General Question

Rickomg's avatar

How do I sound proof a room with a very loud large compressor in it?

Asked by Rickomg (244 points ) August 20th, 2009

I have a large compressor within a 6×10x10 room (sheet rock,tile ceiling, concrete floor) in my building at work. I need to get it quieted down as it is causing staff to have headaches due to the noise. There is no chance of moving the compressor. So I need to find a way do greatly reduce the noise coming out of that room. I have looked at a couple of sites but can’t really make heads or tails for them. I see all kinds of solutions but have no direct knowledge of them or if they will actually work… and thus I ask you all for help!

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4 Answers

ragingloli's avatar

vacuum panels

dpworkin's avatar

Soundproofing – isolating vibration, and absorbing sound waves.. Special mounts for the compressor, and foam waffle for the walls and ceiling might be a place to begin.

Architects can design a sound-isolated “room within a room” for intractable problems.

RocketGuy's avatar

… what @pdworkin said.

We have foam lining on our test chamber walls at work, and it does a great job of absorbing sound. My attic is stuffed with fiberglass insulation and is almost as silent. Definitely will need special mounts for the compressor too.

bpeoples's avatar

@pdworkin is on the right track.

Mason industries makes some great products. Depending on how your compressor mounts to the floor, you want to get it off that floor and shaking on its own without the floor.

If it’s not actually anchored to the floor, put it on some of this stuff:
http://www.mason-industries.com/masonind/private/files/pdf/SW.pdf

If it is, the BR series would do well: http://www.mason-industries.com/masonind/private/files/pdf/BR.pdf

NEXT, you need to get the sound transmission down through the walls & ceiling.

If you can, just build a room inside the room it’s already in. You don’t even have to rock both sides of the studs, just build a stud wall/roof 6” clear of the existing one, rock that one. Make sure you still have ventilation—we had the thermal kick on a compressor we were using when an air vent got blocked.

There’s a product called duct liner—it’s fire resistant, cheap, and easy to install. Put that on the inside of your inner room, if you’re feeling really generous, put it on the inside of the outer room.

Put foam weather seals on the door into the inner & outer room (you’ll need two, or an acoustically rated door, with some complicated rubber pads between the inner & outer rooms).

To really cut down on the low frequency noise you need mass. If it’s mostly making low frequency noise, you may need to double rock both the inner & outer rooms. That mass will help cut down on the transmission. (You could also fill the space between the inner & outer room with lead wool, but that’s just overkill if you’re not engineering the solution)

If you do all this and it’s still a problem, you’ll need to consult an acoustician. I’d start with ARUP: http://arup.com/ and see if they’ll help, or refer you to someone else who can.

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