How Can I Make My Generator Quieter?

You’ve picked out the perfect generator to meet your portable or emergency power needs – now you’re ready to crank out the amps! But you’re discovering that many generators produce more than power – they can be awfully loud. You can find generator models that run quieter than others, but some level of noise will always be produced by your generator. So how do you run your generator without filling the campsite or neighborhood with a power-engine roar? We’ve got some tips on how to tame the beast!

Where Does the Generator Noise Come From?

Quieting your generator starts with understanding where the noise is coming from. On most portable generators, two main sources of noise exist: the engine itself and the exhaust. Most – if not all – of the noise is produced by the running motor in your generator. But because the engine is a fairly closed system, a lot of the noise is actually expelled through the exhaust pipe(s). That tells us where to start when it comes to dampening the noise produced by your generator!

Safety Tips While Quieting Your Generator

You came here for tips on how to make your generator quieter – but there are some important safety tips to cover first. Never operate your generator in a closed space with yourself or any other person. Always ensure that your generator has a safe place to expel the noxious fumes it produces. Failing to properly vent your generator can do more than produce a powerfully bad smell – it could lead to carbon monoxide poisoning and severe illness or even death.

Even if you put your generator in a more remote location or inside of a muffling box, check on the generator regularly to make sure it’s operating appropriately. An overloaded or overheating generator can lead to dangerous consequences!

Buy a Noise Solution

There are a number of products on the market to make your generator quieter. The number one product on the market for that purpose is – well – a quieter generator. No generator operates silently, but some are quieter than others. You can also purchase mufflers for your generator that attach to or even replace the exhaust pipe. This can reduce the noise coming from the muffler by passing the sound through corrugated pipes to absorb as many decibels as possible before the noise escapes from your generator. 

Other solutions on the market include generator enclosures – like the conveniently collapsible ZombieBox that claims to reduce noise by five times or as much as 99%. You can also buy a somewhat dubiously-named generator silencer. No solution will completely eliminate the noise from your generator, but these solutions can reduce the noise significantly. Finally, you can also buy sound-dampening mats to set under your generator. Some of the noise produced by your generator actually comes from vibrations that can be absorbed by these mats and lead to a quieter generator experience.

Build a Noise Solution

You don’t have to go buy pre-made solutions for your generator noise problem. You can easily (depending on your level of skill) build one! Take notes from the products on the market and build a sound deflector or enclosure for your generator. You can keep it as simple as plywood boards that angle the noise toward the ground to keep it from traveling far. Or you can build your own soundproof enclosure complete with acoustic panels and a safety vent. 

Of course, you can also put your generator in a pre-built noise solution by housing it in a storage shed. Ensure that the shed is well-ventilated and protected against potential fire hazards. You can tightly clamp a hose to your generator’s exhaust and run it out a window or specially-cut hole to keep the fumes and gasses out of your building.

Get the Best Advice from the Power Pros

If you’ve tried and tried and can’t get your generator down to acceptable noise levels, call the pros at Northside Power for more tips – or a new, quieter generator! Call us today for a free power assessment and generator consultation.