How To Make An Air Compressor Quieter

Beginner Info, Soundproofing

how to make air compressor quieter
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Quieting Air Compressor: Well, in this post, I’ll walk you through the step-by-step methods of quieting air compressors at an affordable price.

Furthermore, I’ll throw some light on the parameters that you need to consider for buying anti-vibration pads.

Lastly, I’ll answer some of the frequently asked questions from my readers as well as clientele to help you make an informed buying decision.

An air compressor is a machine that can help you to get out of the problem in various situations, and I firmly believe every home should have one.

Since they are so popular and handy, you’ll find the top brands to fill the top spot.

It goes without saying that the market is saturated with a wide variety of air compressor, and the worst part is all of them offers you an enticing discount.

In such a scenario, finding one that can cater to your need and are under your budget can be quite tricky at times.

I’ll not deny the fact that there are some really cheap air compressors out there in the market, and the probability is high that they may serve your purpose.

However, there is a BIG problem with not only these cheap offerings but also, from the top brands and the market leaders.

Can you guess?

Well, most of the regular air compressors out there in the market produce huge noise, and in the worst scenario, they may impact your hearing ability.

What I’ve seen from my experience is that the lower the price the louder will be the air compressor.

Since you’ve landed on this page, I’m assuming that you might be facing the problem of the noisy compressor.

There are quite a few solutions that can help you to get rid of the noisy compressors.

The best and permanent solution could be buying a silent air compressor which is definitely an expensive option.

Of course, you can go for it if you don’t have any budget constraints.

On the other hand, if you’re on a shoestring budget, then I would recommend you read this post thoroughly without skipping any section.

I’m damn sure that by the end of this post, you’ll get an affordable solution to the noisy compressor.

But before all of that, the question arises, Why should you follow my words, and whom am I to guide you, right?

Well, I’m a soundproof consultant with a decade of experience and have helped individuals and corporates to soundproof their homes as well as offices.

So, I hope I can help you:):):)

But, before I jump to the solution, allow me to talk a bit more about the air compressors and what makes them noisy.

Are Air Compressor Really Noisy

Well, whether an air compressor is noisy or not is totally a relative affair.

It is the end user who will decide whether a particular type of compressor is noisy for him or not.

However, for reference, you can take the human conversation.

If an air compressor is making relatively higher noise as compared to the human conversation(60 dB), then you consider it a noisy compressor.

So, now the question arises, How will you measure the noise produced by a compressor, right?

Well, to bring to your notice, I’ve used a couple of decibel meters to get to know about the noise produced by the air compressors.

Decibel is the unit of measurement for the sound that a human ear can hear, and the aforementioned decibel meters will help you to get an idea about the noise.

If you’re hearing about the decibels for the first time, then I would request you to have a look at this simple and nice illustration(chart).

From the chart, we can infer that decibels above 80 are considered louder and more noisy because they interfere with human conversation.

At the same time, decibels below 75 can be considered quiet and peaceful.

To make a long story short, the noise produced by most air compressors falls in the range of 70 and 90 decibels.

Again, if proper measures aren’t taken or the compressor isn’t specifically designed to be quiet, then the noise level will be much higher( 80-85 dB) than the normal human conversation.

Using a decibel meter will help you to track your progress and also, simultaneously evaluate how successful you were with your efforts.

What Are the Reasons Behind an Air Compressor to Be Noisy?

In order to successfully get rid of a noisy air compressor, it is really important for you to do the root cause analysis and find out the reasons behind the noise.

All you need to do is to follow a simple step.

It goes without saying, that there can be numerous reasons for an air compressor to be noisy, and it isn’t possible to get rid of all of them at once.

So, first and foremost, you need to jot down all the causes of noise, and then prepare a priority list that will tell you about the problems that need to be fixed first.

While you’re setting priority for the cause of the noise, always give priority to the ones that can do maximum damage in the context of noise.

For example, some of the causes that need to be addressed on a priority basis are exhaust noises, vibrations, and intake noises.

Can you imagine the condition if all three occur simultaneously?

 Let’s have a look at some of the things that are highly responsible for creating loud noise, and you need to fix them on a priority basis in case, you’re looking forward to quieting your noisy compressor.   


Trust me, even the super silent air compressor also vibrates, and to my knowledge, it is almost next to impossible to get rid of vibrations fully.

All that we can do is reduce the vibration, and you’ll be more than happy to know that culprits like vibration can be reduced drastically.

So, I’ve got a simple question for you.

Tell me, according to you, what are the sources of vibrations?

The two main reasons for an air compressor vibrations are its construction and placement.

From construction, I mean the structure of the air compressor.

Well, if your compressor comprises a good number of shallow and hollow parts, then definitely, it will be producing more noise from the vibration.

Similarly, if it is placed on a weak and hollow structure, then the vibrations will be much more as compared to its placement on a hard and sturdy surface.

Vibration Due to the Placement of an Air Compressor

Vibrations that are caused by the placement of an air compressor can be easily negated.

So, let’s understand it in a better way.

If you think that you’ve moved your compressor from a hollow and shaky surface to a firm and hard surface such as hardwood or concrete, and you’re done, then my dear friend you’re totally mistaken:):):)

In fact, hardwood and concrete will add to the noise by producing echoes and reverbs.

So, what’s the solution?

Either you can use a soft ground or place a good quality rubber mat beneath your compressor to get rid of a good percentage of the vibration.


In the context of vibration and noise, materials, when combined with the construction of an air compressor, can create a lot of trouble for you.

For example, if a compressor is made of high-quality, thick, and dense materials, then it will combat the vibration in a better way as compared to a compressor that possesses thin and low-quality material.

Pumping in Air

If you’ve previously used a vacuum cleaner, then you would be well aware of the fact that they are really noisy during their operation.

And, you’ll find something similar to it when it comes to the intake of air in the compressor.

As we all know that air compressor sucks air to be able to work, and in the process of doing so, it makes a lot of noise.


The exhaust component also makes a lot of noise in the process of letting all the byproducts produced during the operation process let go from the machine.

Air Compressor Types

In most cases, the big and bulky air compressor makes more noise as compared to the small and compact ones.

As a thumb rule, the more powerful the compressor the louder will be the noise.

Nonetheless, there are quite a few air compressor types that are specially built to be “ultra quiet”.

By doing some research on a super quiet air compressor, you’ll be able to make an informed buying decision.

How to Make an Air Compressor Quieter

I’m assuming that now you’re well informed about the various aspects of air compressors, and most importantly, what leads to a noisy air compressor.

Allow me to walk you through some of the Do-it-Yourself methods that can help you make your compressor quieter.

A word of caution: If the air compressor isn’t specifically designed to be quieter, then the result of the DIY may not be highly effective.
  • Cover the thin and hollow part of your air compressor with rubber pads
  • Cover the motor with rubber pads to reduce vibration
  • Place a rubber beneath the air compressor
  • Try to place the air compressor on soft ground
  • If possible, modify the intake and exhaust system
  • Replace your existing air compressor with a quieter counterpart

Install Rubber

Rubber is a cost-effective sound insulator, and so we’re using it for quieting our air compressor.

The good thing about the thicker rubber is, that it can act as both a sound dampener as well a sound absorbent.

As a result, a thick rubber helps you to deal with impact noise as well as the shock coming from the air compressor.

In layman’s language, installing rubber on an air compressor absorbs the energy from impact noise, and as a result, prevents echoes and reverbs.

Personally, I feel that the rubber pads must be installed on the compressor body as well as the motor.

Installing rubber grommets on the motor will lead to the absorption of the energy coming from the motor in the form of vibration.

Moreover, the rubber grommets will prevent the vibration from passing to the body of the air compressor.

So, this method is highly effective even though the body of the compressor is thin and not made of high-quality materials.

Well, if you’re looking for an effective rubber grommet set, then you can try this. (Check the current price on Amazon)

It comes with quite a few sizes of grommets, so you can select one that syncs well with your air compressor.

The installation of rubber grommets on the air compressor isn’t a tough task at all.

Even though you’re a newbie or a first-time user, you can install the rubber grommets on your own without any professional help.

Moreover, I’m attaching a self-explanatory video for your perusal.

Manage the Air Intake

Managing the air intake of your compressor in the correct way will definitely reduce noise to some extent.

All you need to do is to take the intake component on your compressor outside the closed space.

I’m assuming that your air compressor is placed in the garage, basement, outdoor patio, etc.

By placing the intake components in the open space, you can expect the noise to reduce to some extent while the compressor is sucking the air.

On the contrary, if the intake components are placed in your room, then it will be quite louder especially when it is sucking the air.

For the smooth and hassle-free execution of the project, you’ll need a bracket and a rubber hose.

Well, the process is quite easy and the good news is that you don’t need any professional help.

You’ll need to start by pushing the hose into the compressor’s intake very tightly and fasten it with a bracket to keep it in place.

A word of caution: If there is a gap between the hose and the compressor’s intake, then the effectiveness of the entire process will drastically reduce, so refrain yourself from making this mistake

Once you’re done with the aforementioned step, all you need to do is take the hose in the open space and fix it.

If you’re not satisfied with the final outcome or you want to reduce the noise further, then you can use the rubber grommets to secure the hose.

Muffler Placement

As per my experience, I can assure you that placing a muffler on the intake will give amazing results.

I’m not telling you to go by my words rather execute the process and thank me later.

For the successful execution of this process, you’ll need heavy-duty air hoses and a muffler as well.

You need to be very careful while using both ends of the hose.

Connect one end of the hose to the muffler and the other end to the intake.

You can expect a reduction of up to 4 dB in the noise.

To make things simpler for you, I’m attaching a self-explanatory video.

Buy an Affordable Silent Air Compressor

I hope you would’ve definitely guessed what am I going to discuss in this section.

However, before you jump to this choice, I would recommend you try all the aforementioned steps.

Without any doubt, this is the easiest of all the methods that we’ve discussed so far, but it comes with a price.

If your air compressor is quite old and is still making noise after you’ve applied the aforementioned steps, then all you can do is replace your existing compressor with the quietest air compressor.

There are specifically designed compressors that operate at the decibels equal to or less than the normal human conversation.

Don’t believe me?

Check this quiet compressor (check the current price on Amazon) which produces a sound as low as 56 decibels and thank me later.

If you’re also among the ones who think that the silent air compressors are quite costly, then I can bet, there are some good super silent compressors that you can afford even though you’re on a shoestring budget.

Moreover, if you’re keen to learn more about the quietest air compressors, then I would advise you to go through our post about quiet air compressors.

Does it sound good?

Best Anti-Vibration Pads for Air Compressor

As we discussed earlier placing rubber pads beneath the air compressor can drastically reduce the vibrations.

Moving forward, we’ll talk about some of the best anti-vibration pads available on the market.

Whether you’ve got a noisy air compressor or a silent one, these anti-vibration pads are the must-have accessories.

 Moreover, the use of anti-vibration pads are not limited to air compressor only, but they can be used for many other similar machines such as dishwashers, air conditioners, washing machine, etc.  

Choosing the Best Anti-Vibrations Pads for the Air Compressor

You may be astonished to know that the first time I used an anti-vibration pad wasn’t for an air compressor.

In fact, I used it for my 3-year-old washer which was making an irritating noise.

I already had made up my mind for a new washer, but before that, I was just inquisitive about the hacks that can make a washer quieter.

So, I just gave it a shot, and the end result was simply mind-boggling.

Trust me, I dropped the plan of buying a new washer, and the old one lasted for a couple of years more.

Before applying any tips/tricks to make my washer quieter, I did thorough research and narrowed down a couple of methods.

Finally, I decided to give anti-vibration pads a try.

However, some of the quietest air compressors come with anti-vibration feet.

As a result, the compressor vibration is reduced drastically even though it is placed on a hard surface such as hardwood or concrete.

So, if you’re planning to buy a quieter air compressor, then definitely look for the one that has rubber feet like Sorbothane pads. (Check the current price on Amazon)

A word of caution: My personal advice would be to never go for an air compressor that has metal feet because it will further aggravate the vibration problem.

Well, don’t worry, if your existing air compressor has metal feet, I’ve got a simple solution for you, apply it correctly and thank me later.

All you need to do is to get an anti-vibration pad such as a Casa Pura recycled rubber mat (check the current price on Amazon) and cut it in the shape as per your requirement.

Moreover, you need to be well-informed about the vibration pad that you’re willing to buy.

All the vibration pads aren’t the same and trust me, the costliest vibration pad isn’t the best always.

Material Selection

Well, it is very important to select a vibration pad that is made of materials that are good at absorbing sound.

How many of you are aware of the fact that most of the vibration pads are made of rubber?

Of course, there is a reason for it.

Considering the weight and density of the rubber, it is one of the most sought materials for a high-quality vibration pad.

On top of it, rubber is great at absorbing vibrations, and for the same reason, it is used in most soundproofing projects where one needs to combat vibration.

Another reason to consider rubber is its ability to resist heat.

You’ll find some air compressors getting overheated if you’re using them for a long duration.

Meanwhile, we’ve got a thermal protector to combat overheating still a vibration pad provides an additional layer of security.

Moreover, if you’ve completed any soundproofing project such as a soundproofing room, etc., and have used mass-loaded vinyl, then you can simply place the unused MLV beneath the air compressor

It will work almost similarly to vibration pads if not better.

Vibration pads come in different shapes and sizes.

Some of them are solid like this (check the current price on Amazon) while others are softer.

You may be inquisitive about which one is better out of the two, right?

Well, I’ve found foam rubber products to have an upper edge over their solid rubber counterparts.

Pro Tip: The more malleable the foam the better it will absorb the sound

Size and Quantity to Look For

Depending upon your requirement, either you can buy a large mat or you can even go for precut options available on the market.

Furthermore, the vibration pad comes in different shapes, sizes, and thicknesses.

The mats come in 3, 6, 9, and 12-inch squares.

 If we talk about the thickness then you can expect them to be an eighth or a quarter-inch thick, or 3/8 inches.

Similarly, you can find smaller mats in packs of 4, 6, 8, or more pieces.

In terms of availability, you can find vibration pads at both your local store as well as online.

However, there are some idiosyncratic types of vibration pads that aren’t available at the local store.

Lately, I’ve started using vibration pads such as Diversitech (check the current price on Amazon) and LGB Products that are specially designed to dampen the vibrations of various appliances such as washers, washing machines, air conditioners, etc.

The good thing about these vibration pads is that both of them come in packs of four 4-inch squares, and they’re 0.87 inches thick. 

They are ribbed and so, they will not slide across the floor.

Different Ways to Use Anti-vibration Pads to Quiet Your Air Compressor

I’ve personally used quite a few of these methods to quiet my air compressor.

Even after buying a super silent air compressor, I use a couple of these methods as an additional layer of protection against the vibration.

It is good to buy a high-quality vibration pad, but at the same time, it is equally important to place them in a CORRECT and effective way to get the optimum result.

I’ve seen the newbies making the mistake in the later part.

Put Anti-Vibration Pads Beneath the Machine

Some of the air compressors come with hard rubber feet while the rest have rubber padding.

Both will combat the vibration to some extent.

To get the optimum result, place the anti-vibration pads beneath the machine.

It will act as an additional layer of protection against the vibrations.

If you’re not satisfied with the end result, then you can place a thick anti-vibration mat or anti-vibration tiles under each foot.

In case, you’ve got a huge 60-gallon compressor, then you’ll have to screw the feet into the floor.

So, all you can do is create some space between the floor and the feet using oil-resistant pads.

On top of it, you can even place anti-vibration tiles beneath each foot by drilling holes.

Again, I would recommend you use rubber grommets against the metal pieces that rub against each other.

Padding Using Blanket

If you’re a DIY or an innovative person, then definitely you love using soundproof blankets smartly to dampen the vibration.

Don’t worry if you don’t have a soundproof blanket handy with you, simply place an old blanket that you’ve in your home beneath the air compressor.

It will provide the required padding.

If your air compressor has the problem of overheating, then I would advise you to put a rubber pad over the blanket, and then place it under the compressor.

For the smaller and compact units, regular blankets will do the trick.

However, for the bulky ones, I would highly recommend using a soundproof blanket.

Wrap the soundproof curtain across your air compressor, and you’ll be more than happy with the end result.

Another thing that you can do is to create a soundproof space in your room where you’ve placed your compressor.

A soundproof space can be easily created with the help of a soundproof room divider curtain.

In short, create an acoustic barrier, and place your compressor on the other side.

In case, you’re hearing the name of the soundproof blanket for the first time, let me tell you, these moving blankets are made of thick soundproof fabrics that are capable of absorbing sound.

For optimum results, you can increase the thickness of these blankets by multi-folding them.

Even though you’re on a shoestring budget, you can afford these blankets.

Use a Soundproof Box

The soundproof box is one of the best ways to quiet noisy home appliances such as air compressors, generators, etc.

As a newbie, you may find it difficult to make a soundproof box with proper instruction and guidance.

In order to help you with the required information, we’re gonna discuss step-by-step methods to make a soundproof box on your own with any professional help.

How to build a soundproof box?
  • The first thing that you need to do is to take the measurement of your air compressor and jot it down in a notebook for later use
  • To be on the safer side, add a few inches on all the sides in the measurement
  • For the next step, you need to have the furring stripboard handy with you.
  • Cut the board as per the measurement to prepare the frame of the box
  • Make two sets of legs from the stripboard
  • Now, make some small blocks from the stripboard.
  • These small blocks are for the inside panel
  • All you need to do is to screw the small blocks onto the two adjacent sides of the central section of each of the legs
  • The next step would be to screw each separate pair of legs with the top plate
  • Position small blocks in such a way that they will face each other
  • Side panels are very important as they are used to hold the box together
  • In the next step, you need to measure the distance between the leg frames
  • I recommend a foam backer board to create the panels of the box.
  • You have to create only five panels and leave the bottom space open
  • Screw the outside panel on the frame of the box and use the small boxes that you cut previously and screw the inside panels on them.
  • So, you’ve prepared a double-paneled box with the bottom side open.
  • For a better result, you can apply insulation on the inside as well as outside of the panel
  • As per the measurement of the exhaust pipe, cut out a channel from the box.
  • Finally, add a handle to make the box handy

I’m attaching a self-explanatory video for your perusal.

It’s A Wrap

I hope you’ve enjoyed every bit of this piece of information.

I can assure you that if all the steps are followed as per the instructions, then there isn’t any reason why you’ll not be able to quiet your air compressor, old or new.

Needless to say, nowadays, most of the ultra-quiet compressor comes with rubber feet.

However, there is always a chance for improvement.

Moreover, using a thick rubber mat (check the current price on Amazon) or foam tiles will definitely reduce the vibrations further.

There isn’t any winner or loser in this rat race, but at the same time, I would suggest, you should definitely give this black and blue pad (check the current price on Amazon) a try.

So, to conclude, you can place the aforementioned anti-vibration pads beneath the air compressor, followed by wrapping up the compressor using blankets.

Finally, you can insulate the entire unit using a soundproof box.

Lastly, the aforementioned steps are the ones that I’ve used in a couple of my soundproofing projects and I feel privileged to share with you that the end results were amazing.

Nonetheless, you can be more creative and get a better result.

Last but not least, please share this piece of information with the ones who are in need of it.

After all, sharing is caring!