How to Reduce AC Noise in an Apartment?

How to Reduce AC Noise in an Apartment

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With summer coming in hot, it’s time to turn the AC on. However, if your apartment is anything like mine, your AC unit may make a deafening noise while it’s on. This may get you thinking about how you can reduce the noise your AC unit makes in your apartment.

For an HVAC unit, installing a compressor jacket helps reduce noise. If a window AC unit is causing the problem, inserting sound barriers decreases noise pollution. How to go about reducing noise from an air conditioning unit in an apartment varies depending on what type of unit is installed.

Along with a compressor jacket and sound barriers, there are other ways to reduce AC noise. Going forward, we will talk about more options you have to help keep your apartment a little more quiet and more peaceful.

These solutions will be separated into what type of unit so you can easily determine the ones that will work best for you in your home based on the type of AC unit you have.

Window AC Unit

A window AC is one of the less expensive options out there to cool your home during the summer. It works similarly to other AC units to remove heat and humidity from your apartment, but unlike others, it is more compact and has the entire unit in one tiny box.

One of the simplest ways you can reduce noise from your window AC unit is to clean the air filters and coil fins.

When too much dust and debris get stuck inside your air filters, condensation gets stuck in them and freezes, which causes a buzzing sound as your AC unit runs. If you keep your unit clean, both inside and out, you’ll enjoy a quieter environment in your apartment.

Sometimes an AC unit is just a tad too small for the window you have it in. This can result in street noise, not to mention hot air, making its way into your apartment. An easy way to fix this issue would be to buy and install window inserts or foam panels.

If there is a big gap, you can purchase foam panels like the ones found on Amazon. These specific panels are easy to use and install as they are self-adhesive and fit in most windows.

The foam of the panel not only prevents hot air from entering your apartment but blocks noise from the street and reduces the noise made by the AC unit.

How to Reduce AC Noise in an Apartment


Unlike a window unit, an HVAC unit isn’t restricted to one space but cools your entire home or apartment through a system of ducts.

A normal AC unit not only provides air conditioning but also heats and ventilates. Although HVAC units are generally outside of your home, they can still be noisy.

The most common way to reduce the noise your HVAC unit makes is to buy a compressor jacket. A compressor jacket is usually made out of some kind of fabric or foam that absorbs noise made by the compressor of your HVAC unit.

This compressor jacket from Brinmar is highly rated on Amazon and guarantees to reduce the noise your unit makes by at least 40%.

Sometimes with HVAC, the problem isn’t the unit, but the grilles that cover the ducts. Replacing or cleaning the grilles will help reduce noise.

If the grilles in your home are too large and allow for too much airflow, then they produce more noise. If you buy grilles like these, with smaller vents you can reduce the noise pollution in your apartment.

Adding more insulation to your apartment can also reduce the noise from your AC unit. Heavy carpet and thick drapes are ways you can soundproof your apartment a little more.

How to Reduce AC Noise in an Apartment?

Ways to Cope with a Loud AC Unit

If you feel like you’ve tried all of these solutions and nothing is making your air conditioning unit quieter, it may be time to think of some tricks that will help you cope with the noise.

You also may need to use some of these tactics while you wait for your Amazon package full of noise-reducing accessories arrives.

One of the best ways to learn to live with constant sound from an AC unit is surprisingly adding more sound. If you increase the ambient noises in your apartments such as fans, dishwashers, or laundry machines, noises from the AC or HVAC unit will be less harsh and noticeable.

You could even invest in a white noise machine to limit the disturbance from the AC. This one from Hatch has an aesthetic interface and can be controlled through an app.

If that’s not working for you, you can cancel out the noise by using earplugs or sleeping with headphones. If you are looking into buying headphones, I’d suggest these noise-canceling ones.

They even connect to Alexa so you can play music or listen to podcasts or audiobooks hands-free. Earplugs however are definitely the cheaper option. You can get a bag with 50 pairs like these for under $15.

Why Is My AC Unit so Loud?

There can be many reasons why your AC unit makes so much noise when it runs. American Home Shield and other sources say that these are common reasons why your AC unit is so loud.

  • Loose parts
  • Debris in either the indoor or outdoor unit
  • The outdoor fan motor is loose or about to fail
  • Fan blades are loose or out of balance
  • The copper lines from outside to inside are rubbing against something
  • The condenser coil needs to be cleaned
  • The air filter needs to be changed
  • The blower is going bad or out of balance
  • Refrigerant leaks
  • Motor needs lubrication
  • Air ducts are damaged
  • Defective Contactor Relay Switch
  • Faulty compressor or condenser

If you think that something may be wrong with your AC unit and causing the noise, contact your local repairman so they can have a look at it and potentially it. Your unit may be in need of a tune-up or repair, or it may be time to replace it completely.

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