4 Factors Influencing Air Compressor Noise Levels

It is important for the workplace to be as free from any kind of pollution (including noise pollution) as possible. People should understand what causes air compressors to be noisy in order to take steps to minimise that noise. This article discusses some of the contributing factors which you should think about when you want to reduce the noise emitted by an air compressor.


Noise is usually generated when moving parts touch one another. You should therefore look at the operating system of a given air compressor before you buy or rent it. For example, air compressors with pistons (reciprocating compressors) tend to be noisier when compared to air compressors with helical screws (rotary screw air compressors). The type of air compressor which you buy can therefore predispose you to certain levels of noise. That noise level can increase depending on the size of the air compressor.

The Power Source

How the air compressor is powered often plays a role in the magnitude of the noise which is likely to be generated by that air compressor. For example, electric air compressors tend to be quieter while petrol or diesel-powered air compressors will be noisier since they rely on an engine to produce the power upon which the air compressor relies for its performance. You should therefore think carefully about the power source of the air compressor which you want to buy before you place your order. Only buy an air compressor powered by a potentially noisy mechanism if other measures are available to reduce the noise.


The location of the air compressor plays a role in how noisy people will find that piece of equipment. People tend to perceive more noise if the air compressor is close to them. This phenomenon gives you a way to address that noise by installing the compressor far from work spaces. Appropriate piping can channel the compressed air to the place where it is needed without having the compressor nearby.

Attenuating Mechanisms

Different manufacturers use different ways to dampen the noise generated by air compressors. For example, one manufacturer may enclose the components of the compressor in a thick housing so that the noise can be contained within that container. Others use rubber components or dampening pads in order to minimise noise and vibration. Be a savvy buyer and assess the specific measures which a manufacturer has used to bring down the noise created by the air compressor. 

The noise level of air compressors is usually provided in the product literature or manual of each compressor. Find that information and select an air compressor whose noise level doesn't violate any noise pollution laws in your area.