Standby Generator Noise

Overall, generator noise is one of the most common problems that we encounter, almost on a daily basis. Generator noise occurs in residential, commercial, industrial and transportation settings. From huge industrial Caterpillar Generators, to household Generac, or Briggs & Stratton generators, generator noise is also one of the noise sources with which we are most successful in mitigating.

Help Me With Generator Noise

Standby generator noise
Standby Generator

Price vs. Noise

Standby generators have become increasingly popular in recent years with home and business owners after periods of prolonged power outages due to natural disasters, such as hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, fires and earthquakes. One of the challenges faced by generator owners relates to the high levels of noise that generators make. There is no such thing as a quiet generator, and owners are faced with paying more for a full-featured generator set that may operate quietly verses paying less for a louder generator. This trade-off is troublesome since a standby generator will only be used for emergency power over several days and nights as infrequently as once or twice per year.

Standby Generator Decibel Levels

Generators operate at a fixed RPM, however, they develop noise across the audible spectrum depending on the size and type of motor, the number of cylinders, the design of the radiator fan, the configuration of the inlet, the type of exhaust system and amount of soundproofing in the generator enclosure, if one exists.

Most standard generator enclosures are adequate weather enclosures, but they may not contain adequate soundproofing. As a result, standby generators will typically emit noise in the 65 to 80 dB range, which may exceed most community noise ordinances.  Generator owners are therefore left with very few viable alternatives to reduce noise for their standby generators.

Standby generator noise dampened by an enclosure
Standby Generator Enclosure

How We Can Help

Sonic-Shield acoustical engineers have worked extensively to develop affordable solutions for standby generator noise. We typically recommend the use of an auxiliary sound dampening barrier fence that can be built around the generator. These fences can be made to look attractive and blend in with existing homes, buildings and landscaping. Such a fence can be fabricated and assembled by a typical home or business owner, using our soundproofing materials together with fencing, lumber and other building materials that can be purchased from a hardware store. Our general recommendations to mitigate standby generator noise can be found in our resource center here: Soundproofing a standby generator. Or get in touch with our experts for a more custom solutions today.