How to Make a Commercial Refrigerator Quieter

Refrigerators are noisy machines, and most of the noise comes from the compressor. Commercial refrigerator noise levels can be significantly higher than domestic units simply because they are larger and do more work.

Most of the strange sounds like the whirring, buzzing, dripping, popping, crackling, etc., can be safely attributed to the refrigerator working properly. One of the most worrying signs that your refrigerator needs professional attention is when it is making no sound at all!

In this article, you will learn various tricks and tips to make your loud refrigerator quieter. You will also learn how to understand the different sounds coming from a normally running fridge and what to attribute them to. Commercial refrigerator compressor noise can be loud, but it is quite normal.

That said, if there are angry and alarming sounds coming from your refrigerator, it is best to call in the experts. 512 offers repair, service, and consultation for commercial refrigerator units. We are ranked #1 for our response time!

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Why Is My Commercial Fridge So Loud?

Your commercial fridge is probably just doing its job, especially if the model is an older one. Newer models that are more energy efficient are more likely to run low but for longer. So the refrigerator noise will be present for longer periods.

This noise may not be noticeable at all if it is in a busy place like a commercial kitchen. But if it is a display unit in a quiet dining area near the guests, the refrigerator noise can become an annoyance.

How Loud Is Too Loud?

A refrigerator generally runs between 32 to 47 dB (decibels). Forty decibels is the accepted noise level of a quiet indoor space such as a library. Sixty decibels is the accepted noise level of an AC unit. So if you feel like your unit is louder than it should be, it is time to call in a refrigerator repair expert.

Most of the noise comes from the compressor because it does most of the work. So the first thing to do is to make sure that it is running properly. Make sure that the back of the fridge is clean and clear of any objects or debris. The fridge must be properly located and placed on an even surface to work correctly. The power supply must be steady and of the correct voltage.

If these common factors are all okay and your commercial fridge is still noisy, read on to learn more ways to quiet a noisy refrigerator.

How to Make a Commercial Refrigerator Quieter

Are All Commercial Refrigerators Noisy?

Commercial refrigerators can have a lot of moving parts, depending on the design. The condenser fan, the evaporator coils, etc., can all contribute to a noisy fridge. If it has a freezer in addition to a refrigerator, it will be louder. Add an ice maker to the mix, and you have additional sources of noise. Let’s look at all the various sources of noise.

  • Ice Maker — Makes a wide range of gurgling, cracking, clicking, and buzzing sounds as it makes ice. This is normal and nothing to worry about.
  • Refrigerator walls — The walls of your refrigerator will expand and contract because of the temperature change. This can make strange cracking, popping, and creaking noises. This is also normal and to be expected.
  • Drip tray — This is the source of fun sounds like sizzling, dripping, and gurgling. You can safely ignore these sounds.
  • Compressor — This is the star of the show and also the one that makes the most noise. It pumps the coolant through the machine and also pushes out hot air as an exhaust. It is what does most of the work and thus stays on the longest, contributing to the plethora of sounds that you can hear.

Determine Where The Refrigerator Noise Is Coming From

Using the list and descriptions above, you can determine what is causing the refrigerator noise that is bothering you. If it is a low and constant hum, drone, or buzz, the compressor is most likely doing its job.

Loud clanks, clattering, and angry groans are likely signs of things going wrong. This is when you should quickly call in an expert. Our trained technicians are always up to date on the latest innovations in the industry. You can rely on their wide breadth of experience for fixing your refrigerator.

How To Make Your Commercial Refrigerator Less Noisy

Once you have completely ruled out any possibility of a malfunction, you can take steps to reduce the noise by your commercial refrigerator. One of the obvious choices is to move your commercial fridge to an area where the noise won’t bother anyone. If that is not an option, then here are some strategies that you can consider.

  • Lighten the workload — If your refrigerator is set to low temperatures and the environment is really hot, it will have to work harder and longer to meet the set temperature goal. This will make the compressor run longer and harder, making it noisy. Changing the temperature can quickly reduce the noise your commercial fridge makes.
  • Level the legs — The moving parts inside a compressor can make quite a racket when they are not properly leveled out. The solution to this is to level the legs of the refrigerator till the noise goes down to normal levels.
  • Put in on a mat or stand — Special vibration-reducing mats and stands are available for refrigerators that mitigate the noise. If your unit is on a wooden floor, it will likely make more noise than on a concrete or tiled floor.
  • Soundproofing — You cannot soundproof the compressor area because the condenser coils need to pass on the heat to the ambient air. Covering them will cause the machine to overheat and die. So you can put soundproofing materials on the adjacent walls to absorb the refrigerator noise.
  • Close it in — Put storage shelves or other furniture around the fridge. The added mass of the objects will absorb and dissipate the noise.

Should Commercial Refrigerators Run Non-Stop?

There are a few innovative models where the compressor fan runs almost without a break. Unless your commercial fridge was designed this way, it should not be running all the time. If your commercial fridge seems to run without a break, there may be a problem.

Most refrigerators are designed to stop and rest periodically. Once the temperature rises above a certain threshold, the thermostat turns the compressor on. Then it turns it off again once it has cooled down enough. Any malfunction in this system can cause your commercial fridge to run constantly, which can damage the machine.

Calling In The Experts

Modern commercial refrigerators and even some old ones can be tricky to diagnose. It is always better to get a professional to take a look at your machine so that your business can run without skipping a beat.

512 offers expert commercial refrigeration technicians who can repair, service, and troubleshoot your fridge.

Don’t want to do it yourself? Call 512-839-8898 right now and request an appointment or a consultation.


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