Every once in a while we get calls from individuals who want to sound proof a piece of equipment they view as an impossible source of noise. Our spring and summer phone calls usually start picking up once families with central air conditioners start uncovering their units – or watching their neighbors uncover theirs.
While many of today’s newer air conditioners claim to be quiet, we know in reality this is not the case. If you have an air conditioner your windows will, of course, be shut so the majority of the noise is blocked from the inside of your home. But what about the noise in your yard caused by the unit itself? What do your neighbors – the ones without central air – think of your noise? If you want to maintain a healthy relationship with your neighbors than it is definitely time to consider soundproofing.
Believe it or not, soundproofing your air conditioning unit is easier than you might think. The first think you are going to do is construct a sound barrier. The barrier should stand approximately 8′ tall and be formed in the shape of an “L” with one part jutting about 3-5′ away from the house and the long part traveling the length of the house for as long as you can reasonably make it.
After you construct the barrier you’ll need to gather some soundproofing materials. All you need to complete this project is some mass loaded vinyl, construction adhesive, and acoustical caulk. Use the construction adhesive to apply the mass loaded vinyl to the inside of the barrier you’ve created, facing the air conditioning unit. Use the acoustical caulk to fill in the seams.
Once you’ve finished the construction portion of your project you’ll want to complete it by painting the exterior of the barrier the same color as your home or the color of the trim. You’re looking at about one day of work (if it even takes that long) to complete this project but the results are well worth the effort you will have to put into it. When you’re finished you will have created a relatively eye-appealing sound barrier and your neighbors, now able to get a great night’s sleep, will start waving to you in the morning again!