As a runner, a treadmill is an essential piece of workout equipment for me. A few years ago, I made a commitment to get healthy and fit. I found that running helped me to drop pounds and was my preferred cardiovascular workout.
But, I couldn’t always go outside for a run. With a treadmill, I run rain or shine, even after dark, and I can still watch my favorite television program. Here is a list of good treadmills with TV screen, HD touchscreen, Internet, WIFI and bluetooh.
But, since moving into a second-floor apartment, using a treadmill is trickier. I can’t risk upsetting my neighbors with squeaks, vibrations or motor noise from a treadmill, or with the sound of my feet pounding against the treadmill belt.
I knew I needed to learn how to reduce treadmill noise in an apartment. So I did a great deal of research into treadmill noise reduction and came across several effective solutions.
Noise is truly irritating, but what is more disturbing is having purchased your ideal treadmill and it suddenly stops working in the middle of your workout. If you have a Nordictract treadmill with functional issues, check how to reset nordictract treadmill with console, incline and iFit problems.
Affiliate Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate we may earn a small fee from qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you.
Why treadmills make noise
Though there are treadmills on the market which claim to run silently, all electric machines make some noise due to the motor.
Vibrations from treadmill motors move into the floor and walls, and can be heard in surrounding rooms, and even in other apartments. Plus, treadmill motors often become clogged with dust and dirt which can add to the noise level.
Treadmills also have many moving parts that require maintenance. Over time, these parts can start to make noise. In particular, treadmill belts make squeaking and whining noises.
The other main reason treadmills make noise involves the science of sound.
Impact noise happens when objects collide with each other. When you run, or even walk, on a treadmill, your feet pound on the belt. With the treadmill resting on the apartment floor, the impact vibrations move through the floor and walls.
This issue becomes even worse if your treadmill is not level or does not have a stable base. If the machine wobbles or moves during your workout, the amount of impact noise will increase.
With impact noise moving through the floor and walls, the building you live in is literally transmitting and amplifying sound. As a result, all those steps you make on your fitness journey can be heard by your neighbors.
How to reduce treadmill noise in an apartment
Treadmills are inherently noisy, but that should not stop you from adding one to your fitness routine. There are several things you can do to reduce treadmill noise, including purchasing the right treadmill, maintaining your machine well and adding some helpful accessories.
Purchase a quiet treadmill
Reducing treadmill noise starts before you even bring a machine into your apartment. Some treadmills are designed to be quieter. When shopping for your new fitness equipment, search for machines that incorporate noise-reduction features.
A machine with a stable base should not wobble or shift as you run. This can help to reduce impact noise. Many treadmills highlight their lightweight designs, which can be ideal for moving them into an upstairs apartment or folding them away between workouts.
However, there is a trade-off. A lightweight treadmill may be prone to more movement during your workout, while a machine with a stable base is more likely to sit firmly in place.
Another key feature in quiet treadmills is a shock-adsorbing belt. This type of belt, which is often labeled as “deck suspension,” can soak up some of the impact from your feet to prevent noise. As a bonus, shock-absorbing belts may be easier on your feet.
Since much of a treadmill’s noise starts at the motor, consider how much motor noise the machine you are considering will create.
Generally, more powerful motors generate more noise then smaller motors. If you are a treadmill walker, or just want a light jog, you likely don’t need an ultra-powerful motor and can opt for something quieter.
Another option is to skip the motor altogether. Manual treadmills eliminate motor noise because they don’t contain any electric components.
Rather than switching on the machine, you simply step on and move the belt with your feet. On top of reducing treadmill noise, manual treadmills are often less expensive, small and easier to move. However, there is a trade-off when in comes to noise. Though there is no motor noise to contend with, there may be greater impact noise as you run on the non-motorized belt.
Add a noise-reducing mats or pads
Once you have chosen the right treadmill for your apartment, you might need to purchase some accessories to further reduce treadmill noise in your apartment.
There are two main options to consider, which are a treadmill noise reduction mat or a set of treadmill anti vibration pads. Both of these options sit between the treadmill and the floor in order to reduce noise.
A treadmill noise reduction mat covers the floor under the entire treadmill. Mats are often the best option for treadmills that sit flat, or mostly flat, on the floor.
A dense rubber mat absorbs vibrations and impact noise. As an added benefit, treadmill noise reduction mats can protect the floor, so you won’t need to talk with the landlord about scratched hardwood when you move out.
Before buying a mat, measure the entire space of the treadmill. Then choose a mat that is several inches larger, in both length and width, than your machine.
The other option is a set of anti-vibration pads. Rather than covering the entire floor, anti-vibration pads sit under the contact points, or feet, of the machine.
Thick, soft pads soak up the vibrations created by the machine in order to prevent noise. They may be better at reducing vibrations, but less effective at absorbing impact noise than mats. However, anti-vibration pads can also be used to level a wobbly machine.
Lubricate your treadmill belt
Lubricating the belt of your treadmill is an essential bit of maintenance that will help to reduce noise and keep your machine running smoothly.
Treadmill belts slip across a series of rollers. As the belt dries out, the friction between the belt and rollers increases.
Depending on how many miles you put on your treadmill, lubricate the belt every three to six months.
The exact procedure for lubricating your machine will depend on the model, so be sure to take a peek at the instruction manual. But, in general, lubricating your treadmill belt is as simple as placing a few drops of oil between the belt and the rollers.
Clean the motor
The motor of your treadmill will suck in dirt and debris, which can add to the noise level and decrease performance.
The user manual for your machine will likely contain specific cleaning instructions for your model. You may need to remove the screws and cover from the motor compartment and gently clean away dust with a soft cloth or canned air.
To make cleaning the motor more convenient, complete the task at the same time as you lubricate the belt.
Move the treadmill away from the wall
Fitting a treadmill into your apartment might be tricky business. It seems logical to snug the machine into a seldom-used corner so that it does not take up extra space.
However, this may be the worst option in terms of noise. Since noise travels though the structure of the building, try placing the machine in the center of a room, or in an interior room that does not have a wall shared by neighbors.
Final thoughts on reducing treadmill noise in an apartment
Apartment dwellers often feel hesitant about using a treadmill. In truth, treadmill noise is a concern when living in a close community.
But, by selecting the right machine, adding noise-reduction mats or pads, and maintaining your machine, you can make your indoor run much less noisy. Try out these strategies and your neighbors are sure to thank you.