My vents/ductwork are carrying noise/voices throughout my house!


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Old 01-30-16, 12:04 PM
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My vents/ductwork are carrying noise/voices throughout my house!

Hi Everyone,

So I am working on soundproofing my basement. One issue I have run into is the vents are carrying the noise from the daylight basement into the upstairs of the house. I can hear conversations, moving around, etc. I think part of it is the ceiling tiles, which I plan to upgrade to a high NRC, and the ceiling needs insulated... But if I put my ear up to the vents I can clearly hear conversations.:NO NO NO:

I have a drop ceiling in the basement, so on the bright side, I can easily access the ductwork. On the dull side, I do not want to remove and replace the ductwork... I dont have the time, experience or the money.

During my research I have encountered some potential? solutions... Duct mufflers, duct lining, glueing over the ductwork with insulation?. I just have no idea what would work.
 
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Old 01-30-16, 12:24 PM
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But if I put my ear up to the vents I can clearly hear conversations
So what ? Is the conversation top secret.

With forced air there is not much you can do. Any registers that are near each other will carry sound. Insulation on the ducts will not help.

I have forced air also and can hear sounds from other rooms. Never really found it an issue.
 
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Old 01-30-16, 12:38 PM
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That's how prisoners communicate from cell to cell . . . . they even have to reserve dedicated time secure messaging.
 
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Old 01-30-16, 04:14 PM
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I've never put my ear to vents so couldn't tell you for certain but I'd bet what you're experiencing is not extraordinary. I assume your duct lines service both the main floor and the lower level. If this is not the case and you have separate lines, let us know.

Trying to be cost effective, here's my thoughts:
  • Figure out which vents are causing your issue and deal only with those. For example, main floor and basement vents may be very close (even inches apart) and moving a lower level vent may solve your problem.
  • You almost certainly have solid (metal) ducts. If so, installing a section of flexible duct between the vents should mitigate your problem. Don't go crazy on this because flexible ducts are less desirable.
 
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Old 01-30-16, 04:37 PM
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Hi Tony,

Thanks for the helpful tips!!

Have you ever heard of a duct liner being used to silence noise through ducts?
 
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Old 01-31-16, 12:04 PM
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Have you ever heard of a duct liner being used to silence noise through ducts?

Sure duct liners can reduce noise, although I believe noise usually refers to blower / mechanical or air movement sounds. Regardless, I suggest spending some time to figure out where the sound is coming from and where it's going to, then focus specifically on the area between those points.
 
 

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