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Don’t let the roar of a generator stop you from enjoying the access to electricity it provides.
Sure, generators are noisy devices, especially depending on the fuel type of the machine. But, with some creativity and careful planning, there are certain things you can do to help quiet the racket and help fade its noise into the background.
Below, we’ll cover tips for maintaining peace and quiet in your environment while still being able to reap the benefits a generator provides.
(Source: Hearing Health Foundation)
1. Choose a Generator That Fits Your Needs
The best time to consider noise level is when you buy the device.
If quiet operation is essential to you, keeping that at the top of your punch list is crucial. Different generators come in varying noise levels. If you research a generator with the aim of a quieter model, you’re more likely to feel satisfied with the unit you purchase.
Of course, you should also ensure your selection fulfils your power generation needs. You’ll need to find the right balance between several factors, including the capacity of the generator, the price, and the amount of noise it makes.
Bottom line — prioritise the essential qualities of your search: noise, capacity, power output, fuel type, etc. You can use these priorities to find a model that fulfils as many of your needs as possible.
Below, we’ll cover some different types of generators and some unique considerations for each.
Petrol generators, as you would expect, run off of petrol. These generators pose safety hazards due to carbon monoxide emissions.
Portable petrol generators produce around 80-100 decibels of sound during operation. As you can see in the chart above, this is at least 10 decibels over the recommended safety threshold.
In contrast, the EcoFlow DELTA Pro is much quieter, producing under 50 decibels of noise during operation and charging.
Propane generators run on propane, a cleaner fuel solution than petrol. In general, they also tend to be quieter than petrol generators.
Need help to decide between a petrol generator and a propane generator? Get the best of both worlds with a dual fuel option like the EcoFlow Smart Generator Dual Fuel generator. Despite using propane or petrol, it’s significantly quieter than traditional petrol generators. Plus, it can integrate with a DELTA Pro or Max for additional backup power.
Solar generators run off the power of the sun. They’re good for the environment and operate quietly.
You can create a solar energy setup by combining a power station like the DELTA Pro with solar panels like the 400W Rigid Solar Panel. Solar generators offer a sustainable way for your home to generate and use energy without harming the environment.
A solar generator is more than capable of getting the job done when meeting your power needs, and it has the added perks of being quieter and more environmentally friendly.
2. Place the Generator on a Soft Surface
What surface is your generator operating on?
Some surfaces will amplify the noise a generator makes, while others will help to quiet it. Hard surfaces like asphalt or concrete aren’t great places to set your generator if you value peace and quiet.
Instead, place your generator on noise-dampening surfaces like dirt or grass.
3. Use an Anti-Vibration Mat
What if you’re in a situation where you don’t have a soft surface suitable for your generator to operate?
If that’s the case, consider a rubber anti-vibration mat to provide a softer surface and achieve a quieting effect.
Simply place one underneath your generator and see how much of a difference that makes. It should help reduce the noise you hear when the generator is running.
4. Move Your Generator Further Away
How far away is the generator?
Naturally, the further away your generator is, the less you’ll hear it. Of course, placing it far enough away from you isn’t always an option, but if you can relocate it, you may find it helps to reduce the sound.
The ability to do this might be limited, especially if you’re camping and must avoid disturbing neighbours or don’t have long enough extension cords. Ultimately, be mindful of where you place the generator so you don’t create noise pollution while getting it as far away from your environment as possible.
5. Build an Acoustic Enclosure
If your generator is still too loud, consider building an acoustic enclosure. This would be an enclosure designed to contain the sound waves, resulting in hearing less of the noise a generator produces.
If you don’t feel like getting handy and building an acoustic enclosure, you could also purchase a baffle box to accomplish this effect.
If you build an acoustic enclosure, don’t forget to include holes—airflow is essential. Otherwise, your generator could become damaged by the contained heat. You’ll want to position the holes on the side of your box where your generator’s exhaust is.
Ensure you follow all the safety guidelines outlined in the safety manual if you build anything around it.
This solution is typically more suited to traditional generators, as solar generators or portable power stations don’t normally make enough noise to warrant an enclosure. Not only are they quieter, but solar is also more eco-friendly.
6. Deflect Sound with Plywood
Want a more straightforward solution to constructing an enclosure box? Try propping pieces of acoustic plywood around the generator. This can also reduce the amount of noise you experience.
Research the best ways to do this safely, as this poses some safety risks if you place flammable materials around traditional generators. Be cautious about having any plywood near the exhaust pipe. You must also be careful with the angle of the plywood to allow for sufficient airflow.
Ensure you have every component intentionally positioned so there are no safety hazards; otherwise, a fire may start. Again, follow all the safety guidelines outlined in your generator safety manual.
7. Reposition Your Generator
Which way is your generator facing?
Remember that the exhaust pipes on traditional generators are the source of a lot of the noise from your generator. The noise will likely disturb you if that’s the side facing you.
If your exhaust pipes face away from you, the noise will go in the opposite direction, and this might provide some relief from the sound for you.
Also, consider consulting your generator’s safety manual to see if you can reposition the exhaust pipe. If it points upward, it will have a lower noise output than if it faces downward.
8. Replace the Muffler If Necessary
Is your traditional generator suddenly making much more noise than it used to?
If you have an older generator, the muffler might be faulty, and it might be necessary to replace it. You can bring the device to a small engine mechanic.
They should be able to tell you if a new muffler is needed or if something might be wrong with the engine, causing it to make more noise than it should.
You can determine if it’s worth it to go to this effort based on several factors, including the cost of the generator. If it was an inexpensive unit, it might not be worth the cost of repairing it.
In that case, you might want to consider another model—possibly a solar option that’s quieter in operation and a greener investment.
9. Consider a Generator Silencer
A generator silencer reduces both the noise and emissions produced during operation.
Do your research to ensure you find a high-quality option that’s compatible with your machine. The sound attenuation level depends on the silencer’s grade, ranging from 1-8 different grades. Whether a silencer makes sense depends on the type of machine you’re operating, the location, and how quiet you want to make it.
Frequently Asked Questions
Possibly. There is no guarantee you’ll be able to get a loud generator to a noise level you’re comfortable hearing. But specific actions can help to reduce the noise. If all else fails, consider purchasing a quieter model.
Yes, it’s an option. An acoustic enclosure is one method to reduce the noise from a generator. Whether you can use this option depends on location, size, and safety. While enclosures can help reduce noise levels, the results aren’t guaranteed.
Is your noisy generator driving you crazy?
There are a lot of things you can do to dampen the noise. With the tips in this article, you can hopefully bring the noise down to a manageable level.
However, sometimes the best way to solve this problem is to get a machine that operates quietly in the first place.
When you go solar, you not only can rest your ears, but you can also enjoy a reliable source of energy, cut down on your power bills, and protect the environment at the same time—talk about quiet and peace of mind!
There’s a generator fit for every lifestyle, from our built-to-travel RIVER series solar generators to our powerful DELTA solar generators. When it comes to solar, you can cater your power system to your unique needs. Some users opt to control their entire home using systems like the Smart Home Panel with the DELTA Pro or the Whole Home Generator. Wherever you land, there’s a suitable solar option for you.