Air-cooled chillers can create significant noise in commercial buildings and industrial facilities. Although chiller noise is mostly tolerated in big cities where the noise blends with the cacophony of car horns, construction noise, and typical city noise, the consistent hum from chillers can be too loud. If you own commercial chillers, you’ll likely have complaints from nearby residences, offices, businesses, and those living or working within your building.
When chiller noise pollution is an issue, use tried and tested solutions that can guarantee significant chiller noise reduction.
Why Are Chillers Noisy?
Chillers, particularly those that are air-cooled, produce noise with low to high frequencies, which means they make noises that range from noticeable and annoying to unbearable and potentially damaging to people’s hearing.
Any mechanism with moving parts will usually generate noise, but for chillers, the sound is produced by the air that circulates the machine. As the fans move, cut through the air, then send it through the condenser, they create a high-pitched noise that can be piercing to the ears.
The screw compressors in chillers also generate mid to high-frequency noise, while chillers with up-blast fans at the top generate low-frequency sounds.
Water-cooled chillers also make noise as water is pumped and circulated throughout the machine.
Chillers are often placed on top of concrete or cinder block platforms. While this is necessary to ensure the machine’s stability, the solid platform becomes a reverberant sound field that magnifies the chiller’s noise. Without a proper chiller sound wall blocking and containing these vibrations, people, homes, and buildings in the immediate vicinity will suffer noise pollution.
The Importance of Chiller Noise Control
The noise pollution from chillers can be a significant concern, especially if complaints about it start to emerge.
Here are some consequences of uncontained chiller noise:
- You may be cited for violation of noise ordinances. Most cities in the U.S. have existing ordinances and by-laws that regulate environmental noise. Additionally, in the absence of governing regulations at the municipal level, complainants may adopt the noise guidelines of the IFC (International Finance Corporation of the World Bank).
- It can become a source of conflict between your establishment and your neighbors. Even in the big city, making enemies of your next-door neighbors is unwise. Whether those neighbors are residents or business owners, you’re better off being on good terms with them than clashing with them daily because of a disturbance you caused. Remember, harmony with the establishments next-door is good for security and can boost your business’s image.
- It causes discomfort to your employees. Engineers and workers who must work near a chiller must endure the loud noise it makes. Even if the noise levels do not exceed unsafe levels, the continuous vibrations can cause discomfort and drastically lower the workplace’s desirability.
- It can cause a widespread disturbance. Noise pollution manifests as vibrations that can be transmitted throughout the building structure. If your chiller is on one end of the roof, you can still receive complaints of noise and vibration disturbances from occupants on the other side of the building.
These consequences may not be directly related to business but can affect your employees’ productivity and reputation. Finding solutions to these issues will prevent adverse, long-term effects on your business.
Sound Fighter Systems offers a solution: chiller sound enclosures with sound-absorption panels designed and manufactured by chiller noise mitigation experts.
Chiller Sound Attenuation by Sound Fighter Systems – The Best Chiller Noise Reduction Solution
The conventional way of managing chiller noise is to build an enclosure to reduce the reverberation and volume. Most use wood, metal sheets, PVC, and concrete to build a fence-like structure around the chiller. Some of these products also contain known carcinogens like vinyl chloride. Unfortunately, these materials are often reflective and don’t absorb sound waves. As a result, the enclosure merely redirects the noise upwards and in every direction beyond the fence’s edge.
Sound Fighter Systems’ patented chiller sound wall works differently. Although it is similar in structure – a fence around the chiller – the composition of our chiller sound enclosures is more complex as they are designed to absorb sound.
A cross-section of our chiller sound wall reveals the following materials:
- Perforated fiberglass or aluminum sound panels
- Premium sound-absorption material that breaks down and diffuses sound waves
- UV coating and non-corrosive treatments on the exteriors
This combination of materials creates a series of noise mitigation measures – an all-in-one system that guarantees chiller sound attenuation.
50 Years of Industry Experience at Your Service
Our sound walls are physical barriers preventing noise from amplifying or escaping to the surrounding community. They are highly effective and can directly reduce noise levels to appease the occupants of adjacent homes, buildings, offices, and commercial establishments.
Modular, customizable, and easy to install – our sound walls are perfect for chiller noise control in commercial and corporate buildings, industrial facilities, condominiums, and other places that use chillers.
Sound Fighter Systems can customize sound walls to accommodate your chillers’ dimensions and location (indoors or outdoors). We prefabricate the panels at our facility, and our engineers design the wall specifications to ensure everything is ready to install.
We’d love to tell you more about our process and the soundproofing benefits of our chiller sound enclosures. Inquire about our sound wall solutions today.