We live in a truly noisy world: from loud neighbors, random chatter and nearby construction sites to heavy traffic, the hum and buzz of household devices and police and ambulance sirens outside, it’s a wonder we ever get some time and space for decent peace and quiet. If you’re one of the folks struggling with excessive noise at home, we have some useful tips and guidelines right here on how to efficiently minimize the volume of sounds invading your living space and adding to your already high daily stress and discomfort levels.
EXTERNAL NOISE: COUNTERING THE COMMON ENEMY
However much you may want to, there’s no efficient way to eliminate the external sources of noise hindering your everyday functioning at home. However, there is a way to minimize the volume of external sounds through several affordable and highly effective home upgrades.
1. Noise downstairs: Rugs and carpets
If your downstairs neighbors are an eternal well of endless racket and loud music, you can cover your floors with thick rugs and carpet tiles to reduce the amount of noise getting in through the improperly sound-insulated flooring.
Image via Houzz by Eve Wilson
2. Shared walls: Sound-insulating wallpapers and heavy furniture
Try installing acoustics-reducing wallpapers to remedy noises in a poorly insulated building: as these wallpapers are considerably thicker than the standard ones, they will be a perfect upgrade for nurseries and entertainment rooms. However, if your next door neighbors manage to beat the wallpaper obstacle, you can always resort to another strategy: by placing heavy furniture like closets, wardrobes, bookshelves and closets next to your inadequately insulated shared walls, you will achieve a noise-minimizing result.
Image via Houzz
3. Street noise: Drapes and curtains
For racket coming from outside your window, use rich, thick curtains and drapes to create a relatively effective sound-proofing zone. Still, no fabric (however rich or thick it may be) will help in case you live in a residential area with heavy traffic and other noise pollutants – in that case, opt for a stack of new double- or triple-glazed windows.
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4. Outdoor noise on the max: Double glazing
Thanks to their thick and reinforced structure, double- and triple-glazed windows ensure optimal sound and vibration insulation. In addition to the acoustic insulating properties, double glazing is a truly earth-friendly retrofit as it helps conserve heat in wintertime and minimize waste of energy. According to recent studies, double-glazed windows can block up to two thirds of external noise, which is truly impressive and can definitely do wonders for your inner peace, quiet and auditory health.
INTERNAL SOUNDPROOFING: NOISE ON YOUR OWN TERRAIN
Unlike outdoor racket which you can curb by various items, indoor noise is inevitable. We live in a modern world dominated by humming, buzzing, droning and whining appliances and each of them can be the source of indoor noise that inhibits your inner peace. Still, there are several ways to combat internal noise, so keep reading.
1. Laundry room: Foam insulation
A room where two loudest appliances (clothes dryer and washing machine) are usually found, the laundry room can be soundproofed by installing efficient yet affordable foam insulation.
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2. Other loud appliances: The miracle of relocating
In case you own appliances or devices that create loud noise when on, try switching them off when their service is not necessary. Or, consider relocating noisy appliances to attic, basement or rooms with lower traffic or at a greater distance from your bedroom and living room.
3. Computers, home theatres and sound systems: On/Off
To minimize indoor noise coming from your TV or computer, you can always lower the volume or switch off the device you’re not using. This is especially useful when you’re watching a movie on your home cinema with your PC or sound system switched on and humming away in the background.
4. Noise-cancelling headphones and ear plugs: Synchronized racket
For rooms where you simply can’t diminish internal noise, try using noise-cancelling headphones or soft earplugs when studying, working or focusing on affairs very important to you.
Keeping noise at bay is not easy, but it’s feasible: if you follow these simple yet effective tips, you’re guaranteed to restore inner peace within weeks, so don’t put off the change for too long. After all, if you’re not comfortable, happy and calm, then you’re doing it wrong.