The best way to make your generator less noisy is by soundproofing. It is not possible to completely silence a generator, but there are ways to reduce the noise it produces using some ways described below.
A generator is convenient until you have to deal with the noise it produces. The continuous noise can be a nuisance and disturb your tranquility. Luckily, there are some things you can do to reduce that annoying noise. Noise is measured in A-weighted decibels- dB(A). Manufacturers will always include a dB(A) rating to a generator at a set distance. The quieter generators have a range of 75-85 dB(A) at 1m. Most generators have between 60 and 100 dB(A) of noise.
Why Do Generators Make Noise?
A generator is a motorized device that produces energy; therefore, it is bound to make noise. It has an internal combustion engine and other moving parts that generate noise as it transforms mechanical energy into electrical energy. Generators typically use petrol engines to convert mechanical energy into electrical. There are two primary sources of noise from a generator: The engine and the exhaust.
|Source||How it produces noise|
|The Engine||This is the source of mechanical energy and uses fuel to power other generator parts. It produces vibrations that relay into the entire structure to the floor.|
|The Exhaust||This is mainly used as the exit of waste gas. It produces popping sounds as the high-pressure gas inside the engine escapes.|
What Are Some Solutions To Reduce The Noise?
Consider the specs of the generator
There are a variety of generators that cater to different applications. Some considerations are your power needs and budget, which correlate with the decibel level. For lower power needs, the wattage output required will be low for the facilitation of mild power uses such as charging devices; therefore, the noise produced will be low. For more demanding power uses such as running the fridge and microwave, the wattage output will be higher, resulting in more noise. Nevertheless, there are generators designed to provide more power, less noise, and a higher price point.
The location and positioning of the generator
The distance between you and the generator is critical. Place the generator as far away from your vicinity as possible. The decibel noise rating includes distance, which means you will experience less noise when the generator is furthest. You can purchase extra-long, heavy-duty extension cords to put the generator far away. Also, ensure that the generator’s exhaust pipes face away from your home to reduce the impact of noise.
Place the generator on an even, soft surface
Generators tend to be noisier when placed on hard surfaces such as asphalt or concrete, which magnify the noise. Place the generator on a soft surface that will absorb the noise rather than enhance it. Rubber feet are great under generators to eliminate generators’ shaking, which contributes to the noise. You can also place it on cushioned dirt that will absorb the noise.
Use generator covers
Generator covers protect the generator from all types of weather and help control the noise. They cover the loud parts of the generator, which muffles the noise. There are different covers in the market, such as the IGAN Generator Tent Cover, which is waterproof, lightweight but strong, and thick enough to muffle the noise. However, it is not entirely intended to soundproof the generator. Another option is Zombie Box, which fully protects and muffles the generator.
Use sound deflectors
The noise from generators can be muffled by sound deflectors, which are pieces of wood angled around the generator. You need 4 pieces of plywood, roughly 4’ wide by 3’ high, and 1 sheet of a nonflammable material such as drywall. The pieces of wood are supported against the generator at different angles and heights, and the sheet of drywall is for the exhaust side. This is an easy way to significantly reduce the noise produced by your generator.
Use a Baffle Box
This is another way of reducing noise from a generator. A baffle box or enclosure is a barrier to contain the sound waves. It is effective and noticeably reduces the noise level. You can either buy or construct your own, but remember to ensure that it has ventilation holes. This is to provide adequate airflow in the generator, so it does not overheat and get damaged.
Replace the generator’s mufflers
Upgrading to a larger muffler is a common way of reducing the generator’s noise. A muffler reduces the noise from the generator’s engine through the exhaust pipes, which is one of the noisiest parts of a generator. Even though it is unlikely that you will find a muffler designed explicitly for your generator, it is a great way to muffle the noise. You can consult an engine mechanic about the best replacement option for your generator.
Use water as a muffler
This is another alternative to muffling the noise. You will need a 5-gallon bucket of water, a hose, and a clamp to fix the hose to the exhaust pipe. After attaching the hose to the exhaust pipe, dip the other end into the bucket. The generator’s exhaust noise will be directed into the water and muffled. The water shouldn’t flow back into the generator’s exhaust, so ensure this by poking a few small holes into the hose.
There are various ways to make a generator less noisy, some more involving than others. You can choose any that best suits your situation or even combine several. Confirm that your generator is in good condition to ensure that it isn’t producing more noise than necessary due to malfunction.
Is it safe to cover a generator while it is running?
Yes, you can cover a generator even when it is running. The key is to ensure that it is well-ventilated to avoid overheating.
Why are the Honda generators generally quiet?
They have an eco-throttle feature that maintains low speeds in the generator engine, producing less noise.