- Children laughing and playing outside
- Appliances buzzing around the house
- Airplanes and cars flying and driving outside
- Floors squeaking wherever my spouse is walking
- Dishes clinking on the other side of the wall
- Furnace “grumbling” in the basement
And a whole other ensemble of noises I can’t quite name.
Do you think I can concentrate? Not reall..y…oh oh, there is an ambulance passing by. At least we didn’t buy a house facing the highway, I can’t even think what that would be like. What do all of these noises have in common? They all belong to either indoor or outdoor factors that we can’t control. Or can we? Let’s start our battle by defending ourselves against noise coming from the outside. Windows are the weakest link. If you have thin windows and you aren’t ready to replace them, you can simply cover them with heavy, thick drapes. This should reduce the noise, however this will not eliminate sounds completely. However, if you are thinking of replacing your windows, keep the following in mind: Windows are rated according to their Sound Transmission Class (STC). Windows are rated from 18 to 38 STC, . A higher number indicates better sound insulation. For example, a single-pane window may have STC rating of 22-25, while a dual-pane window can be rated between 27 and 32. There are windows with even higher STC rating that may reach the full 38 rating. So keep this in mind when you are planning to replace yours. Now that the outside noise is dealt with, let’s put a stop to the unintentional eavesdropping on our neighbours. This is particularly relevant to condominium and townhouse owners. In line with our heavy drapes trick, we can line the shared walls with furniture such as bookcases. However that may not be ideal. Continue Reading