How to Reduce Airplane Noise in Home
I enjoy living in the suburbs. Besides more space, privacy and a peaceful life I can build with my family, privileges of living in the city center are still available and just a car ride from my home.
However, living in suburbs has its downsides too. It’s well familiar that “less crowded space” is not only good for families, but also for the aircraft industry and their tendency to position airports in open-space locations.
This directly affects all homeowners living near the flight path due to their exposure to the airplane noise, which was proven to be connected with series of health problems, including sleep disturbance, hearing impairment and heart disease.
Aircraft noise pollution is now considered a serious problem. It is caused by airflow around the aircraft fuselage and wings as well as noise from the engines. Noise levels and frequencies are not unique and depend on the type of the aircraft. It is important to mention that there’s also a difference in aircraft noise when the airplane is taking off or landing.
This means that the aircraft noise pollution is determined by various factors and before dealing with the problem, you have to get to the bottom of it by gathering information about the type of the aircraft that flies over your rooftop and taking into consideration whether it’s landing or taking off, as well as the distance between the place you live and the airport.
Due to the fact that each household experiences noise pollution from aircraft differently, there is a variety of possible solutions that can help you save yours and your family’s health.
Find out whether your home is on the flight path
The very first step is discovering how big problem you are actually facing. A distance between your house and the nearest airport makes a huge difference when it comes to soundproofing. If you don’t do the first step correctly, the soundproofing solution you come up with might not be fit for your problem.
Let me help you with determining the noise level you are facing. Start with searching for the official website of your nearest airport. On the website, you will find a special section dedicated to the aircraft noise reduction. There shall be a route the planes follow and a map of neighborhoods which are affected by the noise pollution.
Noise levels are recorded in decibels (dB) and averaged over a 24-hour period. This average day-night measurement of noise is called Ldn. The noise between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am is artificially increased by 10 dB.
When you determine how far you are from the flight path, the next step is to calculate the noise level. Typically these are three areas and the average noise (in decibels or dB) people experience over a 24-hour period:
This helps you determine how much noise reduction your house needs and therefore create a soundproofing plan for your home. For low affected areas, recommended reduction is up to 36 dB, medium up to 45 dB, and high up to 80 dB.
Check whether the airplanes are taking off or landing
As experts have proven, the aircraft will produce more noise at take-off, due to the high engine power. However, you may find that on landing the aircraft seems louder.
This is because the landing aircraft will be lower to the ground, and hence closer to you. The sound is absorbed by the atmosphere, so the noise you hear is a function of both the noise produced at the source, and the distance you are from the noise source.
Planes need to land and take off into the wind. That means an ‘into-the-wind’ runway direction is almost always adopted for landings and takeoffs.
Again, you need to check the climate around your airport and the wind direction. This will help you determine whether the planes are taking off or landing above your house, giving you a clear picture of the noise you’ll have to deal with and exact period of the day you can expect it.
After you get familiar with the exact problem you are facing, you are ready to take concrete action.
How to Reduce Airplane Noise in Home
Outside noise finds different ways through our home. The most common holes are in the doors, walls, and number one – windows. In the further text, I will tell you how to seal all of the above mentioned elements.
1. Soundproof the Windows
As already mentioned, this is the most critical spot in the house. There are different ways to deal with it, varying from your budget and expertise.
If you are not a window-installer expert yourself, nor you want to spend an enormous amount of money on soundproofing, adding an extra layer to the windows might be an option. All you need for this type of soundproof installation is:
And this will cost you around $50 per window. The installation is quite simple. Start with cutting the board and build a frame for your window. Use fabrics to create the basis for adding the foam board inside of the frame.
Lastly, add the pink insulation and you are ready to go. If you decide that this is a right thing for you, there is this video that can help you with the building and installing process.
If this is not enough for your home, there is a new solution on the market. I’ve written already about Noise Blocking Window Film – it’s a soundproof window consisting of interlayer film sandwiched between two external layers.
The layer in the middle is the one with sound insulation properties and it is known as a core layer. The “main task” of this core layer is to reduce sound transmission. It is convenient for homeowners who are facing higher noise levels.
For more methods of soundproofing your windows, click here.
2. Soundproof the Doors
The only reason soundproofing your doors shouldn’t be the first step in this quest is the fact that most likely there are more windows in your home than doors, therefore windows are in higher need of soundproofing. However, this doesn’t mean that you shouldn’t focus on your doors as soon as possible.
Firstly, you have to check whether your existing doorway has gaps or cracks. If this is the case, your next step would be to seal them, and for that, I would always recommend using this insulation foam sealant for gaps.
There is not only one way to take care of your doors, and you should take into consideration all of the possibilities before choosing the one.
3. Soundproof the Walls
Nowadays, walls are usually built with soundproofing layer, but that’s not always the way. If you are amongst the unlucky ones, you’ll need to find a way to soundproof your walls.
Soundproofing insulation is commonly built into walls, just as foam insulation would be. Exterior facing doors are insulated for climate control, but on the other side, soundproofing insulation is used within or on the walls and ceiling of a room in order to keep out the airplane noise.
There is an option to use this kind of soundproofing on selected areas or throughout the house, depending on the needs.
I would suggest insulating all exterior walls, in order to keep all of the aircraft noise outside the house. Another plus is that soundproofing insulation can be integrated with thermal insulation, which solves two problems for every house owner.
There are different approaches:
These are the basic and most used solutions when it comes to soundproofing walls. It is important to take all the aspect into consideration and choose the best fit for your home.
4. Soundproof the Roof
Well, this is something you don’t see that often – but definitely worthy of your attention. Experts have proven that the airplane noise can find its way to your home through the roof of your house. So, even though you have insulated your walls, doors, and windows – you should check your ceiling too.
This is also something you can do on your own by using soundproof ceiling panels to block airplane noise. If you don’t want to or you can’t remove the ceiling, you can use this quick and easy soundproofing method to increase its mass:
Final Word: On Blocking Airplane Noise
To sum up everything, soundproof elements are specially designed and the closer you are to the flight path, the thicker they will be.
They can be installed in your existing elements, or completely replaced.It is well recommended that you include experts before ordering any of these products because as it was mentioned before, there is no unique solution and proper preparation needs to be done.
When you take everything into consideration, one is definitely sure – your problem can and will be solved. It is up to you to choose which solution is the best for you and your family.