There’s nothing more annoying than when the hum of your projector gets louder than the movie you’re watching. You don’t want to ditch the projector, it’s an expensive piece of equipment. So is there any way to make it quieter?
A projector may become loud when it gets too hot and the fan has to work harder to cool it. Preventing the projector from overheating by keeping the environment cool, proper placement and ventilation of the projector, cleaning the projector, etc can help reduce the fan noise.
Sometimes, it may be that the fan has gotten damaged and may need replacing. Or there could be mechanical or electrical issues. In such cases, you would need to call a professional for help.
If it’s just a noisy fan, (which, very often, it is) you can try out a few of my suggestions and see if they work for you. Just a little bit of care can go a long way. These measures will also help extend the life of your projector.
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Here are some ways you can reduce projector noise when it gets too loud.
When your projector’s ventilation is working properly, the fans should only make a gentle sound.
Inadequate ventilation makes it more difficult for the fan to push the hot air out and thus it works harder, making a louder noise.
Your projector needs to be able to “breathe”. Don’t put it in a cramped space like a shelf.
Make sure there is nothing that is obstructing the vents of the projector. Even the underside clearance the projectors’ feet give should not be blocked. You should allow at least 50 centimeters of free space around the projector in all directions.
Mounting the projector to a ceiling is a great way to ensure it gets enough ventilation from all around. Do make sure there is enough space between the projector and the ceiling so that the air can circulate above it as well.
Have you ever experienced your laptop getting noisy when you keep it on the bed for a long time? That’s because the fans are working overtime to cool it. The same goes for your projector.
Make sure it is not kept on anything soft such as a carpeted or cushioned surface as they usually retain heat.
If your room is warm, you’re making it tougher for your projector to stay cool. The ideal temperature for your projectors is said to be between 23 to 27 degrees Celsius.
Reduce the temperature of your room by turning on the A/C or fan. Open the windows to let the cool breeze in and the warm air out.
Projectors themselves may end up warming up the room since they give out heat. Give the room some ventilation by opening the doors and windows bring down the temperature of the room before you use the projector next.
Also, make sure it’s not placed near a heater or other devices that emit heat such as other gadgets in your home theater room.
Dust can reduce airflow on the vents, and affect the working of the air filter and fans. A dirty lens makes the projector work harder than it normally would.
Make sure you regularly dust the projector and the area around it to prevent particle buildup. Use a soft brush to clean the dust on the vents.
For the lens, you should use a microfiber cloth. Spray lens cleaner on the cloth (don’t spray on the lens) and gently wipe away the dust, taking care not to scratch the lens.
To clean the filters you can use a damp cloth. You can even try using your vacuum cleaner on the lowest power setting. If you find the filter is too dirty to be cleaned you might need to replace the filter
Another way the projector can get overheated is when it’s been used for a long time.
Give it a break if it’s been on for many hours. Try to switch it off between uses to give it time to cool down. Doing this regularly will help in the long term to lengthen your projector’s lifespan.
Most projectors have an Eco Mode setting, which not only reduces the brightness of the lamp but also decreases the fan’s speed. Using this mode has added benefits- it prevents overheating in addition to extending the lamp’s life.
A hush box is a box or enclosure (which can be full or partial) used to dampen the hum produced by the projector’s fans. Usually made of wood and lined with insulating foam, it prevents noises from going out.
However, you need to be careful how you use it as the hush box can block airflow. Ideally, your hush box should have a quiet internal fan to keep the projector cool.
If you’re into DIY projects, you can build your own hush box. Check out this tutorial on how to make a coffee table projector hush box or this youtube video below on how to make a DIY hush-box.
Alternatively, you can opt for a custom-made hush box such as the ones available from Acoustic Frontiers.
Keeping the projector far from your seating area will make a world of difference. If possible, keep a distance of over six feet. That way the sound of the fan will not reach you and interfere with your viewing.
If you have a small space, at least try placing the projector about three and a half feet away from your seating area.
Add external speakers: If you don’t already have external speakers, you can think of adding these as they will be louder than your projector fan and drown out the noise of the fan.
Another way to improve audio is to pad up your home theater room to reduce echo. Hard surfaces tend to reflect sound more. Using soundproofing panels, rugs, carpets, cushions, and even plants can help reduce echo.
Follow the tips I’ve given you above, and the noise from your projector fan should be barely noticeable. But if you find that the fan is not the source of the noise, it might be better to consult a technician.
Regular cleaning, maintenance, and improved air circulation will not only make your projector quieter, but it will also give it a longer life.