Fed up with hearing the constant bass from your neighbor's stereo? Tired of the constant drone of traffic outside your windows? Is the noise in your life driving you crazy? There are a number of easy and relatively inexpensive steps you can take to help reduce the noise pollution in your home environment.
- Wall to wall carpeting does an excellent job of absorbing sound waves. If you don't want to give up your beautiful hardwood flooring, simply add throw rugs and area rugs, the bigger the better, to help reduce the clatter. In fact the more furniture a room has, the better the sound is absorbed, whereas sparsely decorated or empty rooms produce an echo.
- The next area that's beneficial in reducing noise levels is the walls. Hang curtains over the windows to help reduce noise pollution coming in from the outside, hang wall tapestries and decorative wall hangings to help absorb noise, or you can even hang curtains in the doorways between rooms to help reduce noise pollution. Check your local home improvement store to see if they carry wall-hangings, room dividers and ceiling panels specially designed to add soundproofing to the environment.
- To reduce the amount of noise that you are spewing into your neighborhood, be sure to position music equipment and stereos away from walls commonly shared with other tenants or apartments. Switch the polarity of your speakers by plugging them into the opposite colored snap, helpful in cancelling the sound that can be heard at a distance. If the door that faces the entrance and exit from your home is hollow-cored, replace it with a door that is solid wood to lessen the sound that escapes through it.
- Walk barefoot or in slippers or sneakers if you don't have carpeting, because hard-soled shoes and high-heeled shoes clicking against hardwood floors cause a reverberating noise that can often be heard outside of your apartment or home. Help to soundproof the legs of your furniture by adding felt discs to the bottoms to prevent chairs and tables from scraping against the floor.
- Keep the sound of your stereo and television at moderate levels, and don't let children play with volume dials. Be conscious of using appliances that are noisy, such as washers, dryers and vacuum cleaners, at odd hours when others might be asleep.
If the noise level continues to be a problem, consider taking some professional soundproofing steps, including installing a dropped ceiling or treating your walls with a chemical soundproofing compound that transforms sound energy into heat.