Quiet Air Compressors

2 min read

Air compressors, especially piston/reciprocating compressors, can be very noisy. Working in a noisy environment long term can cause irritation, muffled hearing and even hearing loss in the most severe cases. Since hearing loss is irreversible, employers should take all the necessary actions to prevent this. Noise can also make it harder for workers to hear alarms and warnings presenting an even greater safety hazard.

How can compressor noise affect your hearing?

The hair inside your ears is what transforms vibration into sound; exposure to loud noise emitted by air compressors can cause those tiny hairs to flatten. This increases the risk of developing tinnitus and other hearing loss conditions.

How much noise is too much?

As set by the UK Control of Noise at Work Regulations 2005, employers are obliged to assess the risk to workers' health and provide them with information and training if the noise level is 80 decibels (an average compressor noise level is 85 decibels) and provide hearing protection if the noise level is above 85 decibels.

What causes noise coming from an air compressor?

There are two main factors that cause noise in air compressors:

  • Proximity. The closer your compressor is to your employees, the greater the disturbance.

  • Friction.The noise caused by the friction during the compression process. This happens especially with reciprocating compressors since they include more moving parts.

What is the average noise level of a compressor?

The average noise level for an air compressor is 85 dBA. This is higher than your phone's ringtone which is 70 dBA and lower than most headphones which can go upto 110 dBA. To help our customers meet the health and safety requirement related to noise, we have developed a range of quiet compressors including the G & GA, SF & SF+,  VSD+ .

How can you reduce compressor’s noise level?

Whilst housing your compressor in a separate room would reduce noise dramatically on the shop floor or production hall, this is not always an option, especially in smaller and limited spaces. A good solution in this case is to opt for quiet compressors, sometimes called workplace compressors because they can be placed right next to the production line without disturbing operators.

How to pick a quiet air compressor?

Terms like ultra-quiet compressors, quiet compressors, silent compressors etc. might sound different but they all mean the same thing i.e. an air compressor that is equipped with either a full or a partial enclosure that absorbs sound and reduces the noise level to below 80 dB (A).

What type of compressors are the quietest?

Because of their structure, piston compressors are the least quiet compressors. Scroll compressors on the other hand are the quietest compressors. For instance, Atlas Copco's SF line of air compressors have a low-noise scroll element, optimised super-silent fan and sound insulated canopy that allows noise levels as low as 53 decibels!   Screw compressors are also quiet since the helical screws don't touch one another. For example, Atlas Copco’s VSD+ compressors could run as low as 62 dB(A) and is made to run continuously and are ideal for applications that need continuous input. Read more in our Top Tip about quiet compressors.

Where can I buy a quiet compressor?

Call us on  0800 181085   or email us on compressorsGB.web@atlascopco.com to request a quote for our bigger quiet compressors. For smaller compressors, please visit our e-store .