that loud noise until it becomes unnoticeable.