It seems people are more focused on treating a disease than identifying its cause. Even when the agent has been identified, people are still reluctant to change their habits or the way of life. Aside from tobacco, there are many more or less obvious causes – lead, asbestos, mercury, pesticides, aerosols, and food like trans-fats. One of more alarming disease causes is noise pollution. According to WHO, it is harmful to every third person in Europe. Individuals cannot change their environment, but can do much to make their home a more pleasant and relaxing place with these noise reduction tips.
Turn off the electronics
Television sets, computers, game consoles and everything in between make noise even when they are not in use. Apart from their coolers having spinning fans, they all make high-pitched and barely audible noise in standby that can be extremely annoying. Over time, noises like this can increase your stress level without you even realising it. If you turn off all the electronic devices when not using them, you will help yourself and save some money for electricity.
Mask the noise
Rather than making more radical changes, some people choose to create peaceful sounds around them, masking the harmful noise in the process. This can be achieved by hanging wind chimes, turning on the AC or a fan, or letting a small room fountain run. Although you are technically making more noise, there is a difference between pleasant and unpleasant noise, and these sounds help mask the annoying street or neighbour noise.
Use electronic aids
A white noise machine can effectively mask most sounds that come from outside. Just as white light is a combination of all visible wavelengths, white noise is made of sounds of all audible frequencies. People who use such machines regularly often report not hearing anything at all, along with the white noise that machine makes. Besides noise masking there are also ‘noise cancelling’ devices. They use a microphone to intercept incoming sounds and then send anti-noise signals to cancel them. Cheaper noise cancelling options include specially designed headphones or smartphone apps.
Soundproof your home
Here are four options that you can do to reduce sound in your home or even your workplace:
- Rugs can do wonders in dampening foot traffic sounds in busy places.
- Putting furniture or a big bookshelf against the wall can considerably reduce all neighbour sounds like loud music, TV or vocal family arguments.
- Windows are a weak point especially in older homes. Replacing the existing windows with double glazed windows is a worthwhile investment since it’s known that their sound-proofing properties reduce the noise up to 70%. Sealing the frames and hanging curtains can eliminate even more sounds.
- If you are doing laundry in a separate room, close the door. Let the appliances like the dishwasher and home bakery run while you are getting ready to leave the house. Once you’re gone, their noise won’t bother anybody.
Change your habits
Maybe you are not aware, but your everyday routines might be a part of the problem. Limit the volume of your audio devices, especially headphones. Playing music on a “club volume” may be exciting when you purchase your new system, but after a while you get used to it without even noticing. Remember that loud music can lead to irreversible hearing loss. If you have to play the music loud because of the surrounding noise, invest in a pair of noise-cancelling headsets.
There are many ways to decrease the noise level in your home. In the end, your choice will depend on the kind of noise you are experiencing.