Are Commercial Air Compressors too Loud?


Noise in the workplace is certainly something that is not wanted. Beside creating problems for employee’s health and safety it also causes hindrance in the communication process and productivity of the employees. Hence, you would never want your air compressors to contribute to that noise. Some businesses simply consider air compressors as a piece of machine and want their managers to deal with it. But why to choose the noisy option when low noise options are also available. If you come to know why the air compressor is so loud then you can take the required steps to bring the decibel levels down to a very reasonable range.

What causes loud noise in air compressors?

There are moving parts inside the air compressors which make some extent of noise. The noise may be generated from the air intake, the drive gears, and the primary and fan electric motors. In case you are using a reciprocating machine then the pump or air end is the reason for the loud noise. The pumps in reciprocating compressors are the one who is responsible when it comes to noise. Smaller pumps rotate at higher speeds, by creating more friction and more noise. Whereas the dual-piston pumps distribute air compression across two components, so they are able to run slower, but piston pumps have lots of moving parts in contact with each another due to which friction is generated causing very loud noise

There are many such air compressors which are not as loud as piston pumps. This happens because they are always enclosed in sound inhibiting enclosures. The asymmetric rotors only rotate in one direction, so there is less friction but they still have to run at extremely high speeds of between 4,500 and 7,500 rpm, for getting the job done. Apart from these factors, some other factors also impact the noise level like environmental conditions. That implies the sound is highly affected by the place where the machine in place with respect to the employees. As air compressors moving at high speed can create vibrations which can cause the compressor to sound louder than it actually is.

How to reduce the noise in air compressors?

The industries or the users of commercial air compressor can follow a few strategies for reducing pump and air end noise. Here are those ways:

  • They can employ methods to protect the hearing instead of using reducing the noise of the compressor.
  • The compressor can be located far away from the work area.
  • Though the best way is to buy a quieter compressor.

You can purchase such compressors which don’t have direct metal to metal contact due to which there are less friction and therefore less noise. If white metal bushings are used then that ensure a quieter and longer lifespan than the bearings you see in other compressors. This makes the compressor so quiet that often it’s the unit’s cooling fan that produces the most audible noise. Along with low noise, these compressors have low maintenance costs which make choosing it the obvious choice. In order to maintain high noise compressors, you have to lubricate the air compressor, keep filters clean, replace worn bearings, bushings which ultimately increases the maintenance cost.

If noise reduction is a priority for your compressed air application, there’s no better choice than a compressor which has fewer moving parts, require less maintenance, and run slower. As they run slower so there is less friction, and consequently, less noise. Hence, as per, you should opt for the less noisy compressor as it is not necessary that air compressors are always loud. When they are less noisy, then they are more efficient, durable, and cost-effective than other technologies.


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