Author Topic: Noisy Laundry Room  (Read 1277 times)

StashingAway

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Noisy Laundry Room
« on: January 30, 2020, 08:22:27 AM »
I have a possible project that might entertain some minds!

We have a house with no basement; just a slab foundation. One of the downsides to this is that our laundry and utility room is right next to the living room. It makes for a very loud experience when all of the utilities are running. I don't mind white noise but WHITE NOISE from the washer, drier, furnace and water heater can really add up!

I'm sure that the biggest contributor is that the door to this small room is vented; but I think that it needs to be because these are all gas appliances. The backside of the closet is against the garage, so not available for venting...

What would you do? I'm open to significant renovation projects.

My problem seems to be that I need ventilation for combustion, but that ventilation is a great path for sound waves. Maybe there's a creative way to ventilate somewhere else? I think I need a pretty good square footage of vent

Mgmny

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Re: Noisy Laundry Room
« Reply #1 on: January 30, 2020, 08:37:56 AM »
You call it a closet, so is that all it is, or is it a true "room" like the title?

Also, when you say vented door, this is what i think of:



Is that what you have? Replace that immediately with a solid core door.

Why is venting fresh air from the garage an issue? Is it too cold/warm? Is your water heater power vented or passive?

Simple solution is to swap door out with solid core, then if you "need" ventilation from the house in this room, then add an offset above the door vent  that are basically just holes in the wall above the door with vent covers. Add some acoustical foam in here to dampen the noise, but make sure air can still pass through.

Mgmny

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Re: Noisy Laundry Room
« Reply #2 on: January 30, 2020, 08:43:11 AM »
Also, rip all the sheetrock out of the room on the non-insulated walls, and add in insulation or acoustic insulation, then re-rock. You could even use thicker rock, but this would probably be more cost than it's worth.

SOME people have sprayed closed-cell foam in between walls, so you just need to cut each sheetrock a little and start spraying. This approach seems super risky to me as you could end up with the walls buldging as the foam expands.

Maybe there is a product that wouldn't expand with much force, but I am 99% sure I wouldn't try this with Great Stuff, but some people do...

lthenderson

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Re: Noisy Laundry Room
« Reply #3 on: January 30, 2020, 10:06:04 AM »
I wouldn't recommend swapping the door for a solid door as suggested above. In most municipalities that I have lived, they have codes dictating fresh air intakes for utility rooms. Many require two openings, one near the ceiling and one near the floor of the room to ensure proper ventilation. This code is to ensure proper airflow to fuel burning appliances to ensure efficient combustion. To little airflow can create inefficient combustion and toxic gases such as carbonmonoxide. This is also why it wouldn't be recommended to have a vent between your utility room and your garage because a floor level vent could potentially allow flammable vapors to enter your utility room. Air temperature may also be a problem in many climates.

I would check local/state codes in your area to see what is required.

Mgmny

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Re: Noisy Laundry Room
« Reply #4 on: January 30, 2020, 10:42:34 AM »
Carbon Monoxide isn't good, so yeah, don't listen to me if that's a risk.

affordablehousing

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Re: Noisy Laundry Room
« Reply #5 on: January 30, 2020, 11:40:33 AM »
Get the rubber feet to put under the laundry machines they sell on Amazon. Those helped on our stackers. Also, if you have the space, I wouldn't open the wall cavities, either just add sound dampening insulation to the utility room side if you have the space, cover in plastic and call it a day, or, add a second layer of 5/8" sheetrock. You can open the walls and insulate with Rockwool too, but the studs will still translate a fair amount of vibration noise through the wall. You want continuous barrier and density, hence a second layer of sheetrock. Lastly, if you have any wall hanging rugs or tapestries, you can hang those where the utility room wall meets the living room wall. We collect Navajo rugs and use them secondarily as sound dampeners in noisier rooms.

StashingAway

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Re: Noisy Laundry Room
« Reply #6 on: January 30, 2020, 12:11:31 PM »
I wouldn't recommend swapping the door for a solid door as suggested above. In most municipalities that I have lived, they have codes dictating fresh air intakes for utility rooms. Many require two openings, one near the ceiling and one near the floor of the room to ensure proper ventilation. This code is to ensure proper airflow to fuel burning appliances to ensure efficient combustion. To little airflow can create inefficient combustion and toxic gases such as carbonmonoxide. This is also why it wouldn't be recommended to have a vent between your utility room and your garage because a floor level vent could potentially allow flammable vapors to enter your utility room. Air temperature may also be a problem in many climates.

I would check local/state codes in your area to see what is required.

Yes, I haven't checked the code but I'm sure this is it. You're on the same page as me

And venting from the garage; although it would fulfill the oxygen replacement needed from the vented door, it would also be bringing unfiltered air inside of my building envelope, and air that has many additional fumes from garage activities in that case (vehicles, sawdust, paint, etc). Even if this were safe from a combustion standpoint (like you pointed out, it probably isn't), it creates an air quality issue.

You call it a closet, so is that all it is, or is it a true "room" like the title?

It's a room I guess; it has washing machine, drier, furnace, water heater, shelves, and you can stand in it an close the door behind you. But it's smaller than a lot of walk in closets... I'm now realizing I don't know the difference.


I am hesitant to do any kind of major noise canceling projects (sheetrock and foam) until I address the ventilated door. This is the roadblock I've come to I guess... I'm not sure if I'm missing something or if there are other ways to ventilate the room in a less noisy way...





affordablehousing

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Re: Noisy Laundry Room
« Reply #7 on: January 30, 2020, 03:42:16 PM »
Why don't you just vent the room to the outside with a one way damper and a cover like for a dryer vent but in reverse? Then you can put a solid door on. Also, which machines make the most noise? Address those first.

Kem

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Re: Noisy Laundry Room
« Reply #8 on: January 30, 2020, 03:57:03 PM »
Capital idea here...

To the backside of the door put one some 1" spacers
To the spacers put on a 1/2" sheet of MDF
Go to Lowes and buy a single pack of Rock-wool (item # 465053 Model # RXSS323).  This is a mineral wool sound absorbing insulation with Sound blocker sheet).  If memory serves, A single $65 pack comes with 8 2'x4'x3" battings.

Now make a wood frame sized to fit to the outter dimensions of the MDF sheet, wrap it in cheap cotton cloth, put the Rockwool in this, then mount onto the MDF board.

If room on the walls / ceiling... make some more 2'x4' wood frames out of 2x4s.  wrap in cloth with the rockwool in the middle.  No need for MDF backers on these

Side note - I also wrapped my Dish-Washer & cavity with Rock-wool as it is in the middle of an open floorplan (no walls between kitchen, dining, living, centeral access hall).


zolotiyeruki

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Re: Noisy Laundry Room
« Reply #9 on: January 31, 2020, 07:22:00 AM »
We are finishing our basement, and it is stunning how much sound deadening you can get from carpet and pad. If you line the walls with something that absorbs sound, you may not need to do anything with the door at all.

If you're interested in a cheap experiment, you could staple carpet pad to the walls and see how it sounds.

lthenderson

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Re: Noisy Laundry Room
« Reply #10 on: January 31, 2020, 07:28:20 AM »
Why don't you just vent the room to the outside with a one way damper and a cover like for a dryer vent but in reverse? Then you can put a solid door on. Also, which machines make the most noise? Address those first.

If they were to do as you suggest, anytime one of those units is running, they would bring in unconditioned air inside your insulated envelope. So in the summer, the utility room would get extremely hot and in the winter extremely cold.

lthenderson

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Re: Noisy Laundry Room
« Reply #11 on: January 31, 2020, 07:32:34 AM »
If it were me, I would do things that zolotiyeruki suggested. Work on sound deadening everything but the door and that should improve things quite a bit. Perhaps you can make something that is sound deadening that sits between where you normally sit in the room and the door to the utility room.  My furnace makes some noise but the loudest offenders are the washer and dryer. I would just abstain from doing laundry at peak living room hours.

Mgmny

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Re: Noisy Laundry Room
« Reply #12 on: January 31, 2020, 07:58:16 AM »
Why don't you just vent the room to the outside with a one way damper and a cover like for a dryer vent but in reverse? Then you can put a solid door on. Also, which machines make the most noise? Address those first.

If they were to do as you suggest, anytime one of those units is running, they would bring in unconditioned air inside your insulated envelope. So in the summer, the utility room would get extremely hot and in the winter extremely cold.

As I was inspecting my own utility "room" yesterday for my humidifier thread, i realized that there is a giant insulated black tube that runs directly from my outside to the floor on the inside of the house, and all it does it dump outside air into my basement (presumably when things like my water heater and furnace are power-venting outside), so this can't be THAT bad...

I mean, mine comes from my backyard not the garage, but i don't really suspect that my garage would have significantly worse air than the outside would...?

StashingAway

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Re: Noisy Laundry Room
« Reply #13 on: February 01, 2020, 07:44:02 AM »
I mean, mine comes from my backyard not the garage, but i don't really suspect that my garage would have significantly worse air than the outside would...?

Any time a vehicle is running or I'm cutting material, it's significantly worse than outside. Especially if I'm cutting pressure treated wood or something... I don't want that stuff inside my house ;)

If it were me, I would do things that zolotiyeruki suggested. Work on sound deadening everything but the door and that should improve things quite a bit. Perhaps you can make something that is sound deadening that sits between where you normally sit in the room and the door to the utility room.  My furnace makes some noise but the loudest offenders are the washer and dryer. I would just abstain from doing laundry at peak living room hours.

Good point, it's definitely the drier that's the worst offender, followed closely by the washer. The furnace and water heater are relatively unobtrusive. Maybe I will look into building an enclosure around them... or throw a bunch of blankets in there and see if I notice a difference.

Aunt Petunia

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Re: Noisy Laundry Room
« Reply #14 on: February 01, 2020, 08:46:38 AM »
What forum is this again? Spend about 15 bucks for an amazing solar powered clothes dryer. They make no noise, do not need venting, use no electricity, and do not cause house fires!!!!!! They take about the same amount of space as your old noisy fire hazard dryer. You can even put it in your room instead of a humidifier in the winter.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Honey-Can-Do-Deluxe-Metal-Drying-Rack-DRY-01306/202863330


Why has nobody suggested this yet?


StashingAway

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Re: Noisy Laundry Room
« Reply #15 on: February 01, 2020, 09:32:15 AM »
What forum is this again? Spend about 15 bucks for an amazing solar powered clothes dryer. They make no noise, do not need venting, use no electricity, and do not cause house fires!!!!!! They take about the same amount of space as your old noisy fire hazard dryer. You can even put it in your room instead of a humidifier in the winter.

https://www.homedepot.com/p/Honey-Can-Do-Deluxe-Metal-Drying-Rack-DRY-01306/202863330


Why has nobody suggested this yet?



Lol good point. I plan on adding an outdoor one as well this summer ;)

Right now, I'm not sure that it could keep up with our cloth diapers, and we keep our house pretty cold in the midwest winter so it takes a long time to air dry... but perhaps I'm just being lazy and should really put an effort toward the "ambient" dryer.

Aunt Petunia

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Re: Noisy Laundry Room
« Reply #16 on: February 01, 2020, 10:02:13 AM »
I have 3 of these, and I use my railing above the stairs to dry big stuff like sheets. Clothes dry pretty fast in winter because the humidity is so low. We only keep our heat around 62. Spring and fall can be a bit of a challenge, but everything is usually dry in 2-3 days. In summer I dry everything outside.