How to Soundproof Air Vents? (13 Working Methods)

Soundproofing a room is easy, but you will get fed up if it doesn’t give you the desired results. If you need a quiet atmosphere inside your home, you are definitely in need of soundproofing.

Do outside noises still disturb you? Even though you have soundproof doors, walls, ceilings, and the best curtains. Can’t you find the source of the noise coming from? Then the reason may be your vents.

If you still suffer from loud noises from outside even after soundproofing your walls, ceilings, and floors, the next option will be soundproofing your air vents.

13 Ways to Soundproof Air Vents

How to Soundproof Air Vents

If you’ve soundproofed your doors, ceilings, and windows and are still bothered by noise from outside, your next step is to soundproof your air vent. Can you cover it to prevent external noises? Yes, you can do it, but it isn’t a great and suitable solution.

You can install covers for your air vent to stop noise traveling through vents. But it couldn’t be the best solution for soundproofing a vent. It will make difficulties in airflow and block its exact function. That may produce other harmful results like reduced inside cooling, reduced indoor air quality, foul smell, or other difficulties caused by improper airflow.

Here are some best methods for soundproofing your air vents. These can help you to keep your room quiet and calm as you need.

Create a Sound Maze

Are outside noises bothering you? Does soundproofing of airways seem daunting, Or are you worried that ventilation will be obstructed if you use any soundproofing methods? Then this technique is for you. A sound maze is one of the best and most efficient methods to soundproof a vent.

A sound maze will dampen or deaden the sound waves without preventing airflow through the vent. Maze creates different layers or surfaces, and sound needs to pass through all these layers to enter the room. The amount of sound will reduce layer by layer, and finally, there will be a significant decrease in noise entering the room. It is a very effective method to soundproof your vent.

Creating a good maze will be a big task at first glance, but with a proper plan, it’s a simple DIY project. All it need is plywood, glue, a saw, measuring tape, etc.

First, you should remove the vent covers, measure the vent, cut the plywood in that measurement and check whether it fits. If it fits, make it 30% narrower than the whole vent. Attach acoustic foam to the plywood with glue. Then fix the plywood inside the air vent on alternative sides to form a maze by leaving a little space between each wall.

Cover all the air vent’s sides, top, and bottom with acoustic foam and attach it with glue. At last, screw back the covers.

It will be the best choice for soundproofing your air vent completely without interrupting its actual function.

Acoustic Foam

It’s an ideal way to soundproof your air vents. There is a possibility that some structures will create a lot of echoes. This material is mainly used for soundproofing when the structure is made of metal.

Measure the air vent covers, and cut and stick the acoustic foam on the cover using an adhesive. Attach both acoustic from and vent cover without gaps.

Acoustic foam is one of the most popular soundproofing materials which maintains sound quality inside your room. A foam will catch the soundwaves from the air and prevent them from creating an echo.

Use Expanding Foam Filler

Using an expanding foam filler is the easiest way to stop the noise from traveling through the vent, and it is a method that requires less effort. You can use any expanding acoustic foam.

This process is easier than you think. All you want to do is just put on your work gloves, remove the duct cover, and apply a small amount of sealant to the air vent. It will expand all over the available space. Wait a few minutes to see if you need to add more, apply the required amount and wait. Then make the surface smooth with sandpaper.

A soundproofing expanding foam will do the same thing that drywall fillers give. Expanding foam is airtight and water-resistant.

Install Soundproof Curtains

Install Soundproof Curtains

Air vents are essential for a room. It helps to maintain room temperature, airflow in a closed room, etc. Soundproofing air vents may block such functions. It will result in some worse effects than better ones. In such situations, it is better to cover it temporarily. You can use a simple cover such as a soundproofing curtain or blanket.

This is the easiest and most affordable noise reduction method for soundproofing an air vent without troubling its original function.

You must put a curtain rail above the vent and hang a thick curtain over it. All curtains will not ensure sound-resistant capacity. A soundproof curtain has many layers of thick material. And this can work efficiently in dampening the sound vibrations which pass through it.

If you are trying to cover the air vent just above the door, it’s better to add the curtain rail above the vent and hang it to the floor for effectiveness. You need to open it during summer days and let the airflow. This method can do both things for you. It makes your home cooler and gives you a quiet atmosphere.

You can purchase soundproof curtains easily in any decor store or online at an affordable rate.

Block Air Vents

If you are continuously disturbed by the noises coming from ventilation and when you need a tranquil ambiance, you can block your vent. It is selectable when you search for a complete vent silencing option. You can soundproof the vent by this method if you are not bothered that your vent no longer performs its duty.

This method will block your vent entirely. You can choose different things to block the air vent. You can consider this method simply, especially for non-HVAC vents.

First, you should open the air vent by removing the cover. Cut and fix the material in the interior spacet. You can use material like brick, concrete etc, spray foam. For acquiring more soundproofing effects, install a striping tape along the edges of the vent cover, and put the vent covers back. Then use any adhesive as the gap filler and mix it with the wall texture.

This method lets you block your air vent entirely without any gaps. This will give complete effectiveness for reducing sound. But try this technique only if you are not concerned about the ventilation.

Cover the Air Vent with Soundproof Materials

Covering the air vent is an easy technique to soundproof a vent. If you don’t want to remove the vent, then covering it will be the next option that you can prefer.

You can choose MDF or drywall for the purpose. Selecting material is your choice. Then, you can add acoustic caulk to seal layers between the existing wall and the newly created MDF wall or drywall.

This method will significantly reduce or completely prevent the noise from passing through air vents.

Here is a drawback of this method. This method will cover your air vent and increase the room temperature, and it’s not a good thing, especially during summer. If you need good ventilation, you can choose alternative methods. But this one is the most effective method. And this drawback isn’t big if you have an air conditioner, window, or fan.

Plug the Air Vent Temporarily

If a lot of sound passes through the air vent and you cannot focus on your personal space? But also, if there’s a ventilation issue, you can use this simple method.

Creating a temporary plug is simple; you can install and remove it easily according to your need. There are a few steps to create a temporary plug.

Removing the vent cover and fixing plywood or similar material inside with the same measure of the air vent, taping it with waterproof tape. In the end, you can also use weather stripping tape at the edges to ensure no noises are passing inside.

The process is just like blocking the vent. But instead of blocking it permanently, this can be removed whenever you need it. This method will never destroy the functionality of your air vent like blocking does. You can make it functional whenever required.

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Replace Air Vents

Modifying the vent will not give the best result, but if you are concerned about the ventilation, it’s the only option instead of removing it. Just modify it by installing a soundproof window. You can open it and allow ventilation when needed.

When there’s proper airflow and cooling inside your home, close the window to prevent noise. Don’t forget to install some soundproofing measures on the window.

Update HVAC System

Updating the HVAC system is an important method in case of soundproofing air vents. It will make more noise if it is old, maybe because of its long run, clumsy technology, etc. It will cause vibrations, and open space in air vents can amplify these sounds.

So you should update your HVAC system if it’s older. A modern HVAC system can save you from loud noises instead of an old one. They have modern technologies that can keep it relatively quiet and produce less noise.

A modern HVAC system will save your utility bill as it’s more efficient than the old one. If it’s not much older and making some pretty noises only, you should consider other ways like the following methods.

Install Duct Liners

If there is no need to upgrade the HVAC system or there is no other issue than the noise, you can install duct liners. This is an easy and cheapest method you can choose in the case of HVAC vents.

They have an insulation material inside that can absorb and dampen the sound passing through the air vent walls.

Duct liners are installed inside these walls and have a double-sided liner. When air flow happens, it will prevent noise. You can choose the appropriate duct liner by comparing efficiency and cost. Selecting the duct liner according to your HVAC system is also important.

Install Flexible Ducts

Flexible ducts have bends inside. These bends have an excellent capacity for soundproofing HVAC systems. It is flexible, so the bends reduce the amount of sound leaking through the vents.

Bends inside the ducts make traveling a challenging task for sound, and it’s partially absorbed when it hits a bend.

Install Soffits

This can be used as a suitable soundproofing method for air vents. It reduces a significant amount of sound. Because of its high soundproofing capacity, this Is commonly used in home theater installations, etc.

A soffit may be an MDF with a layer of insulation, and some may add more layers between the soffits using drywall with green glue. This is highly effective in the case of soundproofing, but it is needed only when a high level of soundproofing is required.

Creating a Sound Baffle

Creating a sound baffle is another method for soundproofing vents. A baffle contains a box that compelling sound to travel a long distance and absorbs it throughout the journey. Thereby it will reduce sound.

Creating baffles is very effective when it comes to soundproofing vents. You can also run a flexible duct inside the baffle for a better result.

This is ideal for air vents with HVAC systems. They have long ducts. So much noise reduction will happen when sound passes through long ducts.

It will result in lower sound absorption when a baffle is used for soundproofing a non-hvac vent because there is not much distance for the sound to travel through a non -hvac vent.

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Final Thoughts

Best options for soundproofing will differ with different requirements. If you pay no attention to air vents, all your soundproofing efforts to keep your room quiet will be wasted.

You can choose any method for soundproofing air vents according to your situation and need. Soundproofing air vents can be tricky. Sometimes it’s easy, and sometimes the most difficult part of a room to soundproof.

Choosing a method will be a task. First, identify the source and type of sound coming through the vent, then choose the method. All methods mentioned above are highly effective. But everyone has different needs in soundproofing. It is influenced by many factors such as budget, efforts, requirements, etc.

If there is no use with the vent, it’s advised to close it entirely. Otherwise, the other easy methods stated above can eliminate all the disturbing noises. For best effects, try a combination of the methods or explore which suits the best case of your room. You are just one step away from the peaceful, silent room you wish for. With these easy tricks, you can acquire a quiet home soon.