Mother and daughter baking together in quiet house

8 Ways to Minimize Unwanted and Distracting Sounds in Your Home 

Loud distractions from the outside that creep into your home can be pretty disrupting. This is especially true if you’re working from home, have small children napping, are routinely woken up at night, or simply have the day off and want to relax. Other noises occurring within your home you can control to some extent, but they too can cause disruption.

Related: 7 Upgrades to Enhance Your Remote Work Lifestyle

Noise, unlike light, can be difficult to block out. Fortunately, regardless of the source of the noise, there are many solutions you can try to help create a more peaceful environment. Whether you’re trying to work or get some much-needed rest, here are eight solutions to help you to minimize distractions in your home.

Use Noise Canceling Headphones

If you’re working or schooling from home, a good set of noise canceling headphones can easily do the trick. Keep in mind, they don’t necessarily eliminate all noise when you’re trying to concentrate, but the right set can effectively minimize distracting sounds. Before purchasing a set, be sure to do your research to identify a set that can tune out noises. In some cases, a passive set of earbuds might do the trick if you use an app with soothing ambient sounds.

Make Changes to Your Interior Doors

Many modern homes no longer have the good old-fashioned heavy wood doors. Today, the interior doors of most homes have largely been replaced by hollow doors. Consider investing in solid wood doors to provide stronger sound-absorption.

Related: 2021 Home Decor Trends

Install Impact-Resistant Windows

Couple sitting in quiet room with impact resistant windows and doors

Featuring our WinGuard® Aluminum Single Hung Window SH7700A and Preferred Sliding Glass Door SGD770

Impact-resistant windows can make a notable difference when it comes to noise levels. Common outdoor disturbances, such as barking dogs, traffic, aircraft, thunder, and loud neighbors can be distracting, but these windows can help. Impact-resistant windows are not soundproof, but they can minimize unwanted noise up to 65%. For an additional sound barrier, hang thick draperies or interior window shutters.

Related: Replacement Window Guide

Position Area Rugs in Different Rooms

Sound waves tend to echo in rooms without carpets. You can always convert to carpets to add an additional sound absorber, but many people prefer their hard floors for a variety of other reasons. The good news is you don’t have to replace your hard flooring to reduce noise. By simply positioning area rugs throughout your rooms, you can reduce the impact of the sounds you don’t want to hear. Thicker area rugs work best because the extra padding helps to absorb more of the noise.

Add Water Features

An outdoor garden water fountain

Unnatural noises associated with traffic, lawnmowers, and other types of exterior noise pollution are often a significant distraction. To reduce these interruptions, try finding ways to add soothing natural water sounds both in and outside of your home.

  • Add an outside fountain.
  • Purchase an indoor plug-in water fountain.
  • Position a birdbath to attract some feathered friends who will replace unnatural noises with more pleasant outdoorsy type sounds.

Water features add pleasant sounds to your home environment. As a bonus, they also can go a long way towards offsetting many common undesirable sounds.

Related: Xeriscaping Guide for Florida

Add Door Snakes or Sweeps

Many entryways have large gaps between the door and the floor. Inserting a barrier to seal it off can eliminate the sound that seeps through. Often marketed to reduce drafts, many people find door snakes and sweeps also eliminate excess noise. You can purchase them or go the DIY route. How it works is by creating an additional layer of soundproofing by sealing out sound coming from underneath the door.

Install Outdoor Fences

Wooden fence with flowers to reduce exterior noise

If the source of your noise is from your neighbor or street traffic, installing a fence can help to mute some of these unwanted sounds. Before putting up a fence, be sure to check with any homeowner rules if you live in a community that is run by a Homeowners’ Association (HOA). You also may have local zoning rules to consider as well. Always check to see if there are any placement or height restrictions before installing an outdoor fence. If fences are an issue, you may be able to plant thick hedges to create a more peaceful setting.

Get a White Noise Machine

If all else fails, a white noise machine can help block out distracting sounds. These machines work by emitting continuous sounds that are quiet and consistent. Some machines offer different soothing sounds, such as the rain or ocean waves. The Sleep Foundation outlines several options to consider if looking to add a white noise machine to your home. Just plug them in, choose a setting (if offered), and let the background noise drown out everything else.

Noise pollution, or simply excessive noises associated with day-to-day living, can be a huge distraction. Using a combination of solutions can go a long way towards reducing these noises while giving you the tranquility you seek.

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