If you are looking for ways in to reduce noise pollution, things can often seem very frustrating with seemingly little you can do to prevent being disturbed by others’ noise. Noise pollution can come from a wide range of sources such as your neighbours playing loud music, traffic noise, wind and rain and various other potential sources.
To help you alleviate what can otherwise be a scourge on your quality of life and ability to relax and sleep, we have put together a list of helpful and practical solutions to help you counteract the effects of noise pollution.
Upgrade Your Insulation
It may be worth investing in soundproofing if you are looking for an effective, long-term solutions when it comes to dealing with noise pollution. Sound insulation testing and assessments can help to determine where exactly the areas of sound transfer are coming from which are causing unwanted noise. Also known as acoustic testing or pre-completion testing, there are two types of sound tests that are carried out by engineers (who should be UKAS accredited) for assessing sound insulation, these are:
Impact tests – These types of tests assess the levels of noise on separating ceiling and floor divides between dwellings. Impact sounds refers to things such as the vibrations of a washing machine or a tumble dryer on a floor, or the sound of heavy footsteps on the floor above.
Airborne Tests – These refer to tests on party walls and floors between dwellings measuring the level of sound that reverberates through the air (for example, the sound made by people talking, radios or televisions).
Acoustic Wall Panels
Another way of dealing with unwanted sounds is having acoustic wall panels, which can dramatically reduce the level of noise in your property, with many different options available on the market to choose from.
Rugs and Carpets
Rugs and carpets can be a simple but effective way to deal with and reduce noise pollution, as they can absorb the sound of particularly hard floors. Carpets has the ability to reduce the sound of someone walking by up to 34 decibels, compared to laminate or wooden flooring, which only reduces sound by up to 6 decibels. In addition, having a carpet helps to reduce the reverberation time by half compared to hard flooring.
Noise Cancelling Headphones and Earplugs
As a short-term solution to help with things such as construction work being carried out on your street or a nearby road or carriageway, whilst ensuring you still get a good night’s sleep, earplugs or noise cancelling headphones can be an effective remedy to deal with these types of noise pollution in the short term.
If you have large empty walls in your property it means that it will be more susceptible to noise pollution, as bare walls can cause sounds to echo around a room. This is why a number of experts recommend hanging wall coverings, such as blankets or canvas paintings, in order to absorb some of the sound.
High quality window shutters can help to reduce noisy sounds coming from outside your home and provide a long-term solution to dealing with noise pollution. This is because they create a barrier between external noises and your property’s windows.
Turn Off Electrical Appliances
Not only is turning off electrical appliances when you aren’t using them good to decrease the cost of your energy bills through reducing consumption and improving your energy efficiency, it is also a way in which to tackle noise pollution in your home. When they aren’t in use, electrical items can still produce some noise, even when it may be barely audible. At other times however, it can be quite high-pitched. If you want a quieter home, it’s worth turning these off wherever possible.
Place Furniture Strategically in Your Property
There are ways in which to reduce noise pollution in your property by placing furniture in a strategic way. For example, placing large bookshelves, or drawers along adjoining walls which connect you to your neighbour’s home can help to reduce noise emanating from yours and their homes, as it helps to absorb the sound.
In addition, when it comes to reducing noise within your own home, make sure that you keep noisy electrical appliances such as a tumble dryer, air conditioning unit or washing machine as far away as possible from bedrooms, as this will help to improve the quality of your sleep, as well as giving you some peace and quite due to the less noisy atmosphere.
It may come as a bit of a surprise but installing fences can actually be a very practical way of dealing with unwanted sounds. This is due to their barrier properties which help to reduce sound, as noise is produced by vibrations and sound waves which can otherwise be interrupted by obstacles such as fences, as they pass through the air.
Sometimes, one of causes of noise pollution in your home is in fact, ineffective doors; those that aren’t able to block out unwanted sounds. If that is the case, this can be easily amended quite easily and hassle-free. Experts recommend a solid wood door as being the best for tackling noise pollution.
Simply closing the windows in your property is a very obvious way of dealing with noise pollution, but its impact shouldn’t be underestimated and it is without a doubt a cost-efficient way to deal with loud external noises, particularly if your property makes use of double or triple glazing.
Planting trees and bushes around your property can help to reduce noise levels, which can be particularly helpful if you live in an urban area near busy roads. In addition, planting trees can also help to improve the surrounding air quality too.