For many of us, sound can be a problem. If you suffer from Tinnitus, loud sounds can be so painful they bring you to tears. For those of us with less severe problems, loud sounds can simply be a nuisance. The low but steady reverberation of the refrigerator or the deep bass on your teenagers speakers is a source of headaches and frustration. Fortunately, the growing field of ‘acoustic home treatment’ has provided a series of easy solutions to these problems.
Sound travels through space in waves through a medium. So, sound passes from one molecule to another molecule through air, water or something solid, such as the beams of your house. However, not all materials are created equal; how well sound travels through mediums depends on the properties of the medium.
As a general rule, hard materials are at the top of the sound transmitting hierarchy. This means they’re pretty darn good at transferring sound. On the other hand, soft, pliable materials are poor sound transmitters. So, a room that is composed of a series of hard materials will transmit more sound than a soft room. A room with wooden walls, wooden floors, glass framed photographs and shuttered windows will be noisier than a room with carpeted floors, wall papered walls and windows with curtains.
There’s something classic and elegant about a polished, wooden floor. Unfortunately, as excellent sound transmitters, they’re not ideal if you’re looking for a quieter home. But do not despair, you don’t have to pull up the wooden floors, simply cover them with a soft material such as a rug.
Like wooden floors, large glass windows are hard materials that transmit sound very effectively. You decrease this by draping your windows with curtains or soft, fabric blinds. While they look lovely, binds and shutters will only amplify sound.
Marble, wooden or concrete countertops are also hard materials that increase the sound in your home. As these countertops are often found in kitchens with lots of noisy appliances, this can be exceptionally problematic. Eliminate this problem by considering laminate countertops.
Loud appliances, such as a steady vibrating fridge, a dishwasher or a washing machine all add background noise to a home. This noise can make it difficult to focus on one source of sound, such as a conversation or a show on TV.
As hard materials effectively transfer sound, placing two hard materials together will only serve to increase the overall volume. For example, a steel fridge rested on a tiled floor will serve to make your kitchen noiser.
To avoid this problem, simply elevate these sound transmitting devices. You can lift speakers off the ground with something like a cardboard box or you can place a rubber mat under appliances.
As hard walls form approximately fifty percent of our house, it’s important to consider them when decreasing noise in your home. The key is to place soft materials along walls to absorb sound waves. This can be very intentional, such as mounting specialized sound proofing insulation. It can also be more natural, such as hanging drapes or placing soft, stuffed furniture alongside the walls.
With these easy tips, you can transform your house from a noisy, head-ache inducing space to a quiet and tranquil home where you can breathe and relax after a long day. These tips can also help your hearing as it will give them a nice break from the hustle and bustle of the outside world. Nevertheless, if you’re struggling from hearing problems, we still recommend checking in at a hearing clinic. Soundproofing your home isn’t the only option, at Academy Hearing we provide a range solutions that promise to improve your hearing and, by extension, your lifestyle inside and outside the home.