Having a generator is great. Come storms, power outages, or emergencies, you’ll be grateful you have a generator. And when you go out of town, you can still get some of the amenities you have at home with the help of a generator.
The only drawback? It shows its power by being noisy.
They’re so loud, they can sometimes cause headaches. There’s just no going about it. Generators are noisy because they are working really hard to produce power.
When fuel is used, it undergoes combustion which is the bigger part why a generator is noisy. At 50% load, it produces less noise because it doesn’t have to struggle with a magnetic force. The more load, the noisier it gets.
Portable generators are less noisy because they are smaller, thus producing less power than a regular one. Inverter generators also have less noise.
They say generators with 65 decibels or 65 dB (the unit of loudness) is the average. Portable ones I see have an average of 50 dB. There are also generators that exceed 65 dB like home standby generators.
Why are they loud?
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Several factors play as to why generators are so loud and noisy.
Inverters are less noisy than conventional generators. They produce power in 3 stages and don’t have to constantly run. They have the ability to speed up or slow down the engine depending on the power demand, and therefore making little to no noise.
An inverter’s technology uses modern and technical magnets to help produce power.
Conventional generators do the opposite.
Inverters are the more modern type of generator. Their technology is advanced to make room for noise reduction, convenience, and portability. The only drawback is that they don’t have much power with them compared to conventional ones.
The more watts or power a generator produces, the noisier it gets. This means larger and conventional generators produce the most power.
Bigger generators have bigger engines and thus bigger power. Smaller ones have smaller engines, therefore they produce less power.
4. Sound-proofing Products
Some work and some don’t. Some of them are foam panels, echo absorbers, sound-proof cases, noise deflectors, rubber feet, and more.
It’s pretty clear that the closer the generator is to you, the more your head is likely to pop. And the solution’s pretty obvious too. You can position it farther away from you.
Don’t put it next to your neighbor’s though. Place it at a good distance that won’t disturb you or your neighbors that much. A cable can greatly help.
An unlevel and flimsy surface will make the generator vibrate even more. This can make the noise worse than it already is.
Putting it on a flat surface will help. You can also use mounts that prevent too much vibration.
Tips on How to Make Generators Less Noisy
By now, you should have picked up some ideas based on the reasons as to why generators are loud. But if you still want some more tricks to go with them, I got you covered.
Our Guide on How to Make a Generator Quiet
Here are some more tricks on how to deal with a noisy generator:
1. Place it on a soft surface.
Putting a generator on an unbalanced surface will make a generator vibrate even more. It will produce more noise. Moreover, doing so may cause damage to the generator.
I know I said put it on a leveled surface. But if you put it on a separate wooden platform or board, it will still shake. The same goes for concrete.
So, where do you exactly put it? Directly on the ground with grass or soil.
If you don’t have even a patch around, anti-vibration mats are available. Place them on the concrete or wood before you place the generator. It should help with the noise.
2. Reposition the exhaust pipes.
Most, if not all generators have horizontal pipes. Repositioning them vertically will steer the noise upward instead of around.
Don’t expect a drastic reduction in noise, but it will be reduced.
3. Get a muffler
The noise that the generator makes will exit through the exhaust. A muffler will reduce the noise produced.
The same concept applies to motorbikes with mufflers. Take them out and you’ll understand why.
If you already have a muffler and it’s still noisy, replace it with a new one. Remember that a generator’s muffler is different from a vehicle’s. Finding one or a replacement can be hard.
What you can do is contact a mechanic or technician so you can have a personalized muffler for your generator’s exhaust.
4. Build a case
Don’t want to buy sound-proofing products? Make them, then.
You can make your own case, enclosure, box, or whatever you call it by using wood and a quiet board. You can make it bigger and add in acoustic foams and voila!
5. Do the water trick.
Have you ever tried using a garden hose and you forgot about it in the bucket while it’s on? You forgot about it because it didn’t make any sound.
The same idea can be applied to the noise coming from the exhaust. Just attach a hose or even a tube to the noise exhaust and put the other end on half a bucket of water. Just make sure no water can enter the generator or it’s the end of the line for it.
Perhaps you are stuck with your current generator after investing a lot into it and don’t need a new one. Sometimes buying a replacement generator is out of the question – but if you are ready for a new one – here are recommendations for a quieter generator:
I have tried the water trick and it definitely works. The water bubbling up is far better than the generator’s noise. I already placed the generator on the ground and wanted to try something new.
So I built myself a baffling case. It was okay but I think I need more practice now that I have some ideas on how to make it better. I definitely want to build one for my smaller portable generator so I can take it with us without making much of a disturbance, noise-wise.
But I think more than anything, you need to take good care of your generators as well so they can work longer for you.