Moving parts and bodies slamming down tend to be the two main reasons for treadmill noise problems. Noise coming from moving parts tends to annoy us users, we just don’t like listening to squeaks and rattles, and noise from footfall tends to aggravate other householders or neighbours. Here are a few noise reduction tips to keep the neighbours happy and to avoid irritation during your workout.
Carry Out Routine Maintenance
No one really likes doing mundane routine treadmill maintenance but it can save you a few dollars in the long run and reduce noise.
The basics you need to do are clean the belt once a week, check the alignment and tension of the belt and lubricate rollers monthly. Before you do your maintenance read your instruction manual, this will identify how to make alterations and lubricate and such instructions are often specific to your machine.
Most treadmill belts are aligned by bolts on either side of the model and at the rear of the machine, changing settings should center the belt. A loose belt will wear quickly so check belt tension and alter as required using instructions in your installation manual. For lubrication consult your manual. Not all treadmills need lubricating and some require specific types of lubricant. If yours does then the manual will highlight the appropriate lubrication points and oil types you can use.
Once you have carried out the basic maintenance have a good look around the treadmill and try to identify any loose fittings, tighten these up and you are good to go.
Use A Noise Reduction Mat
An extra layer between the floor and the machine can make a big difference to noise in an apartment or anywhere around the house. These days you can get all sorts of cheap treadmill floor mats that will reduce noise and vibration from your machine when in use.
We wouldn’t recommend using an off cut of carpet as a noise reduction mat as the carpet fibers could potentially damage the motor. Instead spend $40 on a decent vinyl mat. They generally come in two thicknesses depending how much sound and vibration you want to stop and will offer cushioning as well as sound damping qualities.
Place On A Hard Floor
If you can, place the treadmill on a hard floor. Hard floors will be much quieter than timber floors and you can get a lot of noise reduction if you choose the right spot. Timber will resonate sound around the floor and being organic will bend, flex and generate noise and vibration from the weight of a treadmill and active user. A hard floor will spread the load and impact across a larger area meaning noises are dulled out and will be free from vibration.
Centre of the Room Or Edge?
Consider where you put the treadmill in a room. If you put the machine to the side of a room you may find the walls reflect noise around the room. If you put the machine in the centre of the room and the floor has timber floor boards you will find the running action causes a lot of vibration and bounce through the floor.
Dependant on whether you are trying to keep noise down for you or a neighbour, try different locations for your machine. As a rule of thumb on a hard floor aim to locate in the middle of the room and on a timber floor go for the edge.
If All Else Fails
If you have an older treadmill with a loud noise problem you may need replacement parts to get rid of any operating noises. Most models have long warranties these days, so if strange noises occur call a technician through the warranty. It may be that a motor is on its last legs or the frame has split or loosened at a joint and needs a permanent fix alternatively parts like the belt or deck may have worn and need replacement.
If you are happy with noise levels during workout but live in an apartment and have neighbours who are identifying problems or are affected, try to communicate with them and identify when they are not in residence and fit your workout into their schedule to keep neighbours happy.