Sometimes central heating boilers have to be located in a bedroom or a wall adjacent to a particularly sensitive area. Modern high efficiency boilers can also be noisier than older less sophisticated systems too. If you suffer from a noisy boiler then Sound Reduction Systems, the UK’s leading innovator in high performance soundproofing solutions, can offer some guidance.
Firstly, we’d recommend getting your central heating serviced or checked over by a suitably qualified engineer (https://www.gassaferegister.co.uk/) because the noise might be a symptom of problems with the boiler that might lead it to be less efficient or even dangerous. Whilst you are speaking to the engineer we can then think out the second approach, this is to build an enclosure around the boiler to contain the noise but we must check with the engineer to ensure that this will not cause problems or become dangerous.
If your boiler is suitable, then the only way to stop the noise escaping from the boiler is to contain the noise by building an enclosure around it. Think of it rather like a more substantial airing cupboard. We recommend using a product called Maxiboard that we normally use to create very effective soundproofing for walls or soundproof ceilings. Maxiboard is a very heavy building board, made in sheets 1.2m x 0.6m x 17mm. Firstly a sturdy timber frame would be built around the boiler This should be make strong enough to support the weight of the Maxiboard (24kg per square metre) and large enough to allow suitable clearance around the boiler and also for easy access when it needs to be serviced periodically. The frame is then clad with the Maxiboard, making sure that all joints are tight and sealed with a flexible mastic. Because Maxiboard is a rather functional board, we’d recommend that you overboard it with timber or a more attractive finish to make it more presentable. We also recommend that you leave easy access to the screws used to fix the Maxiboard to the internal frames just in case our noise enclosure needs to be quickly dismantled to get better access to the boiler. If you need to create a small access hatch to adjust the controls of the boiler this can also be made from Maxiboard, the joints need to be as neat as possible to avoid leaks.
Finally, the interior of the enclosure can also benefit from lining the internal face with our black and very absorbent acoustic foam, Coustifoam. This helps reduce the amount of noise rattling around inside the noise enclosure and is also Class O fire rated, an important consideration in this kind of environment.
It is also recommended to mount the boiler using vibration isolation mounts to prevent vibration from the boiler entering the wall and getting into the fabric of the building. Flexible hoses and pipe attachments are also recommended as these transmit less vibration than rigidly fixed traditional copper pipes.
Sound Reduction Systems are specialists in building acoustics and produce the UK’s most innovative solutions. This datasheet is designed to suggest some ideas that you, a gas engineer and a joiner might use to produce something effective using materials that we have developed for other purposes. We have created this datasheet as a summary of feedback that we have had from other clients, though it is not something we have tried or tested ourselves. We hope you find it useful.