Wow, that’s L O U D !

“There goes the neighbor’s damn AC condenser again…..arggh! #%*~!..”

We don’t talk about decibel levels often, because we take them for granted-as well as the environments in which our conversations occur. This article helps quantify our daily acoustical encounters, annoyances, some remedies and falacies. Decibels are the typical unit used to measure sound intensity and is logarithmic in scale (so a 10 db increase is really twice as loud)

Time of day                Volume (DB)

Wake up                     25 db,  Rustling leaves, soft conversation in another room

Drive to work             55 db, normal conversation, drive- in- car with windows up

Busy office                  75 db, phones ringing, people talking loud,

Sportgame                  90 db, cheering some horns

Airport                        120 db jet plane take off , almost painful

Many municipalities have regulations concerning sound transmission. For instance a  air conditioning condenser or electrical generator is usually limited to 65 db here in Dobbs Ferry NY.  Meaning that new air conditioning unit or generator also has to be quiet- or you have to find a way to muffle the noise.  Some remedies include a fence enclosures with acoustical blankets.  Sorry to say bushes do nothing acoustically, but look nice.  

The transmission of sounds between rooms or apartments is greatly aided by inserting acoustical insulation in walls , ceilings and floors. To a much lower degree, drapes, carpeting, upholstered furniture and ceiling tile can help absorb and defray sounds.  Extra, denser layers of sheetrock help reduce noise impact in walls too, as will windows with double or triple layers of glass panes.

Location, proximity and orientation of the building to noisy areas has a bearing on the volume level….but those issues are usually too costly or technically challenging to entertain.

An excellent acoustical consultant who we use, is Sound Sense (Bonnie Schnitta) 631 324 2266 if you have specific acoustical needs.

If you just need general guidance with your situation, please give us a call at 914 674 2950.