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Are the neighbors too noisy, sirens too loud, or the planes flying too close to let you sleep peacefully at night? We’ve come up with a few ways to effectively block out unwanted sound, that won’t break the bank. Soundproofing doesn’t have to become a huge, expensive project. There a quite a few DIY & other affordable methods that can help you on your soundproofing journey.
Cost-Effective Ways to Block Out Sound
Here’s a checklist of cost-effective ways to block out sound. For a comprehensive listing, see our Ultimate Guide to Soundproofing Your Apartment!
Furniture Placement for Effective Sound Blocking
This is the one thing not many people think about when trying to reduce noise. The placement of furniture in your room can help muffle sounds coming from outside. Placing a bookshelf or bookcase by the wall can create a thicker barrier between you and the sound. Also, try moving your bed to the wall furthest away from the sound to get better sleep.
NOTE: Bookshelves and bookcases will only work to reduce noise transfer if they cover the entire wall, floor-to-ceiling. Otherwise, consider one of the sound masking options below.
Loud Fans to Drown Out Noise
If you aren’t bothered by a white noise but want to reduce the ability to hear outside sounds, try installing a ceiling fan or buying a box fan. The humming of the fans can mask the outside noises.
Ceiling fans, especially the newer one,s tend to be more quiet, while standing fans make more of a white noise sound. Try either a tower standing fan or your standard standing fan to help drown out noise while you sleep or work.
Use Carpeting to Prevent Noisy Footsteps & Absorb Echo
If you have a pretty large space and not a lot of furniture or plush surfaces, then you might have a lot of echo in your space. Installing carpet or even just areas rugs around in different rooms of your home will help to eliminate the echo.
If it isn’t your next door neighbors you worry about bothering, it may be the people below your apartment. Consider installing a carpet if your apartment allows it. If not, purchase a thick rug to put on the floor to cushion some of the noise.
Area rugs and carpeting do a great job to prevent footfall noise travel to the floor below. They act as a cushion or shock absorber to make the sound of footsteps sound much quieter for those living below you.
Acoustic & Soundproofing Curtains to Soundproof Window
The easiest way to reduce sound from echo is simply by installing thick curtains. You can buy them many department stores and also online like these at IKEA. Similar to carpets and area rugs, thick acoustic curtains should be used to absorb echo in a space, and while they’re very effective and sound absorption, they’re not very effective for sound blocking.
You can also check out the Residential Acoustics’ soundproof curtains and soundproofing door covers which were designed to reduce and block sound from coming into your living space. These curtains are made with a mass loaded vinyl core, and a fabric covering, so while they may look very similar to acoustic curtains, they’re actually sound blocking curtains.
Best Sound Machines to Drown Out Noise
Although we mentioned using loud fans to drown out noise, some of the newer ceiling fans and standing fans are designed to be quieter than they used to be. If you can’t find a fan or don’t have a loud fan to use to drown out noise, consider investing in a white noise machine.
Sound machines are another great way to create white noise to drown out annoying sounds. You can buy an actual sound machine like this one from Brookstone or you can download relaxing sound apps on your cellphone or iPad. There are also hours of white noise YouTube videos.
Cost-Effective Sound Blocking Solutions
Before breaking the bank on a new soundproofing project, try some of our cost-effective soundproofing tips and use some items you probably already have in your house.