Comments From Environmental Scientist On Reducing Low-Frequency Home Noise and Vibration

Well, we seemed to have hit a nerve with our series of posts on Reducing Low-Frequency Home Noise and Vibration: http://www.aticourses.com/wordpress-2.7/weblog1/?p=501 http://www.aticourses.com/wordpress-2.7/weblog1/?p=508 http://www.aticourses.com/wordpress-2.7/weblog1/?p=512 http://www.aticourses.com/wordpress-2.7/weblog1/?p=529 The comment below came from a wonderful gentleman willing to help a fellow human being. I am an environmental scientist, and have been involved in the wind energy industry where this […]
Well, we seemed to have hit a nerve with our series of posts on Reducing Low-Frequency Home Noise and Vibration:

The comment below came from a wonderful gentleman willing to help a fellow human being.

I am an environmental scientist, and have been involved in the wind energy industry where this is also an issue. The problem is uncommon, with less than 1% of the general population able to detect LFS (Low Freq sound – less than 20 Hz) dominated by people over the age of 50, and two thirds are women. So you are not imagining the issue, but keep in mind that it is unlikely that it is your ears that are detecting the sound, and that LFS behaves very differently than audible sound does.

I find your solution to be very innovative, and supported by some excellent work by a retired Univeristy Prof (Dr Barnes) in London, England. He obtained a microphone and laptop datalogger and wandered the city obtaining background readings. One of his more interesting observations was that background LFS declined after heavy trucks passed when near high traffic roads. This suggests that LFS can be neutralized by other LFS sound.

I am no sound expert, but this is the only solution I have ever read about. It is basically the “white noise” approach used for audible sound, but in that case the goal is to increase the individuals toleration for the sound (which is how white noise works, by raising our detection threshold) but rather to distrupt and decrease the level of LFS inside your house, by increasing the levels of LFS generated inside the house.

I know this sounds a bit out there, but read a few of the other accounts given on this page, for example the one where the hum returned after a new water heater was installed. The owner blamed the new water heater as the source, but it may very well have been that the old heater was “noisy” enough to have created the interference with the LFS. Getting the new heater to run better would of course just make the problem worse.

So I put this idea out there. If you can generate a background inaudible “sound” of less than 20 Hz inside your house, using the technique described above, and play it over and over, it could disrupt the LFS being generated by the house. This could require a specialized “woofer” type of a speaker. If anyone tries this, I would be very interested in the result.

Good Luck D

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