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How To Soundproof a Generator

The society we live in is usually prone to natural disasters, leading to power outages. Well, no one likes darkness, so you will have to find another option. Gas generators are the best option to power up the house and continue with business as usual.

The portable generator acts as a lifesaver even when found in the most severe conditions. You can always depend on it to save the day, whether you’re camping in the middle of nowhere or the electricity goes out unexpectedly. However, there are moments when you wish it wouldn’t make so much noise.

It not only takes away your peace of mind, but it also causes difficulties with your neighbors, to put it mildly (Agbo, 2020). And the last thing you want to do on your camping trip is scaring away the other people that lurk in the shadows.

The motors inside most generators, which are the fundamental component in their mechanism – you can’t do without them – are the reason they make so much noise. Have you considered finding means to make your generator quieter? In this article, we will discuss various ways in which you can do that effectively.

How To Make a Portable Generator Quieter

Soundproof Your Generator with a Cage

The first hack is to create an enclosure to mask your generator’s sound. While it may be easier said than done, it is nevertheless possible.

The goal is to build a double-layer soundproofing box with a noise-isolating center. To accomplish so, you’ll need supplies to make your primary box, which may be made of MDF. To keep the noise within the box, you’ll use Mass Loaded Vinyl and Foam Mats layers. To bond, the edges, use green glue, which is noise-isolating. Those are the basic components of your soundproofing box; however, there are a few things to watch out for.

For starters, the generator needs enough ventilation, or toxic smoke would build up within the box. One of the important factors to help you know how to soundproof a loud generator is proper ventilation.

Cool air can readily go around sharp bends, whereas sound prefers to travel straightway. Sound waves are broken up and diminished by corners and various surfaces (Amos et al., 2018). Noise generators, pool pumps, and most other noisy equipment will be silenced by constructing a three-box enclosure with lots of air ventilation.

It needs ventilation to avoid overheating and failure. When measuring for the soundproofing box, remember to include the electrical outlets. Read on for a guide on how you can build a soundproof box.

Use Plywood to Reduce Noise

If you want a less permanent but quicker solution, you may wrap the generator with plywood. You’ll take measurements around your generator and build an enclosure to fit comfortably around it out of plywood planks. Keep the exhaust breathing and airflow going. When it comes to lowering generator noise, plywood planks are fantastic, cheap, and easy to use; however, they aren’t as good as erecting a soundproof box.

You Can Use Water to Reduce Noise

As we’ve previously stated, the engine is the primary source of all of the background noise interfering with your ability to sleep. The motor is attached to an exhaust pipe, releasing all generated noise into the surrounding environment. There is a very simple solution to this problem: you may direct the exhaust to a bucket of water using a host to solve the problem. As a result, according to the rules of physics, the water will considerably reduce the amount of sound that is produced.

Decrease The Sound as a Result of Vibration

If you’re still hearing strange noises coming from your generator after dampening the sound with water, you’ve got another problem to deal with. The engine’s vibration is most likely causing this noise, and whatever it’s sitting on is amplifying it. If you have placed your generator on a rocky or hard surface, for example, it might amplify the noise. To easily solve this problem, apply a coating of a material that is soft enough to absorb noise while being solid enough to keep your generator in place. If nothing else comes to mind, utilizing rubber cushioning is a brilliant solution to this hack.

Redirect The Noise Somewhere Else

This last hack doesn’t do anything to muffle the noises; instead, it offers noise reduction by shifting the noise to another location. If your exhaust is horizontal, for example, the possibility of the exhaust striking another surface and causing additional noise is significant. You may lessen some noise in this situation by vertically moving it to face upwards. Sound deflectors can also be used to divert noise differently. The noise will still be present, but it will be less bothersome. Last but not least, you could relocate your generator to a remote spot where you won’t hear it, which might serve as a temporary remedy until you can find another alternative.

How To Build A Soundproof Generator Box

The generator noise control for a permanent or portable soundproof box is similar. The measures below apply to both and can improve sound control if the construction is permanent.

Remember that constructions must be able to be lifted and carried to be portable. Additional layers will reduce noise, but they will also add weight. You should follow the following steps when building the box:

  1. Calculate the generator’s dimensions. Calculate the thickness of the layers used to line the interior, and then add 2″ to 3″ on all sides. You may need to change the measurements depending on the diameter of the flexible duct tube and how extension cables are plugged in. A blueprint with precise measurements will significantly impact the construction process.
  2. On the MDF or plywood, plan the cuts for the sides, top, and bottom (if needed). Once you measure twice, cut once. Use a circular saw or a table saw to make the cuts, or have the lumber store do it for you. For easy identification, label the pieces with a pencil.
  3. Trace the duct pipe opening towards one end of the top piece once you’ve selected it. There are two options for the second vent: it can either be at the opposite end or towards the top of the side that is furthest away from the one painted on top. Because heat rises, the higher the box’s vents are, the better. The two ventilation holes should be cut out. The top ventilation may need to be reworked if the top is to be removable or hinged.
  4. Assemble the box parts so that the sides are inside out and the top is likewise inside out. Draw a perimeter line around the outer border of the top to allow the width of the sides and any layers to be added if the top will rest on the sides and be fastened down. Repeat with the two long sides, or two short sides joined together.
  5. Noise is reduced by using layers. Roll out the MLV and trim it to fit the top and sides, considering the overlap lines around the perimeter. Glue it on the plywood surfaces or MDF immediately. Seal any cracks in the MLV with acoustic caulk beads around the edges. Cutaway the vent pipe openings and seal the seams around them as well.
  6. Use a closed-cell vinyl or rubber foam padding or mat (nitrile, vinyl, EPDM, neoprene, or SBR). It should be cut to size and glued to the MLV layer. Some of the pads are self-adhesive, making them more convenient to use. Cut out the vent opening and seal all edges with acoustic caulking.
  7. It’s now time to put the box together. Pre-drill and countersink for screws since MDF can be fragile. Attach the top to the sides once you’ve secured them. Turn the box over and seal the seams where the sides meet and where the top meets the sides with acoustic caulk. Attach handles to the ends or sides to make it simpler to carry. The box will be about twice as hefty as the last one, but it will muffle more sound.
  8. The vents must be installed correctly. The generator will not function properly and may overheat if there isn’t enough air. The air utilized for combustion must likewise be exhausted by the generator. Because soundwaves move straight, the easiest way to stop it is to use flex exhaust tubing bent in opposite directions. Use brackets to fasten it to the sides and top to keep it from moving. Connect one piping system to the exhaust opening and the other to the intake hole. Caulk all of the pipes that pass through the openings in the box.
  9. Invert the box to the right. Secure some metal screen over the vent openings to keep pests out, and then cover the hole with an angled vent cover. The cover will keep moisture out while also deflecting any unwanted sound. After plugging in, the power cable would be tucked beneath the box’s border.

Plans with a bottom may additionally feature hinges on one end to recline the top for fueling and starting, as well as wheels for mobility. Each design will be unique to the generator, the materials available, the budget, and the builder’s abilities.

How To Soundproof a Generator Room

  • You should take the following steps to reduce the noise in a generator room:
  • Ensure proper ventilation in the machine room
  • Silence the machine room exhaust system
  • Ensure proper machine room sound absorption
  • Enhance the sound performance of the room


Agbo, C. O. (2020). Acoustic Characterization of Retrofit Vertical Duct Soundproof Enclosure for Portable Mini-Generators. Mindanao Journal of Science and Technology18(1).

Amos, A. E., Olisa, Y. P., & Kotingo, K. (2018). Design and performance evaluation of a soundproof enclosure for a 2.5 kVA generator. Journal of Applied Sciences and Environmental Management22(12), 1975-1978.


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