Is your RV AC making a lot of noise? Are you looking for ways on How To Quiet RV AC?
The good news is that you don’t have to live with it; some simple steps can be done to make sure the air conditioning in your RV does not create a ton of noise.
This blog post will explore ways on How To Quiet RV AC and keep your outdoor living space as quiet as possible.
Why Is My RV Air Conditioner Loud?
RV air conditioners are designed to be quiet. However, even the quietest model can still run loud on occasion.
Before assuming your unit is defective or has a serious problem, you might just need some troubleshooting guidance.
If you’ve tried all the tips outlined below and your RV air conditioner is still loud, have a professional check it out for you.
Of course, this step isn’t necessary if the unit is new (under warranty) or under extended warranty service contracts.
Also Read: How to Quiet a Noisy Window Air Conditioner
1. Dirty AC Components
It cooled as air passes through your RV’s air conditioner and the evaporator coil heat exchanger.
A fan sends this cool air throughout the interior of your RV. If you notice that your air conditioner runs more loudly than usual, one or both of these parts may be dirty.
Use a soft brush to clean off the coils and any dirt or debris inside the ducts before returning to normal operation.
You can also adjust the vents’ position to direct airflow around obstacles within the compartment, such as furniture.
Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions when performing repairs on your own unit.
2. The Fan
Almost all units come with at least one fan (or blower) to move air from the condenser unit (outside), through the airlines, and into the evaporator unit inside your RV.
These two components are typically covered by metal or plastic grills. In some cases, when you’re standing outside near these vents, you may find that they’re extremely loud.
If you hear this noise funneling out in waves directly from the top of the unit, then it’s likely normal operation, especially if temperatures are climbing outside.
To quiet things down, cover both openings with acoustic foam or place a blanket over the grill to block some of the noise.
The air conditioner is louder than usual inside your RV.
This can sometimes happen when the unit has been running for quite some time or if you’ve noticed an increase in temperature in these hot months.
Your RV air conditioner might be fighting with higher temperatures outside (this won’t always be obvious).
Also, it’s important to remember that sound travels through walls and ceilings better than it does across open space, so you may not always hear where your unit is located within your RV interior.
Again, placing acoustic foam on both sides of exposed grills will help reduce this type of loudness.
Keep in mind that rattling noises from this component are usually a sign of deeper problems that need to be addressed by professionals.
What Else Makes My RV Air Conditioner Loud?
The design of your AC: Some RVs are better insulated than others, so you’ll hear more noises from neighbors’ units.
Temperature swings: the higher the temperature outside, the louder your unit may run. Again, this is a normal operation and not a problem;
The location of your unit: units in covered RV porches or windowed bays will be louder when they’re running than those mounted on the roof.
Even placement in an adjacent room can make a noticeable difference in sound.
The age of the components (air conditioner and fan): some air conditioning parts wear out more quickly than others, so it’s always possible that something has reached end-of-life.
If you’ve recently had new ductwork installed, this could also increase noise levels because you have less insulation between the unit and its surrounding space; and
Moving air: for example, the sound of moving air will be louder inside your RV than in the surrounding space due to things like insulation, metal, and wood construction.
What Else Should I Know About My RV Air Conditioner’s Noise Levels?
At this point, you’ll need to check out a few things…before calling a service professional anyway:
Total running time since last maintenance. This can directly affect how often your unit needs repairs.
Are fresh filters being used?
After some time, filters clog up with dust and dirt from the outside of the HVAC system itself.
If you do not change your filters regularly, then performance will suffer.
Also, it could cause any outside parts of the system (like evaporator coils) to overheat and thus burn up, which is a big repair bill.
Are parts within the air conditioning system worn out?
If you are not sure about this, then have a professional come over for an evaluation;
A major or recent change in your home’s structure: You’d be surprised how much this can affect noise levels because most RVs are made of metal (this is also true with windows that leak); and
The state of your roof and walls: This will obviously play a huge role in overall noise transmission. Have these recently been repaired?
Also Read: Quietest Air Conditioner
Any gaps? Leaks? Water damage? These things all make it easier for sound to travel through structures. It’s better to fix them now before things get even worse.
Also, areas around the window screens and doors may be a problem.
Make sure they’re not damaged or flimsy because this can create noisy air leaks.
Top Ways On How To Quiet RV AC
1st Fix: Install a Sound Deadening Blanket.
There are several products for this, but the most popular by far is Dynamat.
I first read about it in an article in Overland Journal that referred to reducing cabin noise in four-wheel drive (4×4) pickup trucks.
But after using it and learning how well it works, I’ve since found many other uses for it as well.
For example, try wrapping the hard plastic fender flares on your motorhome with Dynamat, and you’ll find those annoying rattles go away.
Or wrap some Dynamat around the metal frame newly installed solar panels if they rattle/clang when driving down the road at highway speeds (the solar panels are mounted on top of a rack that bolts onto the roof).
Or better yet, line the entire roof with it (either side) if wind noise is driving you nuts.
I’ve found Dynamat also makes great door/window insulation for hot or cold days – particularly the stuff called ‘Dynamat Extreme.’
2nd Fix: Install A Higher Quality Air Conditioner.
One of our early RVs had a small two-person air conditioner in it. But being two people, we rarely turned the thing on because it was just too darn loud.
So over time, we began looking for an aftermarket replacement but never found one that wasn’t noisy either.
That was until recently when we discovered Trane makes a higher quality compressor for air conditioners.
We found it at our local RV Parts & Supply store. The Trane XE130 compressor is about twice the price of other brands, but it uses very little power and is nearly silent.
So, if you are dissatisfied with your current unit, order one of these compressors and see how much better your life becomes.
The only hitch we ran into was that when we installed the new compressor, the circuit breaker kept tripping when running both the air conditioner and microwave at the same time – something we do quite often.
But when I replaced the more powerful (30 amp) RV 30-amp circuit breaker with a newer (40 amp), all was well again.
So, if you’re breaking many circuit breakers, you may need a more powerful one.
3rd Fix: Look into Getting An Inverter And Battery Charger – With Noise Filters.
This is a new solution that we just learned about last year when having our batteries replaced.
The tech told us that if we added an inverter and switched to using solar panels for shore (charging) power instead of the problematic 2-cycle generator, he could add noise filters to the inverter/charger combo so it would run much quieter than our previous unit was running on generator power only (that humming sound in the background).
So far, we are very happy with these units as they seem to be very quiet.
Our plan is to replace them when they die in a couple years (the old ones are only about 7 years old).
We have them hooked up to our solar panel’s first thing in the morning when we begin driving, then disconnect them between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM each day.
Using this setup, we find there are still plenty of charges left stored for nighttime use during boondocking.
That’s not to say you couldn’t plugin your house battery bank at night, too – the choice is yours.
There may also be other inverter/charger combos on the market that offer similar features if you’re not happy with these.