*They say “Silence is Golden,” meaning that there is nothing better than the pure sound of… nothing. The average city dweller spends his or her time surrounded by noise– traffic, television, cell phones, and unwanted office gossip. But people who want a quieter life are finding ways to outfit their homes with sound-proof accessories, such as curtains that mute noises from outside. This is one of several ways to make staying home much more peaceful and reap the health benefits of silence.
A Not-So-Silent Threat
The threat is real. Noise pollution affects many people and homes, causing health effects such as stress and anxiety. There are many fancy methods to isolate yourself from sound, but soundproofing is expensive and typically reserved for technical uses, such as for a recording studio.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO), it is only safe to be exposed to loud noises for a maximum of 8 hours. Many of us who live in urban areas or noisy towns receive a lot more noise than recommended. Because of this, there has been a significant rise in home soundproofing through the use of soundproof curtains and other methods.
However, there are several simple home hacks you can use to significantly reduce the amount of noise you hear.
Home Hacks for Peace and Quiet
One popular way to achieve a quieter living space is through your furniture. When you have an empty room, sound bounces off the walls a lot easier since there is nothing to absorb it. These bouncing waves reach your ear and you perceive ‘sound’, but the simple addition of heavy and soft furniture can absorb a great deal of these waves. Add heavy tables and sofas with a lot of cushion to absorb the most amount of sound. Books also help and look great on your coffee table!
Additionally, you can add large rugs to hard floors, another culprit of noisy homes. Any hard surface will reflect noise effectively, and puffy carpets can deaden the noise while adding style to your interiors. This will also reduce the amount of echos from footsteps. You can also check out the tips on SnoringSource.com for more ideas on how your interior design can help reduce noise.
If you want to get fancy with your soundproofing you can add acoustic panels to your walls and ceiling. These are used mostly in studio sound booths during music recordings, but many manufacturers craft these panels for use in your home. These panels work much in the same way as furniture works– by providing a thick, soft and permeable surface which effectively absorbs sound waves.
If these panels are pushing the price point too high, you can try a simpler method which involves covering your wall with blankets or soundproof curtains. These can also be heavy curtains, but the point remains the same– the thicker the material, and the more area it covers, the better the results. Just make sure you’re using decorative blankets and not your grandma’s winter sheets!
Don’t Forget Your Doors!
You’d be surprised at how sound finds its way into our homes through the smallest cracks and spaces. One place we often ignore when we think about sound leakage is our doors. Gaps beneath doors let a considerable amount of noise through, but there is an inexpensive solution. Sealant tape can easily block these gaps without hindering your doors from opening or closing. A more expensive but permanent solution is a mounted seal that uses metal and rubber and lasts a lot longer than tape.
Reducing noise in your home will not only give you peace of mind, but is also attributed to many health benefits. Some of these include lower stress levels, better concentration, increased brain function, and greater focus for self-reflection. The benefits of good rest are also widely studied, and the solution is as simple as installing a set of soundproof curtains.