Why are lawn mowers so loud? You probably have asked this question in the past when the sound of your neighbor’s lawn mower interfered with the quietness you were enjoying or when you received complaints from your neighbor over your noisy lawn mower.
In this article, you will learn about certain factors that can make a lawn mower so noisy, and what you can do to get a quieter mower.
Why are Lawn Mowers so Loud?
Several factors are responsible for the disturbing noise from some mowers. Some of the major factors are:
The engine type
Engine-driven mowers are disturbingly loud unlike electric mowers. Push mowers and ride on mowers also produce annoying degrees of noise. In a nutshell, fuel-driven lawn mowers are never quiet.
“Normal conversation is about 60 dB, a lawn mower is about 90 dB, and a loud rock concert is about 120 dB. In general, sounds above 85 are harmful, depending on how long and how often you are exposed to them and whether you wear hearing protection, such as earplugs or earmuffs.”
The medical platform that “provides reliable non-emergency health information and advice in BritishColumbia,” warns that “As loudness increases, the amount of time you can hear the sound before damage occurs decreases.”
The type of muffler used
The type of mufflers fitted into most mowers is another reason the majority of them produce deafening sound. Most lawn mowers come with absorptive mufflers that are renowned for their low noise-absorption ability.
Their failure to absorb a significant amount of the noise a lawn mower produces is one of the reasons behind a lawn mower’s unreasonably high sound.
The cooling system
Lawn mower manufacturers produce lawn mowers with two different engine-cooling systems. They are air-cooled engines and water-cooled engines. The lawn mowers in the former group are noisier than those in the latter group. If your lawn mower uses an air-cooled engine, expect it to be noisier than one with a water-cooled engine.
While most people attribute the loud noise from lawn mowers to the engine, they miss out on another source of noise, the blades. The source quoted above sheds more light on blades’ contributions to the high noise level:
“Blades make a surprising amount of noise. Blade tips cut through the air at over 200 mph and most lawn tractors will have 2 and maybe 3 blades.” Two or more blades working at that speed will undoubtedly produce some noise.
Production cost also plays a role in the production of loud mowers. It’s wrong to assume that lawn mower manufacturers lack noise-minimizing ideas they can incorporate into their products.
However, going the extra mile to produce quiet mowers will increase the production cost. Since consumers will bear the extra cost, mowers will be more expensive. More so, they probably believe consumers can handle the noise with some ear protection equipment.
The built-in muffler in the lawn mower serves a purpose: reduce engine noise. It achieves this goal with the aid of the hot exhaust gases passing through it. The muffler may crack after repeated use and defeat its purpose. The cracking reduces the muffler’s efficiency, hence the high noise.
If you use your mower continuously for months or years, the gasket seal between the muffler and the exhaust pipe may be damaged. With the muffler and exhaust pipe in a bad shape, the muffler’s overall performance and noise-reducing ability will drop.
Side Effects of Using Loud Lawn Mowers
Operating a loud lawn mower over an extended period can harm you. The deafening sound emanating from the mower exposes you to some serious medical conditions such as:
Michigan Medicine, an arm of the University of Michigan explains the connection between using a loud lawn mower and hearing loss:
If you suffer partial hearing loss, regeneration may help restore your hearing. However, regular and chronic exposure to noise, perhaps as a lawn dresser, you may lose your hair cells. Losing your hair cells puts you at the risk of permanent hearing loss.
Some telltale signs of hearing loss include, but not limited to, muffled hearing, a ringing or hissing in the ear, medically known as tinnitus, having difficulty understanding people when talking.
Deteriorating cognitive performance
You will be mistaken if you assume that impaired hearing is the only side effect of constant exposure to noisy lawn mowers. The excessive noise may hurt your cognitive performance, according to the result of a study by the Open Access Macedonian Journal of Medical Sciences.
The journal stated:
“Results revealed that mental workload and visual/auditory attention is significantly reduced when the participants are exposed to noise at 95 dBA level (P<0.05).”
How Can You Get a Super Quiet Lawn Mower?
If you are fed up with your noisy lawn mower, the following tips will help you reduce the noise and have a quieter lawn mower:
Use electric lawn mower
While electric lawn mowers are not absolutely silent, their noise level is far below engine mowers.
They are equally as efficient as the fuel-driven counterparts, making them a good option to consider if reducing noise pollution tops your list of priorities when choosing a lawn mower or contemplating replacing your noisy mower.
Electric lawn mowers are more expensive than fuel-powered mowers. However, when you factor in the cost of soundproofing your mower or using other noise-reducing devices, top rated electric mowers may be the better option in the long run.
You can check Snapper XD 82V electric lawn mower out if you are contemplating replacing your noisy lawn mower with a more silent one.
Fit a muffler to the mower
The in-built mufflers for lawn mowers hardly do a poor job of minimizing the noise from the mowers. For a quieter mower, fit a more efficient muffler that guarantees noise reduction.
Buy a push mower
Push lawn mowers are a good option if you are disturbed by the noise pollution from fuel-driven mowers. Push mowers are engineless and fuelless. Since you manually push the mower, rest assured that you can enjoy lower sound that is alien to fuel-powered mowers. They are also pollution-free and easy to maintain.
There is a catch, though. Consider a push mower as the best option if you have enough free time to attend to your lawn because push mowers are slower than fuel-powered lawn mowers.
Push mowers are equally ideal for small lawns, considering the amount of energy it requires to push the mower around. You may consider the electric-driven model for bigger lawns.
Consider hearing protection
Using hearing protection is a simple and cost-effective way to reduce the degree of noise your lawn mower produces.
If you operate a noisy lawn mower over an extended period, protecting your eardrum from excessive noise is crucial to your hearing.
Ear muffs and ear plugs are some pretty cool options you can check out. Some of these hearing protectors such as Snug Kids Earmuffs/Hearing Protectors are affordable and easily available. With as little as $20, you can get an effective noise-cancelling headphone.
Ear muffs are better protectors than ear plugs because they protect the entire ears while ear plugs cover the ear drums only. The greater coverage and greater noise reduction ability make ear mufflers the better choice.
Even if you implement all the noise-reducing tricks in this article, you won’t get zero noise, although the noise level will reduce considerably. You must protect your ears from whatever degree of sound the mower still produces.
Sound-proof the deck
A lawn mower’s different components such as rock pings and blades produce a significant amount of noise while working.
As the components vibrate, the friction between them produces some noise as well. They play a role in the high volume of sound the mower produces.
You can make your lawn mower super quiet by sound proofing its deck with sound-deadening materials such as the Noico sound-deadening mat or any other soundproofing material that will do a great job.
Proper maintenance is crucial
Lawn mowers are traditionally loud. They become noisier when they are properly maintained. Some of the mower’s internal parts need regular lubrication to reduce friction and make them function properly.
If you don’t lubricate those parts that friction can affect as and when due, they will work extra hard to overcome the friction between them.
The extra work they do to function will increase the mower’s noise level. Maintaining your mower properly after each use is an effective noise-reducing trick you should always remember.
Several factors are responsible for noisy lawn mowers. You can get a quieter mower by replacing your fuel-power mower with an electric one.
If you can’t afford a new mower, check the major cause of the noise and replace or repair necessary parts. The repair or replacement may turn things around.
Where necessary, use sound-proof materials to reduce the noise. Noise-reducing materials are pocket-friendly and easy to use.
Most importantly, don’t forget to protect your ears from the damaging effects of the noise. Ear muffs and ear plugs are quite affordable.