Soundproof Generator Box: No More Disturbing Your Neighbors

Generators have been a part of our lives for decades but the concept of soundproof generator box first came up when people started doing a lot of Camping and Hiking as you know forests are a quiet place and you don’t want to disturb the silence out there.

Also, the ever-increasing pace of technology has led us to a world where we can’t survive without energy. Electrical energy is one of the most crucial of them all. However, there are times when the supply of electrical energy stops due to some technical difficulties or just bad weather. 

You must’ve experienced this once in your life, haven’t you? A generator can be your best friend at the time of a power cut. A generator is used as a backup power source to keep you away from discomfort. It is especially helpful if you live in an area where bad weather frequently strikes. 

Ever heard of the law of conservation of energy? Let us refresh your memory, a part of it states that energy can be converted from one form to another. That’s the principle that a generator follows. It consumes fuel to convert mechanical energy into electrical energy. 

However, the main issue with generators is the annoyingly loud sound that they produce while working. It can disturb your neighbours and even you especially if you live in those big apartments.

A generator box comes in handy to fix just that, it’s an enclosure for generators to minimize sound. Let’s discuss, in this article, what measures you should take to design your own DIY soundproof generator box and effectively soundproof that generator box. 

What is a Generator Box? 

Simply put, a generator box is an enclosure for your generator. It keeps your generator safe and can minimize the sound if utilized properly. After all, you don’t want your pricey machinery to get damaged by bad weather. Don’t you? 

Furthermore, installing and soundproofing a generator box isn’t very expensive.  So, you’re left with no reasons to not do it. 

A generator box becomes even more crucial when your generator is so loud that it surpasses the local noise limit. The loud humming sound of it can irritate you as well as your neighbours. Put it this way: Can you stand your neighbour idling a motorcycle right next to your door? Guess not. Above all, the generator box also gives your expensive piece of machinery a new and elegant look. 

How to build a Soundproof Generator Box? 

Although there are ready-made soundproof generator boxes available in the market, a DIY project has its own fun. After all, not all generator boxes are soundproof. 

However, the best part is, with the right techniques, you can make any generator box soundproof. Following these steps you can build a DIY soundproof generator box, let’s discuss these steps. 

Meanwhile, do take note that you can’t completely seal a generator in an enclosure. It needs room for airflow and exhaust ventilation or it can explode due to overheating. 

At the same time, it makes it quite harder to eliminate the sound completely but you can reduce it to a great extent. 

Step 1: Take the Measurements

So that everything runs smooth and perfect, the first step is to take measurements according to the size of your generator. You can find different sizes of generators in the market, so first measure your generator’s dimensions.

Now, write down the measurements and add some extra metres to the dimensions as we’ll need extra space for installing soundproofing foam, vents and other stuff. Be careful while taking the measurements as one wrong cut could ruin one sheet of plywood.

Step 2: Let’s cut the Fiberboard

We’ll be using Medium Density Fiberboard (MDF) for building the structure of your soundproof generator box. We are already done with the measurements in the first step, so let’s cut the fiberboard out. 

fiberboard sheets
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You can use any material other than MDF but it’s preferable to use fiberboard as it’s a great material for soundproofing. Using regular plywood works well as well.

Step 3: Create necessary Ventilation

We’ll be creating two holes for ventilation, for that, first of all measure the diameter of your ventilation ducts and then cut out the hole on the fiberboard. 

We’ll make one at the top and one hole at the bottom of our soundproof box. Once you’re done with this, we’ll move onto the next step.

Step 4: Apply Soundproof Paint (Optional)

soundproof paint can
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It’s an optional step but I would do it if I am building one, as you would want to minimise as much noise as you can. You can paint the fiberboard sheets from inside as well as outside.

Step 5:  Install Mass Loaded Vinyl

If you are a fan of soundproofing then you might have used MVL sheets for soundproofing your room, windows or door. You can install MVL sheets to your generator box as well and you should do it.

MVL sheets roll
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These sheets create an additional layer between the external world and the noise created by the generator. We’ll be installing these sheets on the inner side of the box so first of all make the measurements and then cut out the MVL sheet accordingly.

Step 6: Prepare Sound Absorption Inside the Box

One of the effective methods of soundproofing your generator is covering the inside of your generator box with soundproof materials. Also, most of the generator boxes are made of hard materials like metal, wood, and concrete, the sound doesn’t lose its intensity as it keeps on reverberating inside. 

Covering the inside of your generator box with soundproof materials will stop these reverberations. Acoustic foam/tiles is one of the best-known soundproofing materials.

Acoustic Foam
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You have to cover as many surfaces as possible. This quick and straightforward method will instantly reduce the noise by 6-7 decibels. However, if your generator reaches high levels of heat, consider choosing another alternative of acoustic foam as it has a questionable heat resistance capacity. 

You would need glue for installing both the foam and the MVL sheets, regular glue works fine but I would recommend using green glue as it’s an acoustic glue.

Step 7: Join the pieces

Take all the fiberboard pieces you have customised and join them one by one. You can use nails, screws or even glue (avoid) for attaching all the pieces together. For easy refuelling or accessing your generator, you can attach some hinges or specifically make a small door around the fuel tank.

While joining the pieces make sure the vent holes are at the right place.

Step 8: Caulking

Green glue or Caulk
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If you have ever soundproofed your room then you must be familiar with caulking. In case you don’t know, it’s a process of filling in small gaps, holes or cracks with some caulk (it’s a soundproof material).

Once you’ve joined all the pieces, the last step is to find any holes, cracks or any open space around the edges and fill it with the help of a caulking gun.

Step 9: Stop the Vibrations of the Box

Rubber mounts
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Normally, generator boxes made of metal are the most common ones found in any house. That said, metal vibrates a lot if left unchecked. You have to take measures to stop that annoying humming sound caused by the vibrations. 

The best way to do it is to separate the generator from the floor using rubber mounts (not metal) and a multi-layer sound deadening material. It will effectively reduce the annoying sound of vibrations. 

Step 10: Using 2 Layers of Material (Optional)

Choosing to install a wood enclosure inside the soundproof box for your generator rather than just a box is a highly effective measure to control noise. The more layers, the better soundproof your generator box will become. 

That’s because the wood itself doesn’t vibrate much, there is no need to take extra measures to control the vibrations. Wood is also an excellent insulator of heat. Meanwhile, you need to take care of the airflow and exhaust to make sure your generator does not overheat and catches fire in the worst case. 

Step 11: Install Ventilation Ducts

ventilation duct
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The last step is to install the ventilation ducts through the holes we created in Step 3. This is one of the crucial steps as perfect ventilation is essential for taking out the Carbon Monoxide, the excess heat trapped inside the generator box.

3 Factors You Should Consider While Soundproofing Your Generator Box

Going careless while soundproofing your generator box can have some serious repercussions not only for you but also for your loved ones. It can catch fire or even blast if the fire somehow reaches the fuel. 

You have to take note of all the risk factors as putting your family in harm’s way is the last thing you’ll ever want. Here are 3 factors that you should consider while soundproofing your generator box. 

1. Enclosure Size

Do not make the enclosure too small. A small enclosure will seize all the airflow and your generator will overheat. The overheating of your expensive generator can permanently damage your generator and also can also catch fire. 

A big enclosure, on the other hand, will keep the airflow steady inside the box while effectively reducing the noise as there will be fewer reverberations inside the enclosure. Moreover, a small enclosure requires more work of soundproofing than a larger one. 

Therefore, it’s best to install an enclosure of considerable size, not too small and not too big. 

2. Exhaust and Ventilation

Exhaust and ventilation are very crucial for your generator and the generator box. The absence of exhaust and ventilation can lead to serious overheating issues with your generator and can permanently damage it. 

The overheating will also make all your soundproofing efforts worthless as it will damage the generator box itself. However, you’ll only need an exhaust pipe if your enclosure is a bit too small. If you have a bigger one, you can get by without an exhaust pipe. 

3. Cooling

If you’re living in an area with high average temperatures, you should consider installing a cooling system as a normal exhaust pipe and ventilation won’t cut it. Also, you don’t require a regular-sized fan for your generator box. 

All you need is a small box fan in your generator box to provide additional airflow to the generator. 

DIY Soundproof Generator Box Cost

S.No.ItemPrice
1. Medium Density Fiberboard$32 for 3mm 1/8th inch
2.MVL Sheets$174 for 100 sf
3. Acoustic Foam$18 for as pack of 12
4. Green Glue$130 for 6 Tubes
5. Ventilation Duct$20
6. Acoustic Caulk$20
Download the Full checklist above

Best Generator Boxes you can BUY!

In case, you leave the idea of designing your own DIY soundproof generator box. Here are some readymade options. 

These generator enclosures claim that they don’t make your generator overheat and at the same time keep the Carbon Monoxide Sensors safe in the newer generators. 

Even if you’re not buying any of these boxes make sure you keep your generator in such places where the heat of the Carbon Monoxide is not trapped.

1. IGAN

The IGAN generator Tent cover is one of the popular options available in the market, it’s not just effective for soundproofing but it also protects the generator in bad weather. It is an ultra heavy duty Tarpaulin enclosure that works in all weather conditions.

This is a super lightweight generator enclosure that sets up very easily and allows the generator to work as it should be. If you ask me if it’s a fully soundproof enclosure then the answer is NO, but there are some significant pros that make this generator a good buy.

IGAN generator tent

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Protects the generator in any weather.
  • Compatible with most 3500w~12000w portable generators.
  • Covers the loudest part of the generator.

Cons:

  • Not made for 100 percent soundproofing
  • Not Durable.

2. Zombie BOX

Zombie BOX is one the most effective ways of soundproofing a generator, it was built as a portable soundproofing solution for generators, vacuums, pumps, compressors and many other equipment. 

It is a bit expensive but trust me you would be surprised with the quality they offer. The total cost depends on the size and the material of the zombie box.

Zombie box
Zombie BOX

Pros:

  • Built specifically for soundproofing
  • Heavy-duty
  • Most of the generators can fit into it.

Cons:

  • Expensive
  • It’s a big box

I really wanted to share this interesting comment I read regarding the Zombie Box on Youtube:

A comment regarding Zombie box

3. GenTent 10k Generator Tent

This one is similar to IGAN generator cover, it is lightweight, portable and can work in any weather. It’s a waterproof shed protecting sensitive parts of the generator and comes with a large door that allows easy refueling without removing the cover.

It is designed in such a way that a proper flow of air is maintained and the generator doesn’t overheat.

GenTent Generator tent

Pros: 

  • Lightweight
  • Protects the generator in any weather.
  • Compatible with most 3000w~10000w portable generators.
  • Covers the loudest part of the generator.
  • Separate door for fueling.

Cons:

  • Soundproofing is not that great
  • Doesn’t have a long life.

4. Microfab Generator Enclosure

Unfortunately, at the time of writing this article I couldn’t find it on Amazon.

This soundproof box blends with almost any surrounding and it’s super easy to install. This generator box comes with a lot of ventilation options as it easily traps heat.

Pros:

  • Outstanding Ventilation
  • No need to worry about weather

Cons:

Conclusion

A generator may be a life-changing invention but you can’t ignore the fact that, with electricity, it also generates loud and annoying noise. That’s why soundproofing your generator box is crucial these days, especially if you live in a crowded metropolitan area. Soundproofing can also be to avoid picking pointless fights with your neighbours. 

Designing a DIY Soundproof generator box isn’t very hard, it’s pretty straightforward work involving a few steps. The best part is that it also doesn’t require a decent investment, just a couple of hundred bucks are enough. 

However, don’t get carried away while building your soundproof generator box, you need to keep a few important factors in mind or all your hard work will go to waste. However, you always have the choice to purchase a ready-made soundproof enclosure for your generator but what’s the fun in that? 


Let me know in the comments section below,

Are you gonna build your own soundproof generator box or buy a ready-made one?

I would love to answer any of your questions as well.