Air conditioner compressors come in all shapes and sizes. Some are the quieter (more expensive) type, but others sound like a C-117 Cargo plane is warming up in your backyard, or worst, in your neighbors backyard.
There are many things that can be done to quell a noisy AC or HVAC unit. The most obvious is to purchase a compressor known for it’s quiet operation. The RUUD A/C compressor with the Copeland Spool technology is a good example.
Yet most people would rather treat the noisy compressor with a soundproofing agent, rather than replace the offending unit. Cost is usually a factor in this decision.
It’s funny, the older an air-conditioning compressor gets, the noisier it becomes, but it actually never seems to lose much of it’s efficiency. Sometimes the older they get the better they work. Try to explain that one.
Well, back to the subject at hand. Generally it is best to construct a barricade, similar to a soundproof generator box, around the AC unit and try to make the height of the enclosure/barricade at least 8′ in height for maximum sound blockage. The sound is much LESS likely to climb over an 8′ barrier then it would be to climb a 5 or 6′ wall or barrier. The surrounding wall or barrier, needs to form an “L” from the edge of the wall of the house, it should jut out anywhere from 3′ to 5′ and then travel down the length of the house as far as possible. This wall or barrier needs to be lined on the inside (facing the AC unit) with a sound blocking and sound absorbing material. America Mat is an excellent choice that meets all the requirements for soundproofing in this type of application. You would adhere the America Mat to the inside of the barrier wall with waterproof contact cement or any good quality construction adhesive. The seams would also be adhered together with the waterproof cement, or an acoustical caulk.
Depending on the manufacturers instructions, with regards to the compressor’s ventilation requirements, there are other effective AC and HVAC compressor soundproofing methods. Sometimes a complete ventilated enclosure would be the most effective soundproofing method. Please feel free to call the experts at Soundproofing America, Inc. if you have any questions or wish to order any of these wonderful soundproofing products. Trust the folks at Soundproofing America for all of your soundproofing needs.