The hustle and bustle of everyday life can be exhilarating. Unfortunately, it can also be loud. While your home should be a retreat from the racket, this isn’t always the case. And whether you’re dealing with sounds within your home or with noise coming in from the outside, unwanted noise can be distracting, frustrating, and downright overwhelming.
The good news? You don’t have to just grin and bear it. In fact, there are several things you can do to reduce noise and reclaim peace and quiet within your home. Read on for a roundup of six proven soundproofing tips for homeowners.
Introduce more sound absorbing textiles
Featuring our Sentinel Fixed/Picture Window 130
In some cases, reducing noise can be as easy as introducing more materials that absorb sounds thereby preventing them from bouncing around the room. These include carpets, rugs and even upholstered furniture. In fact, adding or changing out your carpet can trim noise in your living space by as much as 70 percent. Wall hangings, pillows and throws, and floor-to-ceiling bookshelves can help dissipate sound waves and facilitate a more silent ambiance.
Furthermore, while we primarily think of window treatments for their light-blocking capabilities, they also have the ability to absorb and block sound. In particular, velvets, wools and other heavy materials are most effective.
Explore professional soundproofing materials
Excessive noise is far from an isolated issue. In fact, it’s such a common problem that an abundance of soundproofing materials are available designed to help counter the clatter. At the top of the list? Acoustic panels.
Available in a range of fabric styles and colors that can be coordinated with your interior design, these panels can be placed on walls as well as on the ceiling. And while it may sound complicated, experts say that if you can hang a picture, you can hang your own acoustic panels.
Other soundproofing design materials include cork flooring, floating hardwood, and acoustical blankets.
Embrace white noise
From occasionally noisy neighbors to the constant rumble of traffic, sound is part of modern life. One especially simple way to cut through the din? Invest in a white noise machine. White noise has been proven to have many benefits, including reducing anxiety, boosting concentration, and promoting overall well-being. It can even help lull babies to sleep!
While bringing in more noise to reduce noise may sound silly, the reality is that white noise has calming capabilities: Not only does consistent white noise block more distracting intermittent noises, but it also provides a source of soothing sounds which induce relaxation.
Upgrade your windows
Featuring our Sparta Single Hung Window 4100A
Your windows — especially if they’re older — may be a major culprit when it comes to letting in outside noise. Windows with thicker glass, double and triple panes, laminated glass, and wider airspace can all have noise reducing capabilities.
One especially beneficial type of window for soundproofing? Impact resistant windows. Initially engineered to withstand powerful wind and other extreme weather, they have the excellent side benefit of noise reduction thanks to their inherent thickness, as well as the use of stronger sealants and framing materials. In fact, impact windows are so effective at reducing noise that many homeowners are choosing them — even if they live in areas that aren’t prone to extreme weather and natural disasters.
Program your appliances
Dishwashers, laundry machines and dryers, and robotic vacuums can all contribute to the noise in your home. Many have timer settings that allow you to program starting times for more desirable times of day (or night). In addition to sparing you noise, this can also help you trim energy costs by delaying usage for off-peak times.
Enable “Do Not Disturb” modes
Technology makes our life better in a myriad of ways. Unfortunately, in addition to enriching our lives, technology can also be a distraction — literally, in the case of the ringing, blinging, bleeping and other sounds emitted by our devices throughout the day. Setting your devices to “Do Not Disturb” when you need — or want! — silence eliminates notifications freeing you up to focus more deeply or to relax. You can then check your messages in your own time and on your own terms.
Worried about missing a call from your kids or other important people? You can allow calls and texts from certain people or existing contact groups.
Just because noise is a fact of life doesn’t mean you have to live with it — especially in your private spaces. These six strategies can help you reduce unwanted sounds toward a less distracted and more peaceful existence at home.