In many households, the presence of white noise is often overlooked as people go by their regular activities. It comes from different sources like appliances and ventilation systems, and the sound is often negligible compared to other noises in the environment. While some may find white noise relaxing, others may find it distracting especially if their daily activities may be interrupted by it. For instance, those who often use the phone, have online meetings, or create recordings may need to have a completely quiet space free from disruptive sounds. This is why some may find it necessary to add soundproofing materials to specific areas in their houses.
If you’re thinking of ways to minimize the white noise in your home, here are a few suggestions you may find useful. It may be important to note, however, that while some of these steps can be done without expert assistance, some may need to be built by professionals.
1. Choose A Noise-Reducing HVAC System
Many Heating, Ventilation, and Air-conditioning (HVAC) systems produce white noise which can be disruptive if you want your living space to be as quiet as possible. This can be remedied by using a noise-reducing HVAC system with a decibel rating between 50dB to 60dB.
- The quietest HVAC units usually have an insulated base fan located underneath which reduces noise and prevents corrosion.
- Some units have insulation for the compressor which minimizes the noise of the whole unit.
- There are fan blades specifically designed to create minimal noise.
These specific features could help you reduce white noise in your home. It may be important to note that the different fan speed settings may affect how much white noise is produced by the HVAC unit.
2. Install A Soundproof Drywall
If you need specific areas in your house such as the study or the bedroom to have less white noise, you can consider installing specialized drywall with sound-dampening properties. This type of drywall is made up of several layers of materials that when used together can minimize any type of noise in the house. Unlike regular drywall, soundproof drywalls can reduce noise with up to eight times more efficiency. However, this option may be more costly and labor-intensive than others.
3. Use A Solid Wood Door
Replacing your interior doors with solid wood can substantially reduce the amount of white noise in your living space. This is because the thick layers of the wood material can effectively block sound transmission which in effect would minimize noise. This option is also relatively easy to do as factory-produced doors come in standard dimensions which would match most door frames. You can also have them custom-made to better suit your preferences. However, solid doors tend to be heavier than regular ones with hollow cores. This could mean that you’ll have to strengthen your door frame and hinges to provide sufficient support for the door.
4. Add More Soft Surfaces
Sound can travel around the room by bouncing off hard surfaces. This is why if you want to reduce white noise inside your home, adding soft surfaces would be helpful. For instance, you can layout a foam layer on top of your flooring before covering it with thick carpeting. Additionally, you can also add plush furniture and thick curtains in your rooms to provide more soft surfaces in the area.
5. Seal Gaps Around Doors And Windows
Commonly, doors have a small gap that separates them from the frame and the floor surface. Doors are constructed this way to allow ease of movement and minimize friction when they are being opened or closed. However, the gap allows sound to travel indoors as well which is why the noise from outside the room or the home can be heard indoors, including white noise.
To counter this, you can consider adding a weatherstrip to the door. The common types of weatherstripping are door sweeps, door shoes, or automatic door bottoms. You can see the descriptions of each option below:
A door sweep, also known as draft stoppers, is a long thin metal attached to the bottom of the door. This device is usually made of plastic or rubber bristles and serves as a narrow barrier designed to keep cold air and noise out. There are three common door sweep types: the strip, the bristle, and the under-door.
A door shoe is also effective in preventing sound from passing through the gap under a door. With a door shoe, the sealing material is attached along the bottom of the door which may require temporary removal prior to installation. Despite a more complex installation, this device is considered to be stronger and sturdier compared to others and may also be effective in protecting the bottom part of the door from damage.
Automatic Door Bottom Seal
This feature can also effectively reduce noise while allowing easier door movement. The automatic mechanism of the door seal works by having a metal bar lift or lower the seal at the bottom of the door as it is opened and closed. This type of door bottom can be installed at the front surface of the door which makes it convenient to install.
All of these options can be used in an existing door and are also relatively simple to install. You can choose to have it installed by a professional or you could do it yourself as well.
On the other hand, windows can be soundproofed by applying acoustic caulk to the gaps. This solution is known to be the cheapest and most effective option, and you can do it on your own as well. Acoustic caulking will also allow you to open and close your windows with ease while still being able to block the noise coming from the outdoors.
Having a quiet and comfortable space can be a dream come true for many homeowners, especially those who work remotely or spend a lot of time indoors. This is why it’s important to invest time and effort in making the adjustments needed to create the ideal environment inside your home. After all, nothing could take the place of being able to relax and enjoy the peaceful ambiance in your own living space.
Greg Bledsoe is an acoustic engineer with more than 10 years of experience in the construction industry. He shares his expertise by writing on his blog and creating video content. In his free time. Greg enjoys playing hockey, cooking and swimming.’