8 Simple Tips For Home Soundproofing

8 Simple Tips For Home Soundproofing

Small Projects and Repairs
By Mateos Glen Hayes January 17, 2022

If you live in the city, you’re probably aware of that because you can hear it; the traffic, the people rushing to and fro, fire trucks, ambulances, HVAC condensers firing up, trains passing by, construction. Long story short, city life can get pretty loud sometimes.

But while it may seem like that noise is just a fact of life, the truth is you don’t have to put up with it all the time. We all need a sanctuary where we can take a break from all the hubbubs from time to time. Going without that is an easy way to get stressed out and anxiety-prone. Your home’s soundproofing can easily be revamped with just a few affordable home improvements.

1. Keep Out Noise 

High-Quality Storm Windows Absorb Sound and Add Insulation

High-Quality Storm Windows Absorb Sound and Add Insulation

One simple, reliable, and affordable way to seal out exterior noise is via the use of storm windows. These are additions that go over your main windows and are meant to add soundproof insulation and weatherproofing to your home. Indeed, these are some of the best absorbers of sound, especially if you opt for high-quality storm windows that use thicker glass and bulkier frames.

The other way storm windows limit noise is by creating an air gap with your main windows. This works by creating a pocket of air for absorbing sound and can even improve thermal insulation. The rule of thumb is that the wider the air gap, the more soundproofing you get. For the best results, aim for a four-inch gap between your storm windows and the main windows as this will absorb the most sound.

2. DIY Improvements

Sealing Gaps Is the Best Way to Keep Out Noise

Sealing Gaps Is the Best Way to Keep Out Noise

There are also a few ways for you to reduce noise within your home with a few small changes. Most wood-framed houses are quite porous and this allows for sound to travel with ease. The best way to mitigate this is to seal as many of these porous areas as possible.

For outlets and switch boxes, use caulking to seal any and all holes to limit the travel of sound between rooms caused by footsteps. Most inner doors have hollow cores that aren’t great at stopping sound, so consider replacing them with solid core ones. Add thickly padded carpeting to the upper flooring of your home for room soundproofing. This will absorb footsteps and quiet things down.

3. Silence your Appliances

Modern Appliances Tend to Be Quiet Than Older Ones

Modern Appliances Tend to Be Quiet Than Older Ones

Some appliances can be pretty noisy, so it’s a good idea to put some thought into where they are placed and how they are set up. In general, dryers, fridges, and washing machines make more noise when they are up against a wall since this tends to amplify sound. To avoid this, try to avoid placing these appliances up against walls where possible.

Your washer and dryer also transmit sound through the floor, so be sure that these appliances are properly balanced and aren’t sitting on the floor directly. Instead, place rubber or cork padding under the feet of these appliances to dampen noise and vibration that makes its way through the floor.

Of course, the easiest way to minimize noise from appliances is to buy newer, quieter ones. Most new gizmos tend to be quite a bit quieter than the older stuff and you can check how much noise they make by comparing sone levels.

4. Curtains

Blackout Curtains Can Deflect a Lot of Unwanted Noise

Blackout Curtains Can Deflect a Lot of Unwanted Noise

Believe it or not, curtains can be quite effective at stopping sound dead in its tracks before it can bother you. Soundproof window dressings are widely available and can be bought at low prices. These soundproof curtains typically weigh around fifteen pounds and keep sound out by using padding to deflect them outside.

These curtains are easy to install without needing the help of a pro and can even help lower your power bills. Thanks to their thick padding, soundproof curtains are also quite good at keeping the heat in during the winter and keeping the hot sun’s rays out during the summer. There are even padded curtains that can fit over your exterior doors. This helps to seal the soundproof door from any noise coming in from the busy street outside.

5. Add a Bookcase

Bookcases and Other Furniture Act as Stylish Soundproofing

Bookcases and Other Furniture Act as Stylish Soundproofing

A common feature of most homes and apartments is dividing walls. Unlike your load-bearing walls, most dividing walls are just made to, well, divide the space. What that means is that they are usually paper-thin and typically don’t have any soundproofing or insulation. Of course, you can rip open those walls and stick that stuff in for more sound deadening, but it’s easier to add layering in other ways.

One solution is to add furniture. Large and dense pieces of furniture such as bookcases or dressers can be excellent for mitigating sound. All you have to do is put your bookcase up against the offending wall, put your thickest books on display, and enjoy your new quiet mini-library!

6. Weatherproofing

Weatherproofing Seals the Cracks Sound Can Get Through

Weatherproofing Seals the Cracks Sound Can Get Through

There are many parts in your home that let in sound, but your front door just might be the biggest offender. It isn’t wholly to blame of course, since it has to face all the noise coming from your street, and some of it is bound to come through. However, you can definitely give your door a helping hand and reduce the noise that does get through.

Most front doors aren’t well designed to handle street noise because they have big air gaps between the doorway. To reduce noise, you’ll need to seal these gaps. The easiest way to find the gaps that need to be sealed is to see where light comes through since this is where noise will get through as well. Foam weatherstripping can be easily attached with adhesive, and there are even rubber sweeps that can close the hole between your soundproof door and threshold.

7. Window Inserts

Window Inserts Provide Affordable and Reliable Noise Mitigation

Window Inserts Provide Affordable and Reliable Noise Mitigation

If you’d rather not go through the trouble of installing storm windows, you can get some window inserts instead for similar results. You won’t get the same thermal insulation benefits, but you’ll still get reliable soundproofing. Window inserts are made of glass or acrylic and are installed over your main windows just like storm windows.

This creates an air seal to keep outdoor noise from leaking into your home. Plus, most window inserts can be easily popped in and out when needed, which is perfect for when you need to do some cleaning or want to switch out your window inserts for newer ones.

8. Acoustic Foam Panels

Acoustic Panels Make a Big Difference in Noise Reduction

Acoustic Panels Make a Big Difference in Noise Reduction

Acoustic foam panels are another sound mitigation hack worth considering. Even just a few of them can make a big difference in noise levels inside your house. These soundproof panels are designed to hang off your home’s interior walls. They work by absorbing and deflecting noise and therefore preventing echoing.

This is great for reducing noise inside your house, and some acoustic foam panels are even designed to block sound that makes its way through doors and windows. The best soundproof panels can reduce noise by almost thirty decibels, which is a world of difference especially if you live in a noisy cityscape.

MG

Written by
Mateos Glen Hayes

Written by Mateos Glen Hayes

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