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4 Proven Ways to Reduce Air Conditioning Noise

by vscontent on June 23, 2017

How to fix reduce air conditioning soundsIn the summertime, air conditioners are running nearly non-stop. This can create loud humming and whirring sounds that measure around 70-80 dB. If your air conditioner is any louder than that, you could be violating local noise laws (and personal comfort laws).

Here are 4 proven ways to reduce air conditioning noise:


Install new air conditioners and heat pumps far away from bedrooms, living rooms, and decks and patios. A good HVAC contractor will keep this in mind when designing the new system. Depending on your property, the unit may be better placed at the front of back of the home.

Proximity matters. If the air conditioning unit is fart1her away, the dB level drops significantly.

Avoid installing the A/C unit in an enclosed or semi-enclosed area, such as between two walls. Sounds waves will bounce off of the walls, creating a noise chamber that amplifies the racket.


To absorb some of the A/C noise, try planting some shrubs and bushes or erecting a strategically placed wooden fence. When planning your fence, keep in mind where the noises is coming from and the path of any reflecting sound waves.

Make sure the barrier is at least 2 feet away from the unit and has a surface density of less than 20 kg/m2. Wood is probably the best material and should be higher than the outdoor unit.

Speak with your HVAC technician first before constructing any kind of sound barrier and make sure vegetation is trimmed back to allow access and proper airflow (24-inch minimum).

If not installed properly, plants and walls can have a negative effect on the sounds and performance of your air conditioner by restricting necessary airflow to the unit.

PLEASE NOTE: Always maintain at minimum 24-inch clearance around the entire outdoor unit. You want to make sure there is enough space for technician access as well as limit the amount of air obstructions around the condenser coils.

Learn more HVAC landscaping tips.


If your compressor is the noisemaker, ask your HVAC technician about sound blankets that can be installed around your compressor to reduce the dB level by around 1/3.

Walls around the compressor amplify and extend the sound no matter how quiet the unit. “Blankets” and sound absorbing panels will absorb some of the noise and echo, but they eventually break down, especially if exposed to a lot of sunlight.

4. NEW A/C

Consider upgrading your existing air conditioning unit to a quiet and energy-efficient model. Once you hear the soft whisper in action, you’ll believe us when we say that HVAC technology has dramatically improved in the last decade.

Indoor units can run as low as 19dB, which is quieter than a whisper. Outdoor units can run as low as 58 dB, about as loud as a calm conversation.

As technology has improved, the level of associated noise has gone significantly down. While some air conditioning parts are actually cheaper and noisier, premium air conditioner have redesigned fans, motors, and airflow design to minimize noise.

When it’s time to upgrade your unit, ask us about energy-efficient features and how quiet the unit is.

HVAC companies have now accepted the need to reduce the sound of loud air conditioning systems. Ask us about our noise-dampening strategies and technologies so you can finally sleep in peace.

Contact Pacific Heating and Cooling for professional HVAC service, including tips and tricks for quieting noisy air conditioning systems. We’ll send an expert technician out to your home for a full HVAC cleaning and tune-up to quiet your A/C noises.

Pacific Heating & Cooling serves homeowners all over the Lakewood, Olympia, and Tacoma area.

Give us a call at (253) 292-3995 or schedule service online and we’ll send one of our qualified technicians out on your schedule.

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