Soundproofing a home is not an easy task. For some people, soundproofing can cost you thousands or even hundred thousand dollars and more. Today, This is your detailed guide to soundproofing air vents for a noise free home.
While soundproofing your home, one thing is usually forgotten: the ventilation. Many people forget that they need to stop noise traveling through vents.
With the ventilation, noise would still be inevitable. Even if you used the most effective materials for the job – air vents are practically huge spaces or holes in the walls.
This is why even after spending crazy amounts of money; you would still encounter the worst of your fears as far as noise is concerned.
Sound would still travel through the walls freely. And your soundproofing project will look undone by just the small air vents you neglected.
So you could be asking yourself the hard question; how do I soundproof air vents in my house?
Well, I will tell how you could do this. I have compiled together this step by step guide to soundproofing air vents so that you don’t get lost anywhere.
It will provide you with some insights on the practical ways of achieving a quiet environment when you soundproof these openings in your house. Remember you need to be sure that your project is 100% complete.
Why Does Noise Travel Through Air Vents?
Air vents form very reliable paths for sound transmission. Therefore, they will carry in the house almost any amounts of noise from the external environment.
Air vents are good for proper air circulation in the house. They help in regulating your house’s heating and cooling functions.
You can block off this noise through the following: complete vent blocking or self-made sound maze installation.
The Challenge Of Soundproofing Air Vents.
It might be easy to identify the problem of noise through air vents. However, it is another thing to soundproof air vents without interfering with their primary purpose.
For emphasis, air vents are usually constructed on the wall just above the window or door. They are useful when it comes to allowing air circulation in the rooms.
The circulation or air flow should be proper. It should be such that the house is well aerated to the levels that would bring the required comfort inside.
Now the challenge is this: soundproofing the air vents without interfering with the vent circulation. You should understand your goals or preferences first before you do anything.
If you still have reservations, then air vent noise reduction is potentially not going to work for you. Especially if you don’t want to miss out on the precious air waves. Although you can adopt other methods.
But in case you don’t mind losing natural air circulation by vents, reducing noise could just get easier. You only need to block off the vents completely and it’ll be done.
Then, you can install the modern systems of air-conditioning and heating. These would help fill the role of the air vents.
Here Are The Things That Cause Air Vent Noise.
Effective soundproofing of air vents requires that you inspect some aspects. You need to assess features such as:
- Shape of the Air Vent
See if the shape of the duct between the air vents is correct. Usually these ducts connect two vents directly.
So you will need to check if this shape comes in turns and corners or not.
- Number of Walls
Whether it is a window or above door air vent, inspect the number of walls the sound is bouncing off. Usually, noise will find its way in the room in many cases because this number is too low.
In summary, the number of obstacles is small. Thus, noise is not effectively dispersed off.
- Air Vent Material
Metal is the most commonly used material. And when the air ducts are constructed from metals, it becomes easy for sound to bounce off their surfaces and spread out in the room.
Different Methods to Soundproof Air Vents in Your Home.
Here are common known methods you can use to soundproof a vent.
1. Completely Blocking/Removing The Air Vent
Perhaps this is the most ideal way of reducing air vent noise. Air vents are found above the window and door.
With this method, you will need to seal the duct with appropriate material. You could use the sheetrock both sides of the wall or perhaps this GREAT SFUFF gap filler to finish the job. It creates a water-resistant seal wherever it is filled.
- A quick, simple way to create an airtight, water resistant seal
What results is an area which looks like there was never any form of ventilation. This is the best method to soundproof vent spaces for the most reliable soundproofing needs.
Make an informed decision before you choose to work with this method. Because first, you are going to stop air circulation in your home.
Secondly, you are going to spend a lot of bucks on this project. This might not bode well on your side given the possible amount of money spent on the initial project.
Bar this shortcoming, blocking the vent is by far the easiest way to achieve soundproofing of the vent. It doesn’t take much of your time either.
To complete this process successfully, follow these steps:
- Remove covers from both sides of the vent
- Fill the vent with the appropriate sealant you choose
- You will need to coat the inside of the vent. Just make sure you seal off the gaps.
- Return the covers where you removed them.
You can also achieve complete removal of ventilation by home renovation. If you have enough bucks at your disposal, you can remove the vents by replacing them with drywall above the door and window.
This way, you are guaranteed of complete noise blocking. Which could just hand you the peaceful environment you have been looking for.
As earlier mentioned, the method is expensive and also labor intensive. This is a great vent noise silencer strategy though.
2. Use Soundproofing Curtains or Blankets
Using the soundproofing curtains or blankets is one of the most effective and yet simple methods of soundproofing air vents in your house. You can use the heavy moving blankets or soundproof curtains to cover the openings.
For example this heavy moving blanket, Sure-Max Moving Blankets should be a great option. They are very easy to install.
- Professional-grade: Oversized, 80" x 72" premium quality moving pads that provide exceptional damage protection from scratches, nicks, dirt,...
While they won’t be as effective, they are not hard to install. And it is possible to remove them as you wish – after they have performed the intended purpose.
So if you are renting, this comes as the greatest option. Remember you may not have the full rights to incorporate the most permanent methods in a rented apartment.
How do you achieve this? You can do this through hanging the curtains or blankets on the rods. Or just nail them flat to the wall. This should be close to the air vent for increased performance.
3. Use a Sound Maze in the Air Vent
It is difficult to achieve both sound blocking and airflow control in your house at the same time. Therefore, people opt to forfeit one benefit in place of another.
However, in this practical guide to soundproofing air vents, you get a way to do both perfectly. And this involves the use of a sound maze.
You simply need to create a sound maze and you will be rolling.
- What is a Sound Maze?
A sound maze provides insulation against noise or sound waves. The waves find it difficult to travel through them hence reducing their energy (Sound waves) significantly.
The maze comes with turns inside their construction. They also leave some spaces to allow air to flow in an out.
This ensures that both needs (noise reduction and airflow) are met effectively.
Here are the materials you need to create a maze:
- Screwdriver – this would heavy to remove the covering of the vent
- Thin plywood pieces – just a few of them and should measure less than an inch, preferably ¼ inch thick. (Get from Amazon)
- Wood saw which will be used to cut the plywood
- Wood glue like this Gorilla Wood Glue is needed for sticking together pieces of wood.
- Easy-to-use, water based adhesive with Gorilla holding power
- A ruler
- Acoustic cotton or foam material, for example, Silverstone silent Foam.
- A pair of heavy scissors to cut the foam
Instructions to Building a Sound Maze
Now let’s go through the process of making this soundproof air vent covers or sound maze. It is not very difficult to understand and even implement.
- You will need to cut the plywood using the saw. Remember the pieces you cut constitute the short-size inches that can fit well in the inside of the air vent. You don’t want to leave any major gaps.
- The wood cuttings you just cut should be covered by the foam mats. And here, you must have the wood glue to attach the wood plants onto the pieces. They should keep in place.
- Use the screwdriver to uninstall the vent covers
- The wood planks should then be attached vent walls using the wood glue. The glue is placed under the plank or on its sides.
- Repeat the process with every other piece of wood plank until the whole project is completed. Whether you will be spacing the wood planks or not is something you possibly want to think of.
- The last thing to do is to replace the vent covers and then sit down to enjoy the results of what you have done.
4. Use The DIY Method
The alternative method you can try out is this DIY method. You can achieve this by getting soundproof foam panels (egg-crate pattern in shape), and then stack them together. I would recommend the Acoustic Panels Studio Foam Convoluted Sound Tiles Egg Crate.
You will then cut the stack to the point of fitting through the vent. If they fit in the vent, place the pieces in the duct.
They will bring out the quiet air vent covers that you desperately want. The flat panel parts are arranged back to back to form spiky foam boxes.
5. Use Acoustic Air Vents
You might not want to go through the hassle of other methods. If so, you can purchase these acoustic air vents.
Besides soundproofing your home vent, the acoustic air vents also help to regulate the inflow and outflow of air between the house and outside environment. This makes the house a comfortable place to stay.
However, you will need to be cautious with this method. It happens that purchasing these vents for your entire house can be fairly costly: so only buy them when you don’t have issues with the pocket – otherwise you can go ahead with the other cheaper methods.
Dom’s DIY Direct White Adjustable Large Air Vent are something you can look at. They are strong and easy to fit.
How To Soundproof HVAC Vents
Even more complicated are the matters involving reducing noise from the air vents of an HVAC system. These are complex systems that need some professional skills to handle.
1. HVAC Upgrade
The old-school HAVC system uses the old technology which is not really interesting. Hence making them a bit noisy.
Simply reduce noise entering your room by replacing it with a new one. This is possible through upgrading to a more advanced system.
The new modern systems come with energy efficiency. And this a sought-after feature of a good soundproofing material.
2. Duct Liners
This is a cost-effective way of soundproofing vents. It involves insulating the ducts using certain lining material that would reduce the sound reflected by the duct walls.
Duct liners serve as air vent sound damper. You can use this cheap and effective Reflectix from Amazon. It is really effective for duct insulation; it’s easy and quick to handle.
- The Reflectix Spiral Duct Insulation consists of two highly reflective layers of film (96-percent reflectivity)
That said, the most important thing is to seek the services of a professional. They will be able to provide you with the necessary information and skills regarding insulating duct work.
In getting soundproofing solutions, a lot of money is usually incurred. You can imagine how much you will need to complete such a project for your home.
However, one thing that’s most forgotten during these projects are the vents. And yet, they are main entry points for serious noises in the house.
The vents can be soundproofed using various ways. This guide to soundproofing air vents gives you the tips that should help you finish your project well.
You simply choose the method you think would work out for you. While other ways mentioned would still be worth a try, sound maze stands out as the method to watch.
This is because the sound maze method allows you to take control of both noise and air circulation – you don’t need to compromise with one of them.
Last update on 2021-01-27 at 05:55 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API