Soundproof a home from outside noises using insulation, caulking, storm windows and weatherstripping. Reduce the noise inside by choosing quiet-operating appliances, increasing sound-absorbing materials, fixing floor squeaks and silencing noisy pipes.
If the noise comes from outside, insulating the attic and walls is often helpful. If the garage door is not insulated, adding rigid foam insulation panels or replacing it with an insulated door helps reduce noise entering through the door.
Caulking and weatherstripping the house stops sound vibrations from moving through the air that infiltrates the house. For homes on noisy streets, adding more mass, such as an additional layer or drywall helps absorb the sound before it disturbs occupants. Installing a central air conditioning unit helps reduce the noise of operating window units and stops outside noises that sometimes travel through them.
If the sound that causes problems is coming from inside the house, fix it at the source. Replace noisy appliances, such as microwave ovens or exhaust fans, with quieter operating versions. Install air arrestors on plumbing to stop water pipe noise, and secure all pipes against the home's framing so they do not vibrate with use.
Sound-absorbing materials, including carpet and drapes, help reduce noise by absorbing the vibrations. Overstuffed furniture and large floor pillows are also useful in reducing the noise.