In this blog post, we will talk about, “How to soundproof an above-door air vent?”, and discuss what is above-door air vent and the sounds that come through the above-door air vent. We will also tell you why they have a noise problem, the tools needed to fix it, and 5 ways to soundproof an above-door air vent.
How to Soundproof an Above-Door Air Vent?
Soundproofing a house or a room revolves around the idea of soundproofing different elements of the space. These are mainly the elements that let in the majority of sounds. From doors, windows, and floorings, to ceilings, walls, and electronic appliances, it is important to insulate all such parts to achieve the desired level of sound insulation.
However, we often forget about one big part of modern homes that let in a lot of noise – Above-door air vents. They are designed to provide us comfort yet give rise to a noise problem if not properly insulated. Here are five effective ways to soundproof the above-door air vents;
- Build a Sound Maze
- Use Acoustic Foam Panels
- Block Air Vent with Drywall
- Use Soundproofing Sealant
- Hang Soundproof Curtains
What is an Above-Door Air Vent?
An above-door air vent is an integral component of modern homes, designed to regulate the house airflow and keep the indoor temperature pleasant. These vents have a positive impact on the energy bills and help enhance the quality of living and comfort of the home.
This is the reason why many modern homes have these above-door air vents incorporated in their interior design themes. Their importance in regulating the indoor temperature can never be undermined, however, they do also let a lot of noise in along with the air.
This solves the temperature problem yet, birth noise problem. In truth, the noise problem associated with these above-door air vents is truly catastrophic and it overshadows its temperature-control advantages. However, it is not an unsolvable problem and with the latest soundproofing techniques, we can effectively soundproof the above-door air vent to resolve the prevalent noise problem.
Why is Above-Door Air Vent So Noisy?
The noises from the air vent are categorized as flanking noises as they come through the house’s structure and don’t penetrate through the walls. In simple words, any noise that doesn’t come through the wall can be classified as flanking noise.
As above-door air vent is simply a pathway or an empty cavity permitting the ingress of air to regulate the indoor temperature. With air comes sounds of the outdoors, sounds that disturb our peace and create a nuisance.
As the above-door air vents provide a seamless connection between the indoors and the outdoors, they do also let in a lot of outdoor noises. Plus, these sounds while traveling through the hollow air vent get amplified and become more disturbing.
Besides, allowing unwanted outdoor sounds a passage into the home, they also distribute the sounds from one part of the house to another. If your home’s above-door air vents are connected, you may even hear the sound of a baby crying in the nursery located farthest from your room.
Tools/Materials Required to Soundproof Air Vent
To soundproof an above-door air vent, you need to have a few tools and materials at your disposal. These tools will help you simplify the task and achieve the desired level of sound insulation. Following are a few tools and materials you need to soundproof an above-door air vent.
- Drywall Repair Kit
- Soundproofing or Acoustic Sealant
- Soundproofing Blanket
- Moving Blankets
- Acoustic Foam
- HVAC System Duct Liner
5 Ways to Soundproof an Above-Door Air Vent
Build a Sound Maze
Building a sound maze is an effective way to soundproof an above-door air vent without compromising its airflow capability. A sound maze does the same thing as the name suggests and that is to make it hard for airborne sounds to find their way into our house.
In simple words, a sound maze is a system of insulation layers with open ends that allow the air to pass through while they absorb sounds. This is an effective way to deaden sound along the way before it reaches your ears. To build a sound maze, you would need the following things;
- Acoustic Foam or Cotton
- ¼ Inch thick Plywood
- Wood Saw and Wood Glue
How to Create the Sound Maze?
First, make sure that the wood is cut into four sections that are a few inches shorter than the inside of the vent. This will help ensure that there is enough room inside your vent to fit the wood and allow air to flow in.
Second, take the cotton or foam material you are using and cover the wood planks in the material, attaching them if possible to the wood with glue.
Then, put some wood glue on the end of the wooden plank and place the first one inside the vent, sticking it with the glue to the wall of the vent.
Keep doing this with the other three pieces of wood, ensuring that they are glued about half an inch apart from each other and with openings on opposite ends that make a zig-zag pattern.
Acoustic Foam Panels
Acoustic foam contributes to the minimization of echoes. The foam gathers them up when sound waves bounce through the air, preventing them from producing an echo-effect. This material is not intended to block noise, but it is intended to increase the quality of sound in a room, which is why acoustic foam is widely used in movie theaters and recording studios.
Acoustic foam can prove to be an efficient way to minimize the noise in air vents since these structures appear to produce a lot of echoes; this is especially true if they are made of metal. This material will also absorb the vibrations that come through the vents, reducing the amount of unwanted sound that goes into the room that you are trying to soundproof.
Block The Air Vent with Drywall
If you yearn to seal the air vent permanently, then using a drywall repair kit is an excellent solution. You can achieve this permanent insulation in two ways; Build drywall at the vent’s opening or fill the duct.
To do so, you need to remove the covering of the vent and insulate the duct with sound-absorbing materials like foam or wood. Afterward, you need to measure the vent dimensions and cut the drywall to size. Fix this pre-cut drywall to the vent’s end with adhesive and apply plaster to achieve proper finishing.
You may use a soundproofing sealant if you find the above method time-consuming and want a swift DIY solution. This technique is a little less permanent, but it is incredibly quick and hassle-free. If you want a cheap solution and may want to unclog the duct in the future, you can use this.
The soundproofing sealant is usually foam-based and expands after its application. This seals the gap even tightly and makes them water-resistant as well. For aesthetics, you can smoothen these with sandpaper and paint them to match the walls.
Just like the soundproofing sealant, a soundproof curtain is another highly effective temporary solution to dampen sounds coming from the above-door air vent.
All you need to do is simply fix a rod on the wall and hang these curtains or blankets to cover the vent opening. This is simple, easy, and also effective in absorbing sounds before they become a cause of nuisance.
What makes this an excellent soundproofing solution is that it is the easiest to place and simplest to remove. Soundproof curtains are usually made of fiberglass that is an excellent sound-deadening material.
When we talk about the above-door air vent, this solution gets much more beneficial as it not only covers the vent but also insulates the door. There are also soundproof blankets with grommets that work the same way as curtains do.
Grommets are ring-like holes on top of the blankets that allow them to pass through the curtain rod. You can even use these blankets on the ceiling air vents by nailing them on the ceiling. This is a quick and effective fix to soundproof the air vents and insulate your room.
Another alternative to soundproof curtains is moving blankets, these are thick blankets used to wrap furniture and they also work effectively in soundproofing homes. These tightly-woven blankets trap and absorb sounds before they cause any disturbance.
In this blog post, we talked about, “How to soundproof an above-door air vent?”, and discussed what is above-door air vent and the sounds that come through the above-door air vent. We also told you why they have a noise problem, the tools needed to fix it, and 5 ways to soundproof an above-door air vent.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to Soundproof an Above-Door Air Vent?
How do you soundproof air vents?
There are multiple ways to soundproof an air vent. You can either cover them with acoustic foam or hang soundproofing curtains or blankets at their openings. If you yearn for a permanent solution, you can try adding a layer of drywall to cover the opening and soundproof them completely.
What material can block sound?
Sound-blocking or sound-mitigating materials are used to block sounds. They are usually high-mass and high-density as sound-blocking requires mass. Here are a few good sound-blocking materials;
- Resilient Channels
- Acoustic Membrane
- Acoustic Mounts
- Plasterboard or Drywall
- Mass-Loaded Vinyl
- Acoustic Mineral Wool
- Oriented Strand Board
- Fire Board
What is a duct silencer?
A duct silencer is an effective airborne sound regulator, engineered to regulate and dampen airborne sounds traveling through the duct. Also known as industrial sound attenuators, they are effective in preventing airborne sounds from entering the home through hollow air vents.
How do I make my return vents quieter?
Proper maintenance and cleaning can help you make the vents quieter. Cleaning air ducts and filters often help them function properly and make no extra sounds. Quite often, a ductwork problem is a cause behind a noisy air vent, and getting it fixed is one quick solution. Besides this, you can also try reducing the static pressure in the air vent.
Is it OK to block air vents with furniture?
Placing furniture in front of the air vent is never a wise idea and if you desire to achieve better soundproofing, try adding drywall. Wooden furniture often gets spoiled due to dry air and it may even loosen the joints and crack the boards.