I’ve been able to soundproof my home office and bedrooms without any major issues. The basic strategies we’ve outlined, were all I needed. However, Eric has had additional issues with all of his bedrooms due to them having above door air vents. Thankfully, there are some strategies you can use to soundproof an above door air vent.
Why is there a vent there?
It’s called a transfer grille and it’s designed to provide an opening from the room for air to return back to the air conditioner or furnace when the supply register is blowing air (doesn’t matter if it’s hot or cold) into the room. If there wasn’t a vent and you had the door closed, the only method of air return would be via the underside of the door. Generally this isn’t going to provide enough of an opening and will result in a significant impact on the heating and cooling of the room. (remember this later in the article, it’s important)
That’s great, but how do I soundproof a air vent?
Unless you want to undertake a major construction project, there are two DIY options to solve this soundproofing dilemma. First, you could choose to block the vent entirely. This will provide maximum sound proofing but at the expense of heating and cooling. The alternative would be to create a sound maze, which while not as effective in sound proofing, still provides significant sound reduction. For those situations that don’t require optimum sound reduction, it’s a great option to soundproof an above door air vent.
Vent Blocking Options
The professional method would be to drywall over the gap and permanently close the opening as if it was never there. However, if undertaking that sort of job is either something you aren’t comfortable with or else you want a solution that isn’t going to take a whole day there’s a quick DIY option.
Remove the vent, spray in something like Great Stuff Big Gap Filler (we love this stuff) until it completely fills the area and then put the vent back on so nobody can see your handiwork. Just like that you’ve resolved the sound proofing issue. But before you run out to your local hardware store or hit order on Amazon, remember what we said about this impacting the heating and cooling of the room. This may not be an issue at all for you, but it’s something that warrants consideration before moving forward.
Another Way: Create A Sound Maze
If you don’t want to impact the heating and cooling of your room, there is another way. You can create an air duct sound maze. It’s not a project that will be as fast as blocking the vent but it won’t impact heating and is likely to provide significant soundproofing. The other nice thing about this option is that it could potentially be used in a rental as you don’t need to make any permanent irreversible changes.
What you want to do is create a small maze inside the vent area using thin pieces of wood that has acoustic foam attached to it. (We like Silverstone’s Dampening Acoustic Foam for this sort of application but any will work.) This will force the air (and by extension the sound) to flow through the maze and significantly deaden most sounds without significant impacts to heating and cooling.
As you can see soundproofing an above door air vent, isn’t all that hard. Like with all DIY home improvement projects, you need to take the information you learn and figure out which of the many options work best for you and your home. There’s no one size fits all solution, but there’s always a way. Let us know in the comments if you tried either of these methods of if you were able to find another way to tackle this particular challenge.
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