Airports and homes don’t mix and they never will. It’s an old problem that lately has been getting major attention in some cities with airports located in urban areas.
All airplanes are loud and commercial jetliners are the loudest of the loud. Decibel per decibel it’s hard to match the noise level of large commercial jets when they takeoff and land. The decibel level can reach in excess of 120dbs. By comparison, normal conversation levels average about 70dbs.
The problem may be no more pronounced than at London’s Heathrow Airport. One of the busiest airports in the world is surrounded by London neighborhoods full of houses. Similar situations occur in other places where residential development of cities expand out to what were once more remote airport locations. It also happens where smaller airports expand and add flight volume as the population grows at the cities they serve. This is the case at the Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in South Florida. Flight traffic increased over the years as the population grew and older neighborhoods around the airport have been impacted by jet noise. A new runway project exacerbated the problem.
Heathrow Airport in London and Broward County in Florida both have plans that offer surrounding homeowners Sound Insulation programs. Qualifying homeowners can receive up to 100% of the cost of sound mitigation retrofits and upgrades to their properties. Similar programs have been offered in other cities where flight paths and homes are in proximity. However, many of these programs limit or do not allow improvements that are classified as weatherization. In such cases, this could take away one of the best ways to reduce exterior noise levels in homes.
Adding cellulose insulation can reduce exterior levels in homes while also providing excellent weatherization improvements. Cellulose is the Sound Insulation. Its high fibrous content provides improved sound reduction qualities along with excellent protection against heat transfer. Cellulose insulation, in the attic and walls of a home, can reduce penetration of exterior sound waves. Homeowners around airports, railroad tracks and industrial areas could experience noticeable improvements in interior sound quality by adding cellulose insulation.
Here is one demonstration of the sound reduction qualities of cellulose insulation. It shows the substantial noise reduction possible with a simple yet compelling test using a decibel meter. The reduction can be even more pronounced in a home where the insulation is between exterior and interior walls, roof sheeting and other building materials.
For those living along airport flight paths, or anyone looking for a quieter indoor living environment, adding cellulose insulation to the attic and walls should be a prominent part of any retrofit or new construction strategy.