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Question DetailsAsked on 6/21/2017

Soundproof wood live in an apartment, my neighbor below has two air conditioners in her studio unit. One happens to

live in an apartment, my neighbor below has two air conditioners in her studio unit. One happens to be right below where my sofa is and the other under my bed. I have added rug, felt under the rug, and rubber, help muffle the sound but when she cranks it, it makes humming sound and can vibrate, I compare the sound to a nyc subway train passing by, but the sound is constant. I have left notes, spoke to her and email useless mangement. What can I use to soundproof or deafened the sound even more so it doesn't completely annoy me this summer?

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1 Answer


Short of getting the management to get her to have it fixed (bolted down better so it does not vibrate for instance if it is loose in its mounting, though that will likely not stop all the vibration), your problem is the sound is passing through the framing to your unit, then propogating through the airspaces in the padding and carpet to your airspace.

The solution for sound control is isolation and reflection and absorption - isolation is putting an air gap between the source and destination so the vibration cannot go through the framing, reflection by a hard dense surface on the "receiving" side, absorption by materials like felt or rubber which do not transmit sound well.

Short of tearing up the floor and insulating in the floor cavity (assuming frame rather than concrete floor), not much you can do there - and not economic to isolate your unit from hers structurally (like with a "floating" floor like recording studios use), so next best thing is trying to reflect much of the sound back down into the floor, then sound absorbing material between that and the airspace.

Without getting into substantial expense and trying to use what you have already, unless it does funny lumpy things to the rug, I would put the rubber on the floor, then a layer of hard wood over that - even just 1/4" hardboard (pegboard without the holes) would help but a layer of plywood would work better (heavy metal sheet would be best but not practical for your use), then the felt and the carpet - putting the rubber under the hard surface should cut the sound by half or so from the floor, though how much is coming through the wall no way to tell till you try it.

[I intentionally did not mention foam board insulation which if used correctly would certainly help, but is a very high fire hazard and prone to puncture by pointed heels, so that is out for this purpose I think]

Also - putting folded or boxed spare blankets or clothes or such under the couch and bed would reduce the sound coming up to those specific locations - sheet of hard surface material under that would further help.

Also - a bit of remodeling maybe, so where uyou want peace and quiet (sofa, bed) are away from being directly over the A/C's - move tables and TV and such to those locations to the extent you have the room to do so, though if subfloor space is wide open and uninsulated the sound may be much the same everywhere in the apartment.

Answered 3 years ago by LCD

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