A Relief from a Loud Residential Air Conditioning Unit
A noisy outdoor air conditioner can be a nuisance and a headache. As air conditioning units get older, they often begin to rattle, hum and vibrate years before they are due for replacement. Fortunately, controlling the noise generated by a bothersome air conditioning unit is a fairly simple yet highly effective soundproofing endeavor. Implementing a partial enclosure sound reduction treatment can help control the noise produced by your air conditioner, creating a more peaceful environment inside and outside your home.
Controlling the noise generated by an outdoor air conditioning unit involves enclosing the unit within a frame and affixing outdoor sound blankets designed to prevent airborne noise from bleeding through. The frame may be constructed using a number of materials, including wood, steel or iron, as long as the structure is capable of supporting the heavyweight sound blankets that will be affixed to it. Ideally, the frame should protrude two to three feet above the height of the unit for maximum effectiveness. It is important to note that sound reduction for air conditioning units requires taking into consideration the functionality of the air conditioning equipment. Since the units need ventilation, construction of the frame must allow for 18 to 24 inches of open space around the unit. A slanted roof applied angling away from the area to be protected will increase the effectiveness of this treatment.
Once the frame has been constructed, outdoor sound blankets can be customized in the size you need to cover the appropriate sides of the frame. A reputable soundproofing company will offer the service of custom cutting noise control blankets to fit your frame and will provide the necessary hardware to attach them. Sound blankets should be applied to the sides of the frame that separate the sound source from the area that is to be protected from the noise. For instance, if you are treating the unit to reduce the sound audible from inside your home, treat only the sides of the frame which face in the direction of your home, leaving other sides exposed to ensure proper ventilation.
Since air conditioning units cannot be completely enclosed, sound reduction treatments will not result in a 100% deadening of the noise. However, such partial enclosure treatments are extremely effective at preventing transmission of a majority of the noise produced by an air conditioning unit. Results will vary depending upon the extent of the enclosure, but such treatments can affect an average 10-12 dB reduction in noise transmission caused by a loud air conditioner. It is important to contact an experienced soundproofing supplier prior to attempting any sound reduction treatment to ensure that all variables affecting the outcome of your project are considered.