A lot of people associate insulation with heating, cooling and energy bills, and with good reason. Insulating a ceiling, for example, increases the energy efficiency of the house quite significantly. The occupants feel warmer in winter, cooler in summer and whoever is paying the bills is likely to notice a substantial saving. Insulation, however, also serves another significant purpose, namely sound management.
Sleep Disturbances and Impacts on Privacy
Noise can be a big concern for home owners, as it can affect sleep and privacy. Without insulation in the external walls, outside noises such as passing traffic, noisy neighbours and barking dogs penetrate the home and may cause significant disturbance. Similarly, without acoustic management within the house itself, the sound of people talking and blaring entertainment systems easily carry through the house with no regard for anyone who might be trying to sleep or study.
How Can Acoustic Insulation Help?
Acoustic insulation works in a similar way to thermal insulation. In fact, acoustic insulation batts also have thermal benefits, and regular insulation batts have some sound absorbing properties. Acoustic insulation absorbs sound waves, preventing them from passing through to the next room, to a smaller or greater extent. Because sound insulation absorbs sound waves, it is also used as a solution to reduce the amount of reverb (echo) experienced in a confined space such as an office, library or even café. Acoustic insulation is more dense than thermal insulation and can be installed in the external and internal walls of the house.
Install Acoustic Insulation During Construction
Acoustic insulation batts are typically installed between the timber joists before the walls have been lined with plaster. As such, the optimal time to install acoustic insulation is when the house is under construction or during a renovation. Many people regret not installing any sound insulation or not installing enough once they have been living in the new house and are exposed to all the noise “pollution”. Insulation batts are quite straightforward to install as they are made to fit nicely between standard timber joists. It is a great DIY project for those so inclined but can alternatively be installed professionally.
Sound Panels for Acoustic Management
Acoustic panels can be fitted to the finished wall to reduce the amount of reverb within the room. Autex produces some great options with a design element that can be customised to fit in with the rest of the interior. These can be placed strategically on walls and ceilings to create an optimal acoustic environment. This will vary, depending on the main function of the room. In a library, for example, it would be ideal to absorb most of the sound, as it is supposed to be a very quiet area. A café, on the other hand, needs some acoustic management so that patrons can easily engage in a conversation over their meal, but a certain amount of noise adds life to the place. Most insulation manufacturers produce a range of acoustic insulation batts.