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Old 07-02-2012, 08:45 AM   #1
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Need soundproofing ideas


Outside the bedroom window of my just built home is the Lennox high efficiency air conditioner. What a racket when it turns on and off! The wall in between us is hardiplank and 5/8" sheet rock on 6" studs, insulated. Three feet above the compressor unit are two double hung, double glazed windows. Looking for a good night's sleep, thanks.

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Old 07-02-2012, 09:49 AM   #2
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Need soundproofing ideas


Move the unit to a different spot...just takes a longer line set and power...You will need an HVAC guy

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Old 07-02-2012, 10:16 AM   #3
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Build a box.....or lid.....

Most units suck air in from the sides and spit it out the top. If you make a large box with louvered sides and a louvered top...you point the louvers away from the house (45 deg angle)...it should deflect a good % of the noise away from the window.

The box needs to be large enough so that the louvers do not restrict any airflow....

It also has the advantage of keeping sunlight off the unit....a little less heat to get rid of if it sits in direct sunlight for any amount of time.
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Old 07-02-2012, 10:23 AM   #4
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Need soundproofing ideas


You might consider updating the drywall on your exterior wall to a Quiet Rock. This drywall will reduce greatly the noise from the air conditioner unit but you still will be left with the noise that gets in from the window.

I would first update this window to a new quieter sound rated one and see if this helps. You might be re-locating the air conditioner if you can not find a window to stop the sound transfer.

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Old 07-02-2012, 10:07 PM   #5
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Build a box.....or lid......
Would I get much benefit from building a 45 degree roof, blocking the line-of-sight from the unit to the windows? Or does sound just go around with the same result? And if a roof would be (somewhat) effective, what would be a good construction?
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Old 07-03-2012, 01:45 AM   #6
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Would I get much benefit from building a 45 degree roof, blocking the line-of-sight from the unit to the windows? Or does sound just go around with the same result? And if a roof would be (somewhat) effective, what would be a good construction?
A soft wood such as cedar will absorb more sound....

If you want an idea of what it would do....take a big piece of cardboard...have your wife stand at the window....and put the cardboard above the unit....as you move it around you will get an idea of what works best.

I personally think that a line of cedar planks at a 45 deg angle will do a nice job if you want it fairly close to the unit....if you have a few feet of height above the unit to play with...then just make a roof above it.

Key design point....where ever the sound goes....if there is something for it to reflect off of....then it can bounce back. If you play pool...then think of the sound as the pool balls....what happens when the que ball hits them? Sound behaves pretty much the same way.
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Old 07-03-2012, 09:51 AM   #7
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Cedar planks, nice & cheap! Thanks for the ideas.
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Old 07-03-2012, 11:22 AM   #8
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Need soundproofing ideas


The windows are likely a bigger culprit than the siding or the interior drywall. Typically what is needed is mass, so Cedar and other lightweight materials are not recommended.

If the walls needed upgrading, you should consider applying a sheet of $8 5/8" thick drywall with a field application of damping compound. Pre-damped drywall is very expensive and generally lightweight relative to what you want.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:46 PM   #9
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I've never seen anywhere that placing a "roof" over an ac unit is workable. Best to check the specs of your unit to get the allowable clearances around it to make sure you don't void the warranty on the unit. That'll be a cause for another bad night of sleep.
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Old 07-03-2012, 12:52 PM   #10
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That'll be a cause for another bad night of sleep.
Ha! True enough!
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Old 07-04-2012, 12:54 AM   #11
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The windows are likely a bigger culprit than the siding or the interior drywall. Typically what is needed is mass, so Cedar and other lightweight materials are not recommended.

If the walls needed upgrading, you should consider applying a sheet of $8 5/8" thick drywall with a field application of damping compound. Pre-damped drywall is very expensive and generally lightweight relative to what you want.
What can be done about the windows? It does seem like that is the biggest point of entry. I realize my chances of winning are low so I don't want to commit to something expensive or irreversible. Adding a layer of wallboard, for example, is in that class because the wall has a lot of molding on it.
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Old 07-04-2012, 02:22 AM   #12
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Need soundproofing ideas


Quote:
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I've never seen anywhere that placing a "roof" over an ac unit is workable. Best to check the specs of your unit to get the allowable clearances around it to make sure you don't void the warranty on the unit. That'll be a cause for another bad night of sleep.
You don't get around much do you?

Trust me....you would be surprised at how much difference a physical barrier will make.

Everyone is saying "Change the windows"...."More Drywall".....

Guess what your doing? Your putting more mass between the person and the noise source.

Sound propagates via waves....when it hits an object, it causes that object to vibrate at the freq of the wave. If the object has suffecient mass, the sound waves can not move the object. If the object has a lower resonate freq as the wave source, it does a poor job of 'transmitting' said freq.

Typically, the stiffer and lighter and object is, the more likely it will transmit sound.

Cedar boards are a pretty low density board.....they don't transmit noise that well. If properly attached, they will reflect noise in a different direction. Yes, some noise will get through....but I'm willing to bet it will be less than the results of changing windows and adding drywall.

The cardboard test is a cheap and easy way to find out how much difference a 'roof' over the AC unit will make.
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Old 07-04-2012, 06:27 AM   #13
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The trick would be to find a suitable enclosure that will also allow airflow. A more massive enclosure will stop / deflect sound better than a lightweight, low-density enclosure. You may find that an open design could allow some air flow while providing an initial deflection to incoming waves. Thicker treated plywood, cement board, etc might be good materials to test.
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Old 08-08-2012, 01:13 AM   #14
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I have 2 apartments, one over the other, 2x10's floor joists on the 2nd story, with no insulation between floors, both apartments have hard wood floors, it was build in the 50's, and they have stucco walls and ceiling, its maybe 1 1/2 thick, people down stairs hear the people upstairs and vice verse, i dont want to tear out the stucco in the downstairs ceiling and insulate and then use quite rock, can i use the green glue and make my own quite rock and just attach it to the stucco ceiling downstairs, will this be very affective in reducing the sounds between floors, they have high ceilings , i can built something too, like run 2x6, insulate and then use green glue drywall, what do u guys think...HELP
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Old 08-08-2012, 07:03 AM   #15
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The problem consists of two surfaces. The floor above and the ceiling below. If you want relief, you'll want to treat both surfaces.


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