Have you ever been woken up from your slumber by your refrigerator’s compressor kicking in? I have and it’s definitely no fun. Unfortunately, it’s one of the characteristics that are virtually impossible to know before the fridge is actually set up and running in your kitchen. By that time, it may be too late.
This is why doing your own research can be of great help for sorting the quiet hummers from the loud groaners most especially if you reside in a small apartment, a light sleeper or have a newborn inside your living space.
If noise level matters to you (and I can’t imagine why it should not be), a lot of consumers have suggested you should look for a full-sized or large refrigerator. While this seems counter-intuitive, studies indicate that time and again, smaller fridges are just on average, much too loud. In addition, French door models have also been proven to be expressively quieter than other kinds of refrigerators.
If you are on the lookout for a quiet refrigerator, you have to come to the right place as we discuss here what makes a fridge quiet and noisy, and of course, recommend what the quietest refrigerator in the market is today. Enjoy reading!
Table of Contents
- What Makes a Refrigerator Quiet?
- How Refrigerators Function
- How to Reduce Fridge Noise
- When Should You Call a Refrigerator Repairman?
- What is the Quietest Refrigerator?
What Makes a Refrigerator Quiet?
When looking to purchase a refrigerator, you will have six kinds to choose from. Each one will have its own set of pros and cons as well as the capability to remain relatively quiet all through the day and night as it goes about its cooling business.
In a lot of tests on major brand-name appliances, the bottom-freezer and side-by-side models of refrigerators were found to be the quietest models. Think of the space that you live in and the size that you need before actually going out and purchasing a refrigerator.
What About the Compressor?
In a refrigerator that is making irritating noises, more often than not, it’s the compressor that is the main culprit. The evaporator fan that is found on the compressor can make quite a racket if it isn’t well built or installed the right way.
In general, a kitchen appliance that purrs fewer than 40 decibels is considered to be silent for the standard household. A fridge that generates decibels in the 27 to 45 ranges is suitable. The reason why most compressors have a noise rating above 40 decibels is because of the evaporator fan. It is located in the freezer compartment, and it pulls up at the airport ETA oil when the compressor is operating. Another cause of loud noise in a compressor is a faulty have an evaporator fan. Most fridges especially those made by Samsung come with two compressors: one for the freezer and the other for the refrigerator. Most of the time the freezer compressor overheats, and this is usually a leading cause of the noise.
What to Consider When Looking for the Quietest Refrigerator Compressor
While in the market to buying a fridge, the noise level is one of the most crucial criteria in choosing the brand. As mentioned, there are six types of a refrigerator in the market. They have used the top freezer, bottom freezer, French doors, side-by-side freezer, built in freezer, and Minnie or compact freezer. Always compare more than one brand when looking to buy a freezer. Additionally, also consider other significant factors such as the intended use, necessities and the available space in your kitchen or residence.
How Long Does a Compressor Last?
The average lifespan of a refrigerator compressor is 14 years whereas that of a refrigerator is 17. This means that in most cases, the refrigerators are known to outlast the compressor. Utmost care should be taken while cleaning the compressor in order to not cause damage to its delicate parts. Clean the compressor as often as you can to eliminate debris and clear it of any obstruction that may cause the compressor to fail and produce a loud noise.
How Refrigerators Function
Understanding how they work and what makes them go can actually go a long way in helping you select a quiet fridge or at least resolve an issue on a fridge that went from quietly humming to clanging and clanking.
The refrigerant is considered to be the lifeblood of your cold appliance. It runs through the primary components. If it is low, it can result in clanking to be heard. The team of the expansion valve, compressor, condenser, and evaporator all work together to turn the liquid refrigerant into vapors. When all of these work well together, are sufficiently insulated and are made from high-quality or reliable materials, the hulking kitchen appliance hums like a well-oiled car engine.
However, if any of the many elements that keep your yogurt and ribeyes at the best temperature break down, the entire quiet process can turn into a discord of vexing noises.
Where is That Sound Coming From?
If you purchased a refrigerator for its low noise level, and it has done well most of the time, but it is starting to sputter, then you may need to do a little investigating of your own to get it back to its low hum. The compressor can be found at the bottom and back of the fridge and is most likely, the main culprit of noisy refrigerators.
Unwanted noise coming from your refrigerator is mainly caused by an aging compressor. They age because of corrosion, wear, and tear. When a compressor bushing is faulty, it causes mild vibration as the compressor is turned on. The condenser’s large copper coils may need to be cleaned well if the fridge is making all these random, loud clicking noises.
Vibration noise is caused by the fridge not being placed on level ground with the floor. The simple solution to this problem would be to adjust the leveling screws and make it on the level with the floor.
Meanwhile, dripping noise is caused by the flow of oil in the compressor or the refrigerant. The solution to this problem is to purchase a fridge with lower operating sound.
The inlet pipe water flow causes buzzing sound. To keep this noise from bothering you, you should turn off the icemaker feature. Leaking refrigerant can also produce a hissing sound.
Clanking sound is caused by water trickling down the defrost cycle. As ice cubes are pushed out of the icemaker, they produce a clanking sound. Fridge noise is also generated when the compressor alters its operating speed for efficiency.
Placing objects or utensils on top of the refrigerator can also cause banging sounds. Make that all screws are tightened because this is another big source of vibration noise.
What Parts of a Refrigerator Causes Noise?
1) Condenser fan motor
This fan’s function is to keep the air in motion to prevent defrost and to allow condenser coil to cool correctly. This can easily come into contact with the condensation debris. This collision is by far one of the biggest causes of fridge noise.
2) Evaporator fan motor
Its work is to ventilate the evaporator coils as the compressor runs. It’s often found at the back of a freezer unit. At times, it might get clogged up with ice cast or frost. This clogging results in damage to its blades and when they loosen, they cause vibration which in turn, leads to fridge noise.
3) Evaporator grommet
The evaporator fan is attached to a grommet that keeps it from heating the mounting wall. The grommet is susceptible to wear and tear. When its screw loosens up, the movement of the fan on this grommet will make noise. The solution to this is always to keep checking the grommet for loose screws or worn out parts and replace them as quickly as possible.
The supply lines to the icemaker get blocked at times. When not cleaned early enough, they may produce a buzzing sound as the water coming in is prevented from flowing out. Unconnected waterline to the icemaker can also create a gurgling sound as the icemaker is sucking none existent water.
The bailed wire is used to keep the ice maker from producing too much ice. If the bail wire is stuck, the icemaker may overproduce ice. As extra ice drops into the tray, a clanking sound is heard.
How to Reduce Fridge Noise
1) Use Soundproof Foam
You can use soundproof foam to absorb sound caused by the squeaky compressor bushing. What you can do is attach the soundproof foam to the wall of the compressor unit. A pack of soundproof form is sufficient enough to cover the whole compressor unit in the refrigerator. Acoustic panels can also be used in lieu of soundproof foam as they work by absorbing the noise and vibration generated by the worn out compressor unit.
2) Clean Condenser and Evaporator Fans
A dirty condenser fan or evaporator fan can cause an obstruction that makes noise when it comes into contact with them. You should clean the fans regularly to free them from condensation debris and evaporation water. Aside from that, you should also check out for dust and other airborne particles that may have gotten into their fan compartment.
Place the refrigerator a little higher and on a rubber mat. Placing the refrigerator high can substantially improve their leveling with the floor. Use floorboards made of either rubber or wood absorb the fridge vibration.
3) Placing the Fridge in a Cubicle or a Sound Blocking Cabinet
Put a dent into the wall and place soundproof materials such as sound blocking foam before placing the fridge. This placement will diminish the level of noise from your fridge. Consider this option if you have a fairly expensive fridge that you are not thinking of changing anytime soon. You can actually do this yourself but if you are not that confident with your DIY skills, then consider hiring a technician for best results.
4) Cover Your Fridge Motor with Mass Loaded Vinyl
Mass loaded vinyl keeps sound from getting outside the fridge. Try to gain access to the motor compartment and cover both the inner tubings and the compartment wall with mass loaded vinyl. Don’t forget to cover the bottom of the fridge for maximum sound blocking especially when the refrigerator making a sizzling noise.
5) Purchase a Quieter Fridge
If you have tried all these tips and none work for you, then perhaps it is time to consider buying a quieter refrigerator. Refrigerators are prone to wear and tear, and there comes a point where no amount of soundproofing will give you meaningful results. The best thing to in such cases is to buy a quieter refrigerator.
When Should You Call a Refrigerator Repairman?
Consider calling a technician when the following happens:
The fridge is no longer working
If you have plugged in your fridge properly and it’s not working, the problem could be bigger than you imagine. Even if you hear sounds, but the content is not being cooled, the refrigerator may be malfunctioning.
The fridge makes odd noises such as high-pitched screeching, bangs, and knocks
If the noise doesn’t have a regular pattern and it’s not coming from the icemaker, this type of repair may be beyond your DIY powers. In most cases, the blades may be the culprit and rather than torture yourself, you’ll be much better off acquiring the services of a repairman.
If it has a significant leakage
Leakages are not directly connected with sound. So if you notice a big leakage, this is probably caused by a clogged defrost drain. In such a case, it is difficult to repair a clogged defrost drain without proper training and tools. A handyman will be better equipped to handle such a situation.
What is the Quietest Refrigerator?
1) LG 33 In. Freestanding Top Freezer Refrigerator
The LG 33-Inch Freestanding Top Freezer Refrigerator is considered to be the top refrigerator when it comes to the noise level. This product is of high quality and consumers have said that this product would endure through many, many years of use. Consumers are satisfied with this refrigerator and have said on reviews that they would definitely recommend this particular refrigerator to a friend.
2) Haier 16.0 Cu. Ft. 4 Door Bottom Freezer Refrigerator
The Haier 16.0 Cu. Ft. 4 Door Bottom Freezer Refrigerator takes the second spot, mainly because of its incredible reliability. Users have expressed their pleasure with this product’s functionalities, not to mention its stylish looks.
3) Magic Chef MCBR440B2 4.4 cu. ft. Refrigerator
Users have also praised the Magic Chef MCBR440B2 4.4 cu. ft. Refrigerator for its durability and high-quality ratings. This unit is loaded with coveted features including interior lighting, two removable glass shelves, crisper drawer with cover, an in-door Grab and Go 12-oz. beverage can dispenser and an in-door gallon rack to store large items.
4) COSTWAY Compact 3.2 cu ft. Refrigerator
The COSTWAY Compact 3.2 cu ft. has garnered a lot of praise for its stylish design quite and excellent value for money. This refrigerator includes a freezer and a refrigeration compartment to keep your food and drinks fresh and completely refrigerated. It is equipped with a cooling compressor for optimum cooling performance.
5) LG Diamond Collection 24 Cu. Ft. Refrigerator
The LG Diamond Collection 24 Cu. Ft. Refrigerator has caught a lot of attention for its attractive design and smart cooling feature that is geared to maintain superior conditions.