Why Your Projector Is So Loud And How To Fix It

Having to troubleshoot why a projector is so loud is the last thing you want at the start of a big presentation. Whether in a conference room or in your home theater, a noisy projector is an issue we need to solve.

Check out these projectors I recommend for home theater.

A loud projector sits on a specially built projector stand.
A loud projector sits on a specially built projector stand.

The fundamental physics of technology also applies to projectors because they require active cooling to perform well. Meaning they have internal fans that produce noise when working.

Fortunately, today’s technology allowed projectors to sound far less than they once were. But there will still be times when you will notice that your projector is so and you can’t understand why. 

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The loud noise that your projector makes typically comes from one of two things: something wrong with the motor that controls the fan, or the fan is in its dying stage and has to be replaced.

You cannot prevent projectors from producing noise. But if you think that the noise it makes is too loud, then there is probably something wrong. If you are experiencing such an issue, then you should note that there are several things you can do to resolve it. 

Why Your Projector Is So Loud

There is no denying that noise is one of the significant problems that projector owners face. When doing a presentation or watching a movie, the noise that a projector makes will always be a distraction.

To fix such an issue, the first thing you need to do is understand where the noise is originating.

As mentioned, projectors have cooling fans like your computer. When the device is in use, it tends to overheat.

Some components in the projector heat up, especially the laser or the bulb that produces the light to project images.

Some parts use electrical data processing that makes the devices hotter.

For that reason, the fan works to cool the internals down. However, this cooling fan makes noise while operating. But that whirring sound should not be too loud to disrupt you from what you are doing.

If it is becoming louder the longer you use your projector, then that means your device is overheating, requiring the fan to work harder to cool it down. 

Two components make up your projector’s ventilation system — the fan and the air vents. The manufacturer might also install internal thermometers to trigger the fans.

Under normal conditions, the fan will expel the hot air through these vents and suck in cooler air. When the ventilation system is working correctly, the fans will only produce a gentle sound.

As your fan blades move, it can also cause the other projector’s other components to vibrate; thus contributing to the noise you hear. 

To sum it up, here are the factors for the noise that you hear in your projector:

  • The motor fan
  • Your projector’s parts are vibrating while the fan blades are moving
  • The air circulation within the device

However, if you suddenly hear clicking and whining from your equipment, then that is a sign that something is wrong. 

What Makes Your Projector so Loud

A girl covers her ears to attempt to block out annoying noise in this file photo.
A girl covers her ears to attempt to block out annoying noise in this file photo.

With all this in mind, we can conclude that the response of your projector’s cooling system to the temperature produced by the bulb and laser is the cause of the noise. However, this is not the sole cause. There are also external factors that play a significant part in this issue. 

1. The projector is used for too long

Using your projector for an extended period causes it to heat up at a higher temperature. For this reason, you should turn off your equipment now and then if you are going to use it for an entire day.

This way, the projector will be able to cool down without the fan having to work. Not only will you prevent your projector from overheating and being loud, but you will also lengthen its lifespan.

2. Poor or improper ventilation

Inadequate ventilation causes a myriad of issues to your projector. One is that it can cause its lens to burn or melt. But apart from that, it can also trigger your device to produce a loud noise.

As mentioned, a projector’s cooling system consists of a fan and ventilation holes. The hot air is pushed out through certain holes while the cool air enters others.

However, like blocking the holes, inadequate ventilation will make it harder for the fan to push hot air out. As a result, the fan will work harder to compensate for the poor ventilation. 

When using your projector, you should never put anything around it that may block the ventilation holes. It will allow your device to expel heat without any blockage.

Additionally, you need to ensure that you are using your fan in a cool room. You should also prevent placing it near other devices that generate heat. 

3. Mechanical or electrical issues

A crackling, grinding, or buzzing sound is an indication of another problem occurring inside your projector.

If you hear such noises, you need to bring your device to a licensed technician and have it checked.

It could mean that your fan is damaged or an electrical connection inside the projector is failing. 

4. Failing projector lamp

Your projector’s lamp is the primary source of heat for the equipment. It will only get too hot when the device is used for too long if it is working perfectly. However, if you notice that your projector is heating up more than it used to, then that means something may be failing.

This overheating will cause the fan to work harder, thus making more and louder noise.

Steps to Reduce Your Projector’s Noise

A shiny and new silver projector is shown in this file photo.
Shiny and new projectors may look nice, but that doesn’t mean they run quiet.

Now that you know the reason for the loud noise coming from your projector, you’ll be able to fix the issue once it happens. Fortunately, reducing the noise of your projector only involves several simple steps.

1. Keep your projector clean

Cleaning your projector is one of the most excellent methods to allow proper ventilation. You can clean the outside of your device by spot cleaning using cleaning wipes, cotton balls, or paper towels dabbed with alcohol.

On the other hand, you can keep the internal part of your projector clean by using a computer duster regularly. You can also use a soft brush to brush away the dust on the ventilation holes. 

2. Mount your equipment if possible

Installing your projector on a wall or ceiling will maximize the air circulation around it. That means even the bottom part of the equipment will receive cool air, reducing the need for the fan to work hard. 

If possible, mount it high. This way, only a few objects may possible interfere with the airflow. However, it is essential to note that the placement of your projector must not be too high.

The reason is that the air must also circulate at the top of the device as the fan expels the heat within. 

3. Clear the area where you are placing your projector

If you cannot mount your projector, you can clear anything around it that may block the airflow. The device must sit on a flat and firm surface with all the sides cleared from anything.

In addition, do not place it on carpeted or cushioned spaces. The reason is that such surfaces retain heat, which will make it more difficult for the fan to cool the device down. 

Moreover, the best location for your projector is an unoccupied shelf, table, or hard floor. 

4. Use the projector in Eco Mode

The eco mode is a projector function that reduces the fan noise and lamp brightness. It extends the lamp life of your device and prevents it from overheating.

The ventilation system does not have to exert so much work to cool down the device. This way, the noise it produces relatively decreases. 

Also, lesser lamp brightness will result in a slower projector engine, which also prevents the device from getting too hot. 

5. Place a cooling pad under the projector

Cooling pads are typically created for laptops. However, that does not mean you cannot use them on a projector. But before getting one, it is essential to make sure that what you are planning to purchase is designed for electronics.

A cooling pad has small fans encased in a metal framework. Most of the models come with three small fans. However, you can find some that have less or more.

Even if it has more fans, typical cooling pads operate quietly, so you will never have to worry about it adding more noise to your surroundings. Still, you might hear a slight noise when you turn down the volume of what you are watching.

Such is a simple method to keep your projector cool even when using it for a long time, thus allowing the fan to stay silent.

6. Look for professional repair

After doing every step to reduce your projector’s noise but nothing changes, it is time to bring it to a professional technician. It will also help to observe your equipment. If it produces heat faster than the first time you use it, that indicates that a repair technician is needed. 

Ignoring the noises made by your projector will cause it to become damaged beyond repair. For this reason, you need to act as soon as you notice something unusual.

There are also instances when the fan itself gets damaged, which prevents it from working correctly, thus producing noise. If this happens to your projector, you can bring it to a licensed technician to have it fixed. But if you do not have access to such or have the right tools at hand, you can replace the fan yourself.

Changing the Projector’s Fan

Your projector’s fan is playing a significant role in keeping your device’s optimal performance. It spins so fast to ensure that the equipment is getting enough cool air to prevent it from overheating.

In addition, if you use your projector in places with temperatures not ideal for it, the ventilation system will need to work harder so that the device’s internal components will not get damaged.

For this reason, there will come a time when it will reach its dying stage. If this happens, then you will need to replace your fan.  

Understand your device

When you understand the equipment you have, you will be able to figure out what to do when it produces loud noises. The best way to do such is to check the type of projector that you own.

Below are the following ways for you to know your projector’s type:

  • Check the user manual included when you buy your projector.
  • If you no longer have the manual, your equipment has a sticker attached to it. You will find the type of projector written there. 
  • If you purchased your device online, check the seller’s website.
  • Search on the internet about the projector’s manufacturer.
  • Go to the store where you purchased your equipment.

There are four types of projectors. Knowing the essential details about the one you own can help you identify it if you can’t find its type.

Projector TypeDescription
Pocket ProjectorExtremely portableA little larger than a smartphoneIt does not consume high power to make up for the small cooling systemRelatively less bright than the other types, pico projectors range from 25 to 1500 ANSI lumens (1)
Multimedia ProjectorHave bulky yet efficient cooling systems to achieve quiet operationHave full HD 4K resolutionCan project a screen size of up to 100 inches (2)Range from 1500 to more than 3500 lumens (3)
Home Theater ProjectorThe largest projector categoryUsed for general purposes like PowerPoint presentations and screening videosHave several inputs like VGA, DVI, DisplayPort, HDMI, and SDIMultimedia projectors have a subcategory called Show Throw Projectors. Such do not have zoom lenses. Instead, they use a mirror where the image is initially projected before it gets reflected on the screen.Brightness range from 2500 to 4500 lumens (1)
Large Venue ProjectorFix installedNot portable, so they take some time to set upHave interchangeable lens systemsThey are typically used in stadiums, movie theaters, halls, and places that require screening for large audiences. Brightness can be 1500 to 4500 lumens (1)

Look for high-quality replacement fan blades compatible with your projector. 

If you plan to install a new fan on your projector, you need to make sure that the replacement you will buy is compatible with the device. To do this, you need to understand your projector very well, especially its brand and model.

Following the steps below will help you find a fan that will fit best with your equipment:

  • Search for an online store that sells fans for your particular model.
  • Check online replacement stores to see if they have what you need.
  • Compare prices to find the one that will help you spend less (however, you should ensure that you are not sacrificing the quality for a lower price). 
  • Double-check if the fan you are about to buy is compatible with your device.

Disassemble your projector and change its fan

Disassembling your projector is a tricky thing to do. A lot of people do not have much experience when it comes to opening electronic devices.

If you are one of them, the best thing you can do is watch in-depth tutorials online. You can also look for articles that discuss the proper way of replacing your projector’s fan. 

When disassembling your device, always take notes of the locations of each component that you take out. You can prepare several trays, label them, and place the screws there. This way, you will not get confused about which screws to use when assembling the parts again. 

Once you have opened your projector, get your replacement fan. Make sure that you are following the guide instructions accurately.

You can also take a picture of how the old fan mounting setup looks like before getting it out. It will allow you to make sure that you are setting the replacement part correctly. 

Additionally, you should be very careful when changing the fan. The cables, chips, power supplies, and boards of your device can be very sensitive, so make sure you handle them carefully.

They also tend to be sensitive to sunlight, moisture, and heat. For this reason, you should place these parts in a controllable environment like your desk or workbench.

After replacing your fan and assembling the projector’s parts back, the next thing you need to do is to run some tests. You can do this by using your projector for a long time, such as watching a movie.

Pay attention to hear if it still makes noise. If not, then congratulations; you will not experience noise disruptions again when using your projector. 

Furthermore, the continuous advancement of technology allowed projector manufacturers to develop products that are not as loud as before. So, if you are planning to get a new one for your home theater, conference room, or meetings, make sure to take a look at the top-rated quiet projectors below:

The Top-Rated Quiet Projectors of 2021

There are no two projectors created equally. True enough, you can find such equipment with decent features, some work better for motion pictures. For this reason, you need to check if your chosen equipment fits your needs and requirements.

ProjectorsFeatures
Epson EH TW-9400Projection System: LampResolution: 4KBrightness: 2,600 lumensProjection Size: 50 to 300 inches (4)
BenQ TK850Projection System: DLPResolution: 4KBrightness: 3,000 lumensProjection Size: 40 to 200 inches (5)
Optoma UHD42 4K UHD HDR DLP ProjectorProjection System: DLPResolution: 4KBrightness: 3,400 lumensProjection Size: 300 inches (6)
Epson Home Cinema 3800 4K ProjectorProjection System: LampResolution: 4KBrightness: 3,000 lumensProjection Size: 150 inches (7)
Optoma ML750e Office ProjectorProjection System: DLPResolution: 1280 x 800Brightness: 700 lumensProjection Size: 60 inches (7)
Epson EB-S41Projection System: LCDResolution: 800 x 600Brightness: 3,300 lumensProjection Size: 300 inches (7)

Epson EH-TW9400

This projector by Epson is perfect for home and office use. It has excellent color reproduction, 2,600 lumens of brightness, as well as HDR support. For this reason, it produces bright, color-accurate, and impactful images.

In addition, the images this equipment produces are well-detailed. The skin tones are highly natural, and the shadows are impressively detailed. (4)

Moreover, this projector has two USB and two HDMI video inputs. It has a 4K resolution, and the lens can project 50 to 300 inches of screen. 

BenQ TK850

The BenQ TK850 is perfect equipment with a 4K resolution, impressive 3,000 lumens of brightness, and boosted audio. It even possesses a focus on sports broadcasts, making it different from any other projector out there. 

Additionally, the TK850 looks very simple and minimalistic. The equipment has a white design, rounded edges, and not bulky. Its ports are all located at the rear, making them easier to navigate connections.

The location of the ports is also perfect for linking up the cables when using the projector. (5)

In terms of the power, D-pad, Source, Back, Menu, and OK buttons, you can find them all on the upper side of the device. 

Moreover, one good thing about this projector is that it has an LED temperature indicator. That means if you are using the device for a long time, you will easily find out if it is already overheating. 

Optoma UHD42 4K UHD HDR DLP Projector

This projector provides users with a budget-friendly way to achieve an authentic cinema experience in the comfort of their own homes. One of the best things about it is its super-fast image transference combined with a 240Hz refresh rate.

With these two features together, the equipment can make the movies you watch look cinematic. 

The projector’s color reproduction is also exceptional, and the blacks get solid without any visible blooms. You don’t even need the darkest room in your house to get the best out of this equipment, thanks to its 3,400 lumens brightness. (6)

Epson Home Cinema 3800 4K Projector

If you are looking for a new projector for watching movies, streaming, or watching sports, this one by Epson is worth checking out. 

With a 4K resolution, color accuracy, image mapping, and remarkable brightness, the Epson 3800 is the future of projectors. It boasts itself for its 3LCD technology, allowing it to display the entire RGB color spectrum. It means more accurate images, deeper blacks, and brighter whites.

The image projected can be up to 150 inches wide. Also, you can ensure that you are getting what you paid for this equipment as it has 5,000 hours of lamp life when you use it on eco mode. (7)

Optoma ML750e Office Projector

Perfect for office use, the Optoma ML750e projector is one of the most miniature projectors you could ever get. Since it is an office projector, it only has 700 lumens. Despite that, it still lets you present in a room that has some light in it. 

This projector also has several ports along with an MHL-ready HDMI input. It also has a universal I/O slot, a USB 2.0 slot for thumb drives, and a microSD card slot. In addition, it is pretty portable as it only weighs 380g. Despite the size, it can project images of up to 60 inches in size. (7)

Epson EB-S41

While the EB-S41 by Epson is pretty tiny, it can project rather large images. It has 3,300 lumens of brightness, allowing you to use it even in a well-lit room. 

The Epson EB-S41 is also light and small enough to be carried around during business trips. But regardless of its portable size, it has a large projection size of up to 300 inches. (7)

For this reason, it is safe to say that this projector is versatile despite its portability. What is even better is that the brand Epson has an excellent reputation when it comes to projectors. For this reason, you can ease yourself by knowing that you are getting something that has a good name among others in the industry.

The Takeaway

Projectors only require a little maintenance. They even have their very own systems to keep them from overheating and getting damaged. For this reason, you only need to apply minor modifications to them.

If you avoid prolonged use without letting the projector rest from time to time, ensure good ventilation, and preventing dust from getting into the fan blades and ventilation holes, you will be able to increase the lifespan of your equipment.

If you don’t take care of your projector, you will be disrupted by the loud noise it might produce. That means losing your focus on what you are watching and paying attention to the annoying sound. You would not want that, would you?

Sources:

  1. Peter Ward, Buying Guide To Projectors, Explora News, Tips, And Reviews, https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/video/buying-guide/projectors/
  2. Geoffrey Morrison, Home Theater Projectors: 6 Things To Know Before You Buy, CNET, https://www.cnet.com/news/home-theater-projectors-six-things-to-know-before-you-buy/
  3. Rob Sabin, How To Buy A Home Theater Projector, Projector Central, https://www.projectorcentral.com/home-theater.htm/
  4. Nick Pino, Best 4K Projectors For Your Home Theater In 2021, Tech Radar, https://www.techradar.com/news/home-cinema/projectors/tr-top-10-best-home-cinema-projectors-1291490/
  5. Henry St Leger, BenQ TK850 4K Projector Review, Tech Radar, https://www.techradar.com/reviews/benq-tk850-4k-projector-review/
  6. Owen Gough, The 13 Best Projectors for Movies, Gaming and Live Sport, Because 2021 Is Still a Pub-Free Zone, Esquire, https://www.esquire.com/uk/design/a32639672/best-projectors/
  7. Henry Casey, Best Business Projectors Of 2021: Top Projectors For Home And Travel, Tech Radar, https://www.techradar.com/news/best-business-projectors/