How To Quiet A Noisy Refrigerator Compressor [8 Different Ideas]

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Getting down to the bottom of an issue with your bigger kitchen appliances can be tricky. Have you started noticing that your refrigerator's compressor is louder than usual and don't know what to do? Well, we've done extensive research into this topic and are here to help. Let's figure this out.

This won't be too hard if you need to quiet the compressor on your refrigerator. A few ways we recommend include:

  • Leveling out the legs to your appliance.
  • Use a mat underneath your fridge.
  • Relocating your refrigerator to an alcove.
  • Building a shelf around your fridge.
  • Clean your appliance's condenser coils.
  • Clean and inspect the fan on your fridge.
  • Use soundproofing materials.
  • Repair or replace your current refrigerator.

As we begin, we will cover all things refrigerators and discuss the different ways to quiet yours down. Whether you deal with excess noise regularly or this is new, we're here to offer plenty of help. With that said, let's dive right into this post!

Disassembled refrigerator compressor, How To Quiet A Noisy Refrigerator Compressor [8 Different Ideas]

What Is The Best Way To Quiet A Refrigerator Compressor?

Although there are many ways to quiet a refrigerator compressor, inspecting and repairing it will be the best option: Furthermore, a noisy compressor often means that a piece of your fridge is loose, which results in a rattling sound.

A refrigerator inside an empty kitchen

Another easy fix is trying an anti-vibration mat or pad underneath your appliance. You can usually find a rubber option for around $50-$100, so this shouldn't be too expensive.

If you don't mind getting your hands dirty, we recommend giving your refrigerator's compressor a thorough cleaning, specifically the condenser coils and fan.

Again, there are plenty of ways to do this, which we will explain below:

Level Out The Legs Of Your Refrigerator

One way to stop a fridge compressor from being noisy is by leveling its legs. Doing this shouldn't be too complicated and keep your appliance from rattling.

However, many experts recommend keeping the front of your fridge slightly higher than the back, so leveling it completely could cause the doors to be uneven down the road.

Use A Mat Beneath Your Fridge

Second, you can try placing an anti-vibration mat/pad under a noisy refrigerator. As we said, this is a pretty affordable option and should quiet things down.

Again, you will need someone to help you lift your refrigerator to do this, so make sure to invite someone over.

RevTime Anti-Vibration Mats

This pack of two anti-vibration mats works for large appliances, measure 25x25 inches, are 1.5 inches thick, and are made of heavy-duty nonslip rubber.

Follow this link to see them on Amazon.

Relocate Your Fridge To An Alcove

Moving your appliance to an alcove can help lessen the noise you hear from the compressor. Typically, any loud sounds from your refrigerator will bounce off the walls back into your fridge, which can be helpful.

However, relocating a refrigerator isn't always easy and will require help, so that's something to consider.

Build A Shelf Around Your Refrigerator

If you prefer a DIY project, building a shelf around your fridge can help quiet it down. Think of this as creating a cabinet for your appliance, which will trap excess noise within rather than echoing through your house.

Clean Your Appliance's Condenser Coils

Another way to fix a loud fridge compressor is to clean its condenser coils. As we covered earlier, dirty coils can create extra noise for the compressor on your refrigerator, so keeping them clean is essential.

Your condenser coils could also have frost build-up, which in that case, you want to use a blowdryer to melt the excess ice.

Clean And Inspect Your Fridge's Fan

Following the cleaning theme, your refrigerator's evaporator fan will also cause noise for the compressor. Luckily, cleaning this fan won't be hard and is as easy as using a soft cloth.

Be careful during this, and avoid using moisture/chemicals while you wipe.

Use Soundproofing Materials

You can also try to use soundproofing materials near a noisy compressor. We recommend foam wall pads with good absorption, as they will catch the extra sounds coming from your appliance.

Audiosoul High-Density Soundproof Foam Panels

This pack of 24 soundproofing panels helps reduce noise, measure 12x12 inches, are an inch thick, and come in other bundle options.

Check out these panels on Amazon here.

Repair Or Replace Your Current Refrigerator

Lastly, you can try to have a professional inspect your fridge. Although this does seem like more of a last resort, sometimes, as the refrigerator ages, its parts become noisy.

Furthermore, if your appliance is more than ten years old and has more issues than you care to deal with, replacing it with a new one could be the best option.

What Makes A Refrigerator So Noisy?

Typically, a refrigerator will be loud if there's an issue with the defrost timer, condenser fan, or compressor. Specifically, if your fridge has a clogged or dirty condenser coil, this could explain why the compressor is so loud.

However, if the sound is coming from inside your appliance, the evaporator fan is likely to blame. Although all of these parts are different, it's expected that one can affect the other and create noise.

With that said, the compressor tends to be the loudest piece to a refrigerator, so you will hear it more if a problem arises.

What Does A Bad Refrigerator Compressor Sound Like?

If your fridge's compressor is bad, expect to hear a loud humming noise or buzzing. It's also likely you'll notice rattling coming from your refrigerator, which can be especially annoying.

Additionally, a defective or bad compressor could produce a knocking or clunking noise whenever it shuts off, so make sure to keep an ear out.

Any strange noise coming from your fridge, compressor or not, usually means something is wrong, so ignoring it isn't a great idea.

How Loud Should A Fridge Compressor Be?

A refrigerator compressor

In general, a refrigerator compressor shouldn't be too loud. According to Better Soundproofing, a new fridge's compressor shouldn't exceed more than 50 decibels, which is pretty quiet.

That said, a fridge compressor can become slightly louder as it ages, but if yours becomes distracting, there's a problem. As we noted, noise coming from a refrigerator usually indicates a problem, which a professional should check out.

Furthermore, you could need to replace the compressor on your fridge if it's more than 8-10 years old, which will cost between $250 and $650.

Is A Fridge Compressor Supposed To Be Silent?

No. The compressor in a refrigerator isn't supposed to be silent. Considering that this piece does need to make some noise to operate, it's normal to hear soft humming while your fridge runs.

Even in newer fridges, you can expect to hear some level of sound emitting from your appliance, so this isn't an issue of age. However, anything more than a soft hum could mean something is clogged, defective, or broken, so too much noise isn't good either.

Why Does My Fridge Make Noise At Night?

If you notice your fridge is especially loud during the night, this could be due to a temperature change. Typically, as a refrigerator gets warmer or colder, its specialized sensors will adapt to this and use more/less energy to operate.

Specifically, the components and panels on a fridge will expand or contract accordingly, hence the weird noises through the nighttime. Luckily, this is normal, although depending on how loud the shifting is, this could mean less sleep for you.

How Do I Stop My Refrigerator From Making Noise At Night?

For those with an unruly fridge, there are ways to quiet it through the night. As our earlier examples suggested, using soundproof foam or pads for a restless refrigerator can be helpful.

Especially if your appliance is quiet during daytime hours, we don't think it's necessary to level it or mess with its mechanics. Instead, use an alternative method, like a floor mat, pad, or wall panels.

How Long Should A Refrigerator Compressor Last?

A disassembled refrigerator compressor

In general, a fridge compressor should last you ten or more years. Of course, the lifespan of a compressor will depend on how well you maintain it, so some may last for shorter periods.

According to Compressors Unlimited, refrigerator owners should start to plan for a compressor replacement around year eight, so that's something to think about.

However, they also stress the importance of good maintenance and repairing a compressor as soon as an issue arises. This can extend its life to over ten years, so upkeep makes a difference.

To Wrap It All Up

Disassembled refrigerator compressor

Whether you notice unusual sounds coming from your fridge or suspect something is wrong with its compressor, it's good to know what to look for. There are plenty of ways to quiet a fridge compressor, from what we found.

These range from simple cleaning to DIY projects such as building a shelf, using soundproof wall pads, and even floor mats.

Most importantly, you want to inspect the compressor on a refrigerator if it is making clanking, rattling, loud humming, or buzzing, as these may be a sign there is something seriously wrong with your appliance.

Regardless, make sure to clean the condenser coils and fan on your fridge regularly, and don't be afraid to try non-mechanical alternatives to quiet your fridge through the day and nighttime hours.

Made it to the end? Check out these helpful related refrigerator posts below!

How Old Is My Refrigerator? Here's How To Find Out!

Can A Refrigerator Be Transported On Its Side Or Back?

Do Refrigerators Have Air Filters? [And Where To Find Them]

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