All your efforts to make our room soundproof will fall through if you don’t pay attention to a tiny detail, which is soundproofing the above-door air vent.
Missing this spot will cause every sound in your room to escape and outside sound to enter your room easily.
The above-door vent is an essential part of any room’s ventilation as it regulates airflow and keeps the air fresh inside.
But sometimes you just may have no other choice but to soundproof the vent, which is especially needed if you have a home office and need peace and quiet to carry on with your work or work calls.
5 ways to soundproof an above-door air vent
There are a few ways in which you can soundproof an above-door air vent.
Read on to know about all the methods you can try:
Make a sound maze inside the vent
This method utilizes and exploits a very basic property of sound to reduce noise while keeping the way open for air to pass. For this, you will have to build a maze inside your vent so that the sound that goes in and comes out meets barriers and is reduced in frequency, if not it dies out before anybody on either side of the air vent can hear it.
Build barriers using acoustic foam and tape it inside the door vent in a zigzag pattern. This will not allow the sound waves to travel in a straight line, instead, they will bounce off the acoustic foam and eventually die out.
To build the sound maze, you have to measure the length and breadth of the space inside your vent and cut out a piece of acoustic foam with those same dimensions. Now, you have to divide the piece of acoustic foam lengthwise into four equal pieces and set it up in a zigzag manner.
This can be done with wood too but the acoustic foam is better at absorbing sounds and greatly reduces their frequency and loudness.
Use a Soundproofing Sealant
By doing this you will basically be clogging up the hole. Go to your local hardware store and ask for any foam-based sealant.
You just have to fill up the cavity of the vent using this sealant and make sure to not leave any space empty. These foam-based sealants are a great choice for soundproofing air vents because it is easy to use and can be done by oneself.
These sealants increase in volume after being applied so be careful of the amount you use. By doing this, you will be blocking off both the sound and the airflow into the room but the good news is that you can unclog it anytime by removing the block of foam.
This is probably the easiest and the quickest method to kill noise and soundproof the vent above the door. Curtains made of special fabric are available in the market and are dedicated to the very purpose of soundproofing rooms and houses in the quickest manner.
These curtains are usually very thick and almost resemble blankets. All you need to set them up is a rod situated across the vent. The rod has to be drilled into the walls to support the blankets.
Be sure to use a strong foundation/screws for drilling the rod inside the walls because soundproof curtains are usually quite heavy and the weight can make the rod come off the wall.
Install acoustic foam panels
Acoustic foam is a dedicated material to absorb sound waves and can also produce various acoustic effects depending on the pattern of the body of the foam. Lining the panels over the above-door vent will help in noise reduction by a lot.
You can go for this option if echoing in the room is also one of your problems.
For people who use their rooms as a home office or as a personal recording studio, acoustic foam lined vent panels are a great way to minimize noise as well as get unique sound effects. This method will help you to dampen sound without restricting the airflow within the room.
Block the vent with Drywall
This is recommended only if the concerned room is located amidst a lot of noise and noise reduction fixes don’t work for you. By doing this you will be blocking off the vent permanently- neither air nor sound will make it inside or outside the vents.
Firstly you have to remove the air vent covering to reach the air ducts.
Then you have to seal off the air ducts using absorbing materials like acoustic foam or wood. The former is more recommended. Next, you have to measure the dimensions of the vent and cut out the drywall according to those dimensions. And lastly you will have to stick this piece of drywall to the mouth of the vent using a strong adhesive to block the vent permanently.
The end result won’t be very aesthetic and may not fit in with the rest of this room so you can hang a picture or a small painting on the sealed vent in order to hide the drywall.
Remove the vent completely
Resort to this only if you are completely sure about doing away with the vent altogether. The best way to do this is to remove the vent covering and fill the space with a gap filler. Once the material has dried, you can put back the cover and the area will look like a normal vent.
The bottom line
As already mentioned, the air vent above the door is an important part of soundproofing a room. That said, you should go for fixes that will help with the reduction of noise but won’t stop the airflow.
If your room has no air conditioning system, then it can get quite suffocating with airflow, especially during the summers.
Some rooms have air vents that lead outside the building instead and for those vents, you should try drywall or acoustic foam fixes. Never try to block outside vents with a piece of high furniture because the air coming from the outside will damage the furniture’s surface.