The home is the one place people expect to relax and rest. But things changed during the pandemic. Many employees were forced to work from home temporarily. So the home has become their workplace. Many students also spend more time studying and taking lessons at home through video conference calls.
But it’s difficult to focus on work or study if your house environment is noisy. Even if you’re at home and expect to get some peace and quiet, various sources of noise may surround your area. If you live near a road, the traffic can be a source of noise. You might also have noisy neighbors. If there’s a construction site nearby, it can bring a lot of noise as well.
Negative Effects of Noise Pollution
Being surrounded by noise can affect your health. Loud sounds will keep you from focusing on your work, which can then make you stressed. You may also experience headaches.
If your environment is noisy during the evening, you won’t be able to get enough sleep. And inadequate sleep is a risk factor for many severe illnesses, including cardiovascular conditions.
With the unpleasant effects of noise pollution, you need to take action to avoid them. Keeping the noise levels at bay in your home will help you and your family function well.
How to Reduce Noise at Home
There are many ways to reduce the noise in your home. They come with a cost, but it’s a worthy investment to improve your home environment.
1. Use Noise-friendly Flooring
One source of noise in your home may be your own flooring. For instance, wooden floorboards sometimes get squeaky. So every time someone walks around the house, you may feel irritated and be unable to focus.
Thus, you should use noise-friendly flooring in your home. Carpet flooring is probably the quietest you can get, but it does require more maintenance. If you want something silent and easy to clean, you can try vinyl flooring.
2. Use Soundproofing
Most of the noise in your home will come from outside. Some examples are cars passing by, lawnmowers in the morning, loud neighbors, music playing next door, and many more.
In this case, you’ll need a more structural solution than flooring. Your best solution is soundproofing. You can approach this by soundproofing only one area in your home, ideally the spot where you especially need a quiet environment. This may be your room or your work area. Attach acoustic padding around your walls to minimize the noise.
You can also go the more holistic route and soundproof your entire home. You can try using spray foam commonly used in commercial establishments. The foam can be installed in your walls and even your ceiling.
3. Update Appliances
Old and outdated appliances tend to be noisy. For instance, an old refrigerator may produce buzzing sounds. The fans in an old computer are also louder than the more updated models. The noise from one old appliance may be easy to bear. But if there’s more than one, the noise may become irritating in the long run.
Thus, if you can, consider updating your appliances to eliminate the noise. Doing this also comes with other benefits. New appliance models tend to be more energy-efficient than their old counterparts. For example, refrigerators certified by Energy Star use 15 percent less energy.
3. Become a Plant Owner
When the pandemic started and people had to stay at home due to COVID lockdowns, many people turned to plants. Many bought houseplants; others started their own gardens in their backyards. Taking care of plants is a good distraction. Exposure to nature, at least through houseplants, also helps maintain good well-being.
But apart from these wonderful benefits, plants can also help reduce the noise in your home. They can either deflect, absorb, or refract the noise. Sound-absorbing indoor plants you can try include the following: rubber plants, ferns, peace lily, and so on.
You can also grow bushes and trees around the exterior of your home. These plants can add a layer of barrier between the outdoor environment and your home to reduce noise.
4. Use Ear Protection
Among all these solutions, the easiest way to avoid noise at home is to wear ear protection. It may be temporary, but it can be effective. You can use either earplugs or earmuffs, whichever you find more comfortable to wear.
Noise pollution inside the home can have unpleasant effects on your well-being. So if you find that the noise is almost unbearable, take the needed steps to reduce the noise and to make your home a more peaceful haven for you to relax.