How To Quiet A Generator 

by Jennifer Porterfield | Last Updated: January 9, 2024
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A lot of the time, generators are essential. Whether it be because you live in an area that experiences frequent blackouts, or because you regularly go on camping trips, there are lots of reasons why you might own a generator.

How To Quiet A Generator 

But for whatever reason you might own a generator, there’s no denying that they are noisy. 

Even “quiet” generators still produce a significant amount of noise, and so you might be looking for ways to make your generator quieter. Thankfully, there are lots of different options that you have when it comes to doing this.

In this guide, we’ll be taking a look at why generators are so noisy, and a few different methods to make them quieter. So to find out more, keep on reading. 

How Noisy Are Generators?

Well, first things first, let’s take a look at just how noisy generators are. If you don’t know much about the technical specifications of generators, then you might simply classify a generator as “noisy”.

But, in technical terms, the operating noise of a generator is measured in decibels. The overall noise which a generator produces differs massively depending on the other specifications of the generator.

But generally, larger, more powerful generators tend to produce more operating noise than smaller, less powerful options. 

However, generally speaking, most generators tend to produce between 70 and 100 decibels of operating noise when they are placed the correct distance away.

Typically speaking, the “correct distance” is around 23 feet, so this means that you will hear between 70-100 decibels of noise when you are standing 23 feet away from the generator.

This gap in noise might not seem that different, but a 100 decibel generator is actually 8 times louder than a 70 decibel generator. So the difference is actually quite extreme. 

Some generators will have an operating noise of below 70 decibels, and these generators are the ones which are generally considered to be “quiet”.

Seventy decibels is around the same level of noise that a regular washing machine produces, whereas 100 decibels is more akin to a lawnmower or motorcycle.

Due to this it is understandable why you might want to reduce the operating noise of your generator, so let’s take a look at how to do this. 

Method One: Placement And Location

The first method to quiet your generator is to be very careful in where you place it, and how you place it. It is generally accepted that you place an operating generator around 23 feet away from your home/camping site.

This is the only way to achieve the operating noise advertised with the product, if you were to place it any closer, then the operating noise would increase significantly.

Likewise, if you were to place your generator further than 23 feet away, this would have the opposite effect, and the operating noise would reduce. So, to make it quieter, place your generator further away. 

As well as placing your generator further away, you can also reduce the operating noise of your generator by placing it at a different angle. The component of the generator that produces the most noise is the exhaust pipes.

So, if you strategically place your generator, you will be able to reduce the operating noise even further. Ideally, you want to place your generator so that the exhaust pipes are either pointing upward or away from your direction.

This will make it even quieter. 

Method Two: Build An Enclosure

If you regularly use your generator and want to reduce the operating noise, then you should consider building an enclosure for it. This option is fairly straightforward to complete, and it is extremely effective.

So it is a good one to try, especially if you are good at DIY tasks.

An enclosure is a box that is built with one side open, you can then place your generator within this enclosure, and the fact that it is boxed in will deflect soundwaves and significantly reduce the operating noise. 

It is possible to buy enclosures/baffle boxes, but it is much better value to make it yourself. To create an enclosure, all that you need is wood 2×4s, a quiet board, foam sealer, and L-brackets.

Then, all you need to do is connect the wood together using the L-brackets, line it with the quiet board, and seal it with the foam sealer.

Finish the box off by drilling some holes into the sides of the box for ventilation, then your enclosure is ready to use.

Simply take it with you when you want to use your generator, and it will reduce the operating noise of your generator significantly. 

Method Three: Sound Deflectors

Finally, we would recommend using sound deflectors to reduce the operating noise of your generator. The first deflector that we would recommend using is a natural sound deflector, and that is a soft surface.

If you place your generator on a hard surface, then the vibrations of it will increase the operating noise, making it much louder than necessary.

But, if you place your generator on a soft surface then the sound waves will be absorbed, and this will significantly reduce the operating noise of your generator. 

You can then reduce your generator’s operating noise even further by using sound deflectors.

These do not need to be expensive, you can use something as simple as plywood, because the only thing that really matters is that the deflectors are made of non-flammable material.

Then, all that you need to do is prop your different pieces of plywood up against the generator at different angles.

These deflectors will prevent the operating noise from directly leaving the generator, and they will absorb some of the noise. This combined with the soft surface will significantly reduce the noise that your generator produces.


In short, generators are noisy, but thankfully there are lots of ways that you can reduce the operating noise of these machines.

In this guide, we have taken a look at some of the best ways to reduce the operating noise of your generator. So, if you want to find out how to do this, check out the guide above. 

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