A refrigerator, colloquially known as a fridge is easily one of the most important boons of technology and an indispensable part of home all across the globe. Because it is such a common sight for every home to have a fridge at its disposal, almost all of us can say that we have experienced a noisy refrigerator compressor.
It is a monotonous buzzing sound that comes 24×7 from the compressor of the fridge without pause and it can be pretty annoying after a while. To add to the problem, the intensity of the noise sometimes increases due to power surges and it becomes all the more unbearable.
7 Ways To Quiet A Noisy Fridge Compressor
Here’s a list of hacks that can help you deal with fridge compressor noise. But before we go into that let us first understand what a compressor is and what function or purpose it serves.
To put it simply, the compressor is the most important part of a refrigerator. It is made up of a pump or motor that propels the refrigerant through a coil system. After the refrigerant passes through the evaporator, the fridge compressor converts it into a liquid at high temperatures.
High pressure has to be maintained by the compressor in order to transport the refrigerant and this often leads to the very noises we want to get rid of.
To learn how to deal with a noisy compressor, keep reading!
The fundamental mechanism of a fridge is such that it always vibrates no matter what. The vibration may be very low and way beyond audible reach but it is still there. The problem starts when the intensity of the vibration increases and this can be endlessly distracting.
Anti-vibration mats or pads address this problem by absorbing the vibratory wavelength before it becomes that annoying compressor noise. You can use this on four corners of the fridge stand or simply lay out one big sheet of it underneath the fridge.
Anti-vibration pads are easily available in stores and even online and installing them under the fridge is also not much of a hassle.
Reposition Your Refrigerator
Sometimes we do not realize that the ground of our homes may not be flat and has a slight slope. This usually does not cause any problem except the occasional water spills that will immediately roll according to the sloped slide.
However, if a fridge is placed on this slope, it might create a problem because you are essentially placing the device on an uneven surface. If any two sides of a fridge are not placed on the same level it will exert more pressure on the compressor leading to a loud refrigerator compressor.
You can solve this issue by shifting the fridge to an area of your house where the ground is even. You can check for even ground by doing the slope test- or just spill a little amount of water on the ground, if it starts to move then the ground is sloped. If however, it remains stagnant then the ground is completely flat.
However, it is not always possible to reposition a fridge due to the unavailability of electric power sockets with sufficient wattage. In that case, you have to find out which side of the ground is sloped, or at a lower level and stick a felt pad under the fridge stand on that side to bring the entire structure to an even level.
Clean The Compressor
Dirt and dust that get clogged inside the compressor or the evaporator are the most common culprits behind that excessive vibration and buzzing that we all hate. The back of the fridge is like an abyss that swallows everything, starting from dust to even small moths and butterflies.
So if you have the corpse of a moth stuck in the compressor, of course, it’s loud and buzzing like that. Poor refrigerator maintenance is the most likely reason behind a loud refrigerator compressor. The only way to prevent this from repeatedly occurring is to inspect the compressor regularly and then clean the parts.
To do that you have to unplug the fridge and turn the back side away from the wall to a more accessible position. Then you have to remove the access panel and check the compressor and condenser fans. It goes without saying that you should never use a damp cloth to clean the compressor as any contact with water will be damaging it beyond repair.
Soundproof The Walls Behind The Fridge
One way to deal with the refrigerator compressor noise is to stop it from traveling all across the room through the walls. And to do that, you have to soundproof the walls that are closest to the sound of the compressor, i.e, the back wall.
You can use MDF or Soundproof Foam or Mass Loaded Vinyl for this purpose. Both of these will be easily available at any nearby hardware store. Measure the dimensions of your refrigerator and get the material according to that dimension but 2-3 inches less on every side. This will prevent the soundproofing panel sticking out from the back of the fridge like a sore thumb.
You might have to incorporate the electricity socket board into the soundproof material design depending on its location, as in you can cut out a square block from the inner side of the material so as to not cover the socket and leave it open for the cord to go in.
Once the material is ready, you have to install it on the wall. You can use screws or you can use a glue compound like green glue soundproofing compound which will further insulate the wall against structural transmission of sound.
Build A Casing For The Fridge
This might seem a bit far-fetched but it is not uncommon. Building a casing for the fridge will ensure that its surface does not get dirty or get scratches from randomly hitting it with sharp objects and such. And above all, it will keep all the sounds inside the casing.
Lining the sides of the casing with soundproof foam or MLV will make it soundproof and further prevent any buzzing sounds from getting out.
The only thing you need to remember while housing your fridge into a case is that it needs to be roomy, and should have vents. This is to ensure that the hot air from the fridge is safely released before it leads to the overheating of the compressor.
Move The Fridge Into An Alcove
An alcove is a hollow made into the wall surface that can fit stuff inside. Many houses have pre-made alcoves for different items in the house such as a closet or a fridge or a microwave oven.
If your living space also has one of these then instead of building a casing for the fridge you can simply place the fridge inside the alcove and save the money needed to build the casing. Having walls on three sides will greatly reduce the compressor noise. You can still soundproof the back wall using the methods mentioned above to ensure an absolutely quiet fridge compressor.
Alcoves that are built near the kitchen will serve as an ideal spot for placing the fridge because of obvious reasons but also because the construction design will have definitely allowed for an electric socket with sufficient wattage to support the fridge near this alcove.
Replace The Compressor
Unfortunately, after years of prolonged usage, the compressor may be failing and giving out. The most easily recognizable sign of a falling compressor is a loud buzzing that sometimes increases on its own.
The only thing that can be done to such a compressor is to replace it. Do not try it yourself. Call a professional for help. The process is not that tricky but still should not be attempted without enough expertise to prevent further damage to the refrigerator.
The Bottom Line
As already mentioned above, a vibrating sound is quite normal for a fridge and you need not be necessarily concerned about it. If you get a dripping noise from inside the fridge then it is probably because of the dripping of the excess condensation on drain pan, or drip tray. For fridges that have automatic ice-makers, they might emit a clicking noise when water enters the ice-maker.
Repetitive clicks and gentle bangs are also normal compressor noises as the insides of the fridge undergo evaporation due to the refrigerant.
The noises that need your concern will usually come from the compressor and it will be a really loud unbearable buzzing noise. In that case, you will have to call in someone for repairs or get the compressor replaced.