In the world of improving the Sound Transmission Class of any partition, there are three different ways to go about it. Sound isolation clips, resilient channels, and hat channels all do a pretty good job of providing quite a bit of help. Some people have their personal preferences, but a lot of it comes down to the individual project.
This is a look at how not only acoustic decoupling works but how resilient and hat channels contribute. In the end, it is ultimately up to each individual to decide which works best for them. There are a few major differences that sway people one way or another.
Explaining Acoustic Decoupling
The definition of acoustic decoupling is attempting to stop sound movement as much as possible in and out of an area. Sound has many different ways to get in and out, whether it be from the walls, ceiling, flooring, windows, and more.
If every surface is soundproof as much as possible, it is going to make the quality of sound very solid. It is also going to make sure that there is no sound leaving, only to be heard in other areas of a building.
To achieve good soundproofing results, sound clips and channels help separate a structure from drywall to prevent some of the vibrations that lead to sound. This does a pretty good job of helping with higher frequencies, but low-frequency vibrations are still sometimes noticeable.
Difference Between Resilient Channel and Hat Channel
You can tell the difference between Hat Channel and Resilient Channel because the resilient channel will have holes lining up on the sides versus the hat channel being solid.
There is not that much to a resilient channel, as it is simply a relatively thin strip of metal that bends in a way to form enough of a space between studs and drywall. It forms a spring type of channel that does just enough to help with handling sound.
It is important with a resilient channel to make sure the drywall does not come into contact with any other surfaces out there. That means avoiding the ceiling and floor, not to mention any other walls. This is to cut down on any vibrations that could happen by accident.
One of the more common problems people have with resilient channels is the fact that there is some type of contact eventually. Maybe there is just a bit of sagging going on, or things do not line up just right. There are a couple of ways around this if it is becoming a bigger and bigger problem.
For starters, there is an opportunity to fill some space with acoustic caulking to help improve the sound barrier. People also will think about adding a second layer of plasterboard to add a bit more mass. This can cause sagging, so make sure that the channel is strong enough to handle heavy material.
All in all, this is a great opportunity to decouple walls and prevent any type of sound transfer whatsoever. Resilient channels can improve STC up to 10 points.
Just be aware of the fact that resilient channels can break down quickly if they are not professionally installed. Either make sure that everything is done correctly or hire somebody to take care of the job.
A hat channel, which is named that because it looks like a fedora, is another option for people who want to control sound inside a room. A lot of people use these for concrete and masonry surfaces, but they have made their way into other structures as well.
It is common knowledge that a hat channel is very strong, made of galvanized steel or aluminum. The most common use is to attach them horizontally to the studs.
The brim part of the channel is then nailed to any structural pieces. Attach the drywall to the top of the channel, and everything falls in the place from there.
Hat channels come in many different sizes depending on what a person needs with soundproofing. It is also important to get one that is strong enough so that it holds up over the long run.
For people who are trying to do things themselves, aluminum hat channels are more comfortable to cut and work with than steel.
Ultimately, hat channels do a great job of creating a very smooth and level surface for people to work with. It also adds about 10 points to STC.
Combining hat channels with other types of soundproofing options is usually the best way to go. This is when people can see a jump up of 20 or more points.
People love gravitating towards hat channels because they are relatively easy to install, and they help anyone who is dealing with moisture or fire hazards. They are not as effective by themselves as resilient channels.
Comparing Resilient Channels with Hat Channel
There are a lot of similarities between resilient channels and hat channels, but some minor differences can usually sway a person one way or the other.
Both do the primary job of providing just enough air space between the insulation and wall of a room. This helps to improve sound quality and make for a better experience overall.
When comparing directly, hat channels are a little stronger because they have a double attachment. The drawback is that with two different attachment spots, there is more opportunity for sound vibrations.
Hat channels keep things in place a little better so that there is no shifting, which can sometimes be a significant issue if there is any sagging whatsoever with a resilient channel.
Maybe the most significant selling factor between the two options is the fact that resilient channels are very hard to install by people who do not know what they are doing.
There are just too many things that can go wrong, and it becomes a major challenge to make repairs when the time comes. It is pretty hard to mess up hat channels, so even if they need some additional soundproofing techniques, it might make the most sense to go that way.
The truth of the matter is, resilient channels and hat channels are both going to improve the sound in a room if there is nothing set up already. Hat channels just seem like a little bit better overall if picking between the two. It makes even more sense if hat channels are combined with
sound isolation clips to really help things out. A person can instantly begin to experience a much quieter, sound control area that is not frustrating in the slightest.
Resilient channels are perfectly fine as well, but it just seems like hat channels have passed them by as far as effectiveness is concerned. Even if it is a direct comparison with no boost whatsoever, hat channels get the slight edge over resilient channels.
That is good news for anyone who wants to save money because they do not have to go out and hire a professional to take care of everything
A lot of homes and businesses have centralized air conditioners these days that make little to no noise whatsoever inside. The units are tucked away outside, making noise that is virtually impossible to hear when going about life inside walls.
Unfortunately, other air conditioner options can’t sit outside. If a person purchases a portable air conditioner, it needs to stay inside at all times. This requires not only having space for it, but tolerating the sound that goes with everything operating.
Portable air conditioners come in many different shapes, sizes, and maximum power. These are different than air conditioner units that can go in the window, as these portable options generally sit on the floor.
Here is a look at some of the best out there, and how the quietest portable air conditioners can help people live a better life overall.
1. Vremi Portable Air Conditioner
As one of the best sellers online right now, this option from Vremi comes in ranges from 10,000 BTU all the way to 14,000 BTU. People can also purchase a machine that offers heat, making this a device worth the money for all seasons.
One of the first things a person should look at when investing in a portable air conditioner is power. If a machine is not going to be powerful enough, it is not worth wasting any time with. Sometimes, people get caught up about machines being quiet, and they forget that power matters quite a bit as well.
The machine operates right around 50 dB for the most part. The company spent a lot of time working on performance at a quiet level, and providing solid cooling capacity that never has many issues at all. This allows people to enjoy working from home, sleeping, and anything else that requires a quiet area.
It is easy to set up and allow for hands-free operation throughout the day as well. There are a total of three different fan speeds, and four operation modes to get the right set up for an individual home. A programmable timer allows people to save money and energy by turning the unit on and off when it is not needed.
One of the biggest factors as to why this machine tops many lists is the fact that they offer a perfect way to handle humidity. The built-in dehumidifier operates by discharging any hot air outside through an exhaust hose. Since the unit does not have a built-in reservoir tank, it is very important to set this up for a more tolerable experience overall.
2. Honeywell 9000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner and Dehumidifier
Honeywell is a pretty trusted name across the globe, and their portable air conditioners are one of the best for smaller rooms.
They can handle any room up to about 300 and 400 ft.², and it is dependable enough to last for years and years with minimal maintenance. This is good news for people who simply want air-conditioning in a room, and they do not want to worry about it much at all.
Honeywell understands first and foremost that any portable air conditioner needs to be quiet. They have a dual motor technology inside that helps to lower noise levels overall. Even at its highest speed, the noise barely gets above 50 dB. If it is at a lower speed, it is even quieter, which really benefits people who do not want to sacrifice peace and quiet.
The energy-saving options are some of the best in the business, which helps out people who do not want to see their energy bills get too crazy.
There is a sleep mode available that will change the temperature at certain intervals, and other options for those stepping away for a bit. Everything is easy to operate with the smart digital thermostat system built-in. There are numerous controls available for people to use, and even a remote control to use across the room.
If the unit needs moved around, this is one of the easiest portable solutions out there. It is a lightweight unit in the first place, but the wheels to move things around make it super simple.
One of the advantages of having a portable air conditioner is moving it to certain areas depending on what is needed. The problem is, too many options are way too heavy, and that leads to frustration.
All in all, Honeywell has a lot right with their portable air conditioner. It is a little more expensive than some of the other options out there, but that mostly comes from the price people pay for a well-known brand.
3. Black & Decker Portable Air Conditioner BPACT10WT
Black & Decker has a wide range of portable air conditioners to consider, and picking the right one is pretty easy going off charts. They start at 8000 BTU, and go all the way up to 14,000 BTU. They all are built to a high standard, and plenty of features are available for people to have maximum control over temperature.
As is the case with all of these options, the first thing anyone wants to know is just how loud these operate. Sound hovers at around 50 dB, and lower settings can allow a person to get even lower. Black & Decker comes with one of the best warranties out there, so if anything does start to go wrong, they will fix it free of charge.
The build quality with this air conditioner is just different in a lot of ways. It does not only look very sleek, but it can take abuse if needed. That is good news for people who are continually moving their air conditioner around, because no one wants to see a machine like this break down quickly.
Sleep mode comes in handy for people who want a quiet night of sleep, and a way to save some money. Once a person falls asleep or steps out of the home, the last thing a person wants to do is pay for an air conditioner that is constantly running.
People automatically assume that a Black & Decker option is going to cost more money than something from a lesser-known brand. They have these machines priced very competitively, which is really the main selling point. It performs at a very high-level, comes from a name brand, and fits under a lot of budgets. It might just be the best value out there for a portable air conditioner, just as long as a person purchases for the right size.
Reputable Black & Decker name/warranty
Saves money with certain smart features
Variety from 8,000 to 14,000 BTU
Sometimes hard to find in stock
Takes up a little more space than the average option
For the ultimate quiet experience, this portable air conditioner might be the best of the best. It is a little more expensive than some people want to spend, and it might not come with all the features a person wants, but sound levels are a huge deal to them.
They have an Arctic Whisper Quiet mode that solidifies that thought, and even without using that mode, people will still really enjoy just how quiet things are.
How does Arctic Whisper Technology work? It understands what needs to be done to get a room to a specific temperature, and then start running at a lower capacity. A person should not be wasting energy on something that does not need 100% power at all times anyway. It is a very smart process that keeps things very quiet, and people usually appreciate that.
It is a portable air conditioner, but also a dehumidifier that works very well too. Using the real fuel mode, a person can balance the temperature and humidity inside a room at all times. It is very easy to keep on track, either using the controls on the machine, or the remote control.
Portability is pretty solid overall, but not the best of the best. This is something that usually stays in one room for most people, although it does come with wheels to move it around. All the features added make it a little heavier than some people realize, which can be frustrating.
If quiet is what a person needs, this option is hard to beat. Some people who already own the machine will even say that they can’t hear anything when it is in use. It really starts to blend in with the rest of the ambient noise around a home or office, which is great news for light sleepers.
With BTU mentioned quite a bit in the article, many people might have questions on what to do with that number. The basic rule is that an air conditioner needs 20 BTU for each square foot of living space that they need to cover.
That means, generally speaking, a 10,000 BTU machine is going to cover about 500 ft.². This obviously has a little bit of wiggle room, but it is a good starting point for people to make smart decisions.
If a person can afford it, it is always best to go with a slightly bigger option than what is needed. That is because a portable air conditioner might be moved to a bigger room, and it adds to some versatility. If a person is really worried about something being quiet, it also helps to have more BTU. That means it can run at a lower level, which usually limits how much sounds made.
With so many different products out there that help with soundproofing, it can sometimes be troubling to find things that work the way people want. Plenty of options contribute to a certain degree, but people are looking for the best value out there possible.
Both Green Glue and resilient channels are reliable options for people to pick that help with any type of soundproofing. Whether it is brand new construction or an area that has very old construction it relies on, soundproofing measures can go a long way towards making the area much more tolerable.
This article is about breaking down two of the most well-known soundproofing materials out there. In the end, people can make decisions based on their own personal projects depending on what is most important to them.
Green Glue Noise Proofing Compound / Sealant
There is no doubt that Green Glue is one of the best options out there for any type of soundproofing project. It is not actually glue in the most common sense, but it focuses on helping seal those harder places to provide great overall results.
Most people will be able to see a pretty significant sound reduction when using Green Glue between two layers of 5/8″ drywall. This is the most common use, and that added bit of material certainly helps bring everything together.
To install Green Glue, first put on a layer of drywall with an acoustic compound. Then the second wall goes on, with there is Green Glue attached. It is straightforward for even beginners to do, as it just smears on like any type of adhesive would.
It is essential to use Green Glue pretty liberally (two tubes per sheet of drywall) because otherwise, it is not going to do the same type of soundproofing that one would expect.
It gets a bit expensive when more is used, but it is better to do it all at once instead of having to go back and do it again.
One of the main reasons why people love using Green Glue Sealant compared to other soundproofing methods is that it is very flexible. When a material is flexible, it can absorb sound and energy a little bit better. The more it absorbs, the harder it is for the other side of the wall to get that type of sound.
Here is a video where I go further into details regarding Green Glue and how it matches up with another soundproofing product called Mass Loaded Vinyl.
Many people have counted on resilient silent channels (Amazon) for quite a long time. It is one of the oldest ways to soundproof a room, and it is easy enough to pull off for most.
Most of these channels are entirely non-corrosive, so that means they will last for a long time without needing any additional fixes.
They are mostly used for soundproofing, not only dry walls but ceilings as well. They work by isolating the drywall from the studs, which helps to eliminate sound waves from going to the next room.
Many people start with a resilient channel, and then they start adding additional soundproof materials if they need more effectiveness overall.
Resilient channels work well enough for a lot of people by themselves. It is most likely what is used in an apartment or hotel room so that people can use them in their homes as well. As long as they are accurately installed, there should be no issues with their overall effectiveness.
Even though it can be pretty straightforward to install resilient channels, beginners are recommended to seek out professional advice. This is to make sure that everything is done the right way the first time, instead of running the risk of things not going exactly as planned.
Comparing the Two Options
The reason why people gravitate towards Green Glue comes down to a few different factors. For starters, many consider it the best overall value as far as price. If applied the right way, People see a major difference in controlling sound.
It can completely seal off air transfers that people might not be aware of that much. They are often overlooked with more traditional soundproofing methods, but Green Glue can fix that.
Applying more or less Green Glue is also very beneficial to customize every project out there. No one wants to be relying on one set method that can’t be customized as well. It usually leads to a lot of frustration, and additional fixes that may or may not work.
The drawbacks to Green Glue can be frustrating for some, and perhaps the biggest one is that it takes about a week for everything to dry off. That wait is not that long in the grand scheme of things, but projects that need finished and fully functional are hard to pull off with Green Glue taking all that time.
It takes a long time to dry, but it seemingly dries quickly on skin and clothes. Make sure to use proper protection when applying Green Glue, or it could lead to a lot of frustration.
Resilient channels are perfect to use virtually everywhere, as people use them on walls, ceilings, plasterboards, and more. It provides solid soundproofing for several different channels, and it is really not that hard to install.
When done the right way, it is a very highly effective way that professionals rely on every day to provide quietness.
Resilient channels do cost more money than an acoustic sealant, so make sure to budget appropriately before starting down that route. There is also an outside chance of causing a short circuit with resilient channels. This is one reason why it is recommended to use a professional to get the installation process completed.
Also, remember that a combination of these two materials and other soundproofing methods are going to work best for most setups. Some people think that they can only use one option, but a combination of things really helps out. It depends on just how much soundproofing needs to be done, and what a person‘s budget is for a project.
Watch the video below where I talk about resilient channel and sound isolation clips for soundproofing.
What is the Final Pick?
If anyone is looking for the answer between Green Glue and resilient channels, unfortunately, there is not going to be a concrete one here. That is simply because projects can vary so much that it is impossible to choose one over the other for everything.
The part of the room that needs soundproofing is probably the biggest step to determine which option is best. Green Glue is very good for ceilings and walls, while resilient channels have even more versatility.
They provide a bit more of a professional soundproofing look for many, and it is hard to argue with so much success over the years.
For people who are on a tight budget, Green Glue is probably the best way to start with a soundproofing project. Not only is the material itself a little cheaper, but it can be installed entirely without any additional experience.
Any resilient channel project runs the risk of errors being made if someone new tries it for the first time. Do not be ashamed ever to hire a professional to help out with a project.
Many people who are looking into soundproofing want to make sure that they do everything correctly. Failure to do so is going to lead to frustration down the road. It might cost a little bit more than a person was hoping for, but it is usually worth it in the end. They will be able to identify any nagging issues that could make a soundproofing project a bit more problematic.
It does not take long when shopping for a soundproofing project to come across a reference to a Sound Transmission Class rating. Almost always shortened to STC, it is the standard way to measure just how well certain materials are in regards to blocking sound.
A lot of companies include STC rating numbers, so a person does not have to determine the rating themselves. However, it is still important to know how to determine the STC rating of a wall at home before and after a soundproofing technique is added.
STC Rating Meaning
STC ratings first popped up in the 1960s, as more and more people were looking to reduce sound transmission as much as possible between rooms at home, businesses, and more. This provided a uniform way to compare different types of materials as easy as possible.
It roughly measures the reduction in decibels to noise thanks to the material added. A higher number is better. For people not familiar with the rating, it might be best to break it down by what a typical family might here at home, depending on the STC rating.
STC Rating Chart
STC ratings are pretty much the only way to compare and contrast different products out there accurately. Since every product uses the same numbers and scale, it will allow people to understand the exact impact as much as possible.
Is the average amount of noise stopped at a total of 18 frequencies so people get an understanding of both high and low-frequency blocking?
Determining STC Rating of Wall, Drywall, and Windows
Now that people know what an STC rating actually is, the next step is determining the STC rating of a wall, drywall, and windows. This might seem a little difficult to do, but as long as a person has somewhat of an idea on how the ratings work, it is a pretty straightforward process.
It is common knowledge that no two walls are exactly the same. An extremely thin wall is usually going to do a pretty poor job of blocking sound and therefore have a low STC rating.
Thicker walls have more mass, and that leads to a higher STC rating. This is a pretty straightforward process, but it becomes trickier when walls are pretty much the same in thickness, but different material.
Measuring the STC rating of drywall first means looking at the specifics. Does the wall already have a resilient channel, or does one need to be added?
Is the wall made of drywall, concrete, or something else? What is the spacing like with the studs on the wall, and what are they made of?
Only people who know the specifics can then take the next step towards picking out the right soundproofing material. In some cases, there might be limited options that actually work.
In other cases, there is so little soundproofing done already that the STC rating is very low. That can be good news for people who want to take care of everything themselves because they can virtually start from scratch.
The measuring process is fairly easy for people who want to do things on their own instead of going off of estimates. After all, real-life performance is usually why people worry about it in the home or office.
All that is really needed is a device that measures in decibels to take readings into different spots. The first reading is the sound in the same room as the sound source. For the most accurate reading, take the measurement right up against the wall.
The next step is to go to the other room and measure on the side of the wall. Make sure that the sound remains at the same frequency, and stays in the same place. Simply subtract the second number from the first number to get transmission loss.
Here’s a video describing the difference between 1/2″ and 5/8″ drywall. The different thickness of the drywall will certainly raise the STC rating of the drywall.
What Changes a Wall’s STC Rating?
During the examination process, there are three important factors to keep in mind when determining the STC rating of a wall.
The material and thickness of the actual wall have a huge impact on the STC rating. Ratings will differ quite a bit between walls made of concrete or drywall, and even between concrete and drywall options of different thicknesses.
A wall might mostly be soundproof, but it just takes a weak point or two for the STC rating to go down. Airborne sounds can travel through pretty small areas that are vulnerable.
Think about windows and doors for sure, but also smaller things like air ducts and ventilation systems. Even the little space between a door and the floor can impact the overall rating.
Different sounds are blocked more effectively than others. To determine the STC rating of a wall in a lab, they can test out frequencies from 125 Hz to 4000 Hz. This gives some varied answers for sure, which is what is used as part of an average to give an official STC rating.
If only one or two types of frequencies are predominant in an area, the overall STC rating might not matter as much. That is why in some cases, people like doing their own real-world tests instead of solely going off of STC ratings.
Comparing STC Ratings to Real Performance
People might be a little bit satisfied with results after doing some soundproofing based on STC ratings. Keep in mind that real-life performance is usually a little worse than what STC ratings tend to suggest. This mostly has to do with the fact that STC ratings are measured in a lab.
Everything is controlled as much as possible in this scenario. In a real-life test, people are not going to have everything nearly as perfect.
It is usually not that big of a difference, so most people should be just fine using STC ratings as a solid base. It is, however, recommended to soundproof a little bit more than the suggested amount, to factor in any deficiencies once real-world measurements are examined.
The Most Basic Ways to Improve a Wall’s STC Rating
If measuring the STC rating of a wall is not satisfying enough, the next step is to increase it to a level that is. Adding mass is perhaps the easiest way to make quick improvements to a wall.
Something like mass loaded vinyl, soundproofing panels, and more are all pretty cheap to purchase, and capable of full insulation without any professional help.
Increasing air space in between two walls is another way to improve the STC rating. With more airspace, that allows more opportunity for sound waves to reduce significantly. This is sometimes tricky, so do not try to take on a project like this without looking for professional assistance first.
Finally, setting up a true soundproofing system is a more permanent solution for people who are just not satisfied with the wall’s STC rating at all. This involves more than just slapping on some panels that add mass.
If professionally done, soundproofing systems 100% work, and are used in many professional set up. Just keep in mind that the cost of a soundproofing system, and the amount of time it takes to do it properly, might be more of an investment than some people want.
An RV generator can be one of those true necessities for anyone who spends a lot of time exploring the outdoors camping. From providing electricity to handling the temperature, a generator makes life a bit more comfortable for everyone.
While they are a virtual necessity for many, not all generators are created equally. One of the major selling points happens to be finding a generator that is powerful enough to assist, but also quiet enough that it does not cause any type of noise issue. This matters not only to the owners of the RV but any neighbors who might be frustrated as well.
Qietter Type of Generators; Generally speaking, an RV generator is one that runs a bit quieter than standard generator options. They are also more reliable, which makes them slightly more expensive. Some companies specialize in RV generators, and finding one specifically for this reason is an excellent way to go.
Parallel Jacks; There are a few things that will alter the price of an RV generator. For starters, having its own enclosure or parallel jacks will usually up the price a little bit. This helps to make a generator more efficient and usually quieter, but people need to balance between the level of quietness and price.
Fuel Tank Option; Fuel is also something very important to keep in mind when buying an RV generator. Not only does the right tank need to be purchased, but the quality of fuel efficiency also needs to be examined. Make sure that the tank is large enough so that it does not need to be refilled continuously.
Better Safety Features; Finally, some generators come with several safety features to benefit from. Accessories like a muffler, an adapter, or other cords can all help make a better experience overall with the RV generator.
Below, we take a look at some of the quietest generators for an RV out there right now. Starting with the most expensive, there is an option for any size so that people can stay under budget without getting too noisy.
1. Yamaha EF2400iSHC
As far as premium options are concerned, this might be the best RV generator out there that is still very quiet. People need to pay a pretty good price for this option, but it comes with a lot of features that people feel are true necessities with larger setups.
To start out with, this generator is very powerful. It can run 13,500 BTU RV air conditioners, microwave ovens, convection ovens, and even beauty equipment. Everything is very efficient coming out of the engine, and it comes down to having the ability to adjust the engine speed to match the load.
From a noise perspective, this machine stays in the low 50 decibels at 25% load. That is simply remarkable for such a powerful generator. The sound is tough to hear if it is placed strategically around the RV. It can also operate at a low load, which is very beneficial for controlling sound.
Weighing in at 75 pounds, this generator is just powerful enough for even the biggest RVs out there. It comes with a three-month guarantee, which is always nice for something that costs a decent amount of money. Not all premium RV generators are worth a price, but this one certainly is.
Sits at just over 50 decibels for average sound at 25% load
There are various generators out there that have a wide range of final cost, but for under $1000, it is hard to find a better performer than this one.
First, people love the fact that this is a dual fuel option. It runs on both gas and propane, which allows people to have options to keep everything operating as expected. It averages right around 59 decibels for sound, which is a little higher than the Yamaha above, but still nothing too crazy.
Starting it up is very convenient as well, with a three-position ignition switch to count on. All the access to controls are in one spot, so a person does not have to put much effort into anything. It is about as easy to operate as possible, making it extremely user-friendly.
People should expect to get about 7.5 hours of use out of the generator on a full tank of gas. With a 20-pound propane tank, a person can get roughly twice the amount of use. To really stretch things out, working off of economy mode makes things quieter, adds fuel savings, and extends the life of the engine.
All in all, people love having this generator for not only their RV, but various uses at home and work as well. It is one of the most versatile options out there, and it will last a long time as long as it is not abused.
This very quiet portable inverter generator has 3700 rated whites and 4500 Pequots for people to benefit from. Despite significant power, it is extremely quiet, sitting in the low 50s for decibels while staying very fuel-efficient. This makes it a significant player as one of the best RV generators out there right now.
Like the others to make this list, this is a very versatile generator for any type of use. A lot of RV owners use this, but it can also operate for a lot of different tasks.
The LED Data Center on the generator comes in handy for people who want to have control over the entire operation. In one location, A person can check the fuel level, power output, runtime remaining, voltage output, and even a lifetime hours. No one is ever in the dark when they are trying to understand how everything is going with the generator.
Weight is always a bit of an issue with a generator, but this feels surprisingly light for something that is just around 100 pounds. The built-in handles give people options when it comes to moving to different areas.
WEN makes a few generators that are good enough to make this list, but the 2000 Watt version might be the best value at this point. People can find these for under $500 now, and it is usually a sufficient amount of power for any type of RV.
As is the case with every generator making his list, this is a very quiet generator that people can have a normal conversation around without an issue. That is the best way to describe the generator and the amounts of sound and puts out.
The power the generator puts out is very clean and safe in any setting. It can power some very heavy-duty items, but also sensitive electronics that do not need much power at all. Stay connected with technology by hooking up phones and tablets to the generator just fine.
If people do need more wattage, these are parallel connections capable to do exactly that. Just one of them weighs under 50 pounds, which makes it extremely portable to move around. Even if two are needed, it might just take an extra trip to load everything up.
The final nice feature is that there is an eco-mode offered by WEN with this generator. If a lot of watts are going unused, the Eco-mode will automatically adjust everything. This means that there will not be gasoline unnecessarily used.
For an affordable option for those who might not go in their RV as often, this is definitely a generator worth considering. For under $400, a person can get a very quiet generator that provides up to seven hours of run time when looking at a 50% load. It might not match up with some of the more powerful options, but it is still worth looking into for many.
To start with, this is another generator that sits in the 50s for decibel levels. Noise is never going to be much of an issue at all using this generator, as it does not get particularly loud even on high settings. When it is running at 50% load or lower, it is very efficient with fuel while keeping things extremely quiet.
The gas-powered generator weighs just 50 pounds, so it is a little easier to take everywhere when needed. Many people use this for their RV, but also other projects at home or work.
It is small enough that if it is just about anywhere, and matches up with some of the more well-known brands out there as well. Some people might not be that familiar with A-iPower, But there is no reason to spend more if this matches up the way it should.
I knew I’d receive a lot of hate mail if I didn’t have at least one Honda Generator on this list. Honda generators, in general, are much more expensive than it’s competition but you do get more for that added cost.
This generator is very quiet for its 5500-watt power output ringing in at around 60db. It will run for around 12 hours at half load. This long-running time is because of its almost 6-gallon tank!
Let’s face it, the reason people buy Honda’s is because of its unmatched reliability. One thing to consider when paying for such an expensive unit is how often are you actually using the generator to power your RV? If you’re only using it a few days a year then you’re way better off buying the same type of generator at a fraction of the price.
The only way I would buy this gen is if I would be using it frequently or if I had an abundance of money, which I don’t.
Exceptional Fuel Efficiency
Quiet compared to other 7000 watt generators
Clean, Easy to start and Reliable
No Digital Fuel Gauge (For the price)
No optional tank upgrade in case you want to use it all day on one tank.
7. Harbour Freight Predator 3500 Watt Super Quiet Inverter Generator
I really like this generator from Harbour Freight. It’s one of the most popular while I searched online for suggestions on quiet and reliable RV Generators and after spending a bit of time with the Predator 3500, I know why.
Consumer reports rated this generator almost as high as the Honda Gen of the same type. Honda only won by a razor-thin margin and frankly, at 4 times the price, I would go with this generator any day of the week!
A lot of the reviews online about this particular model are all saying the same thing, its quiet and its reliable. Both of these aspects are very important to most consumers including me.
Very quiet for the amount of power output.
Easy startup with instructions permanently printed on the Gen.
For people who are searching for quality as well as quietness, make sure to pay attention to a few small details when shopping.
A lot of emission ratings are based on emission compliance, which is the minimal number of hours a portable generator can keep up with meeting the emission requirements.
The number should be as high as possible, as that usually means quality components are used to make the generator. Something that’s in the 500 range is always solid. Click here for more information on the EPA Tier Ratings for Generators.
At a minimum, people should be looking for a warranty that lasts at least two years long. The longer the warranty, the more faith a company has in what they are producing. It just gives people that extra bit of assurance so they are not worried about what might happen.
You can double a two-year warranty if you pay for the generator on a credit card that offers an extended warranty. You should inform yourself if your credit card offers this perk since a lot of people might not know that this sort of thing exists from their credit card company.
Expensive Does Not Always Mean Better
The reason why articles like this are put together is to find the best value possible. Just because the generator is expensive, does not mean it is going to provide the right amount of quality and sound control. Make sure to research any new generator before putting money down.
Why Invest in an RV Generator Over Other Options?
Some people try to get by with using either a 12 V RV system, solar energy, or other alternative options. While they all have a time and a place, a quality generator can add that different level of comfort. A person does not have to worry about ever running out of power, and they are inexpensive enough to justify the price.
Sound has been an issue in the past, but there are quite options out there that are not any louder than a normal conversation when running. Most people will find the investment to be well worth it in the end, now that there are so many advantages with a few drawbacks.
For those fortunate to have space in their home, a home theater room is something that a lot of people are turning towards. It seems like a perfect place to relax after a long day. The room does not have to be particularly big, but proper seating, the right screen, and proper sound all make a huge difference.
One of the biggest challenges for people building a home theater room is making sure everything sounds right. Not only does it need to sound right inside the room, but the noise can’t leak into other parts of the home.
What are some of the best ways to handle this? Soundproofing a room takes a little bit of time and a bit of money, but it is doable in old or new construction. It all comes down to picking out the right soundproofing method and taking the steps necessary to do it the right way so that it will last for years.
Determining the Amount of Necessary Soundproofing?
The first thing a person needs to determine is just how much soundproofing the theater room needs. Some people just want a little bit of soundproofing done to make things sound slightly better. Others want to make the theater as isolated as possible, making it rival a typical movie theater out there open to the public.
The more important complete soundproofing is to a person, the more expensive the process will be. There are many different sounds in a theater room, ranging from as low as 10 dB, all the way to 110 dB.
It is hard to soundproof a room well enough to hear the faintest whispers in a movie or television show. It is also a challenge to block an explosion from being heard in every corner of the home.
Understanding Sound Transmission
Sound waves can basically be described as simple vibrations, so the goal is to set up enough barriers to reduce those vibrations entering and leaving any theater room.
Every time sound hits barriers, it slightly moves the surface to create noise. Soundproofing is all about reducing vibration, and although it is impossible to eliminate it completely, there are ways to make it significantly better.
Why Sound Transmission Class is Such an Important Measurable
The common way to measure soundproofing is to use Sound Transmission Class, also known as STC. Everything has an STC rating, and it goes off the number of decibels it can help reduce.
STC ratings for a typical wall tend to be somewhere in the 30s. That is when loud speech can be heard in between rooms, but maybe not completely understood. There are certainly opportunities to soundproof an entire home, but some people do not want to spend that kind of money to eliminate sound between rooms.
Getting an STC rating to at least 50 is the goal for most people who set up a home theater room. If it can get above 60, it is going to start to resemble what a theater sounds like open to the public.
It takes not only the right material but the right construction to make it all work. Some people do everything by themselves and get this type of STC rating, but professionals are going to provide a better bet.
Best Ways to Soundproof a Home Theater & Make it Sound Better
Soundproofing a home theater is really no different than soundproofing any type of room in a home. It comes down to understanding how soundproofing works, and what is the most effective.
There are four significant soundproofing elements, and they are mass, decoupling, absorption, and damping. If a person can address all four of these elements, they have a very solid home theater set up. Here is what needs to be done to make that a reality.
1. Add Mass to Walls in a Theater Room
Sound vibrations caused a lot of concern if there is not a lot of mass to the wall. The heavier the wall is, the more difficult it is for sound to pass through and make a vibration. Adding mass means lessening the vibrations, and reducing Sound Transmission Class ratings.
A very basic layer of drywall is going to make a wall have an STS rating of about 32. Adding insulation will increase it to the high 30s, but that is not going to work for most home theater setups.
Adding more and more insulation is one way, but there might be a need for other soundproofing methods as well other than just adding a lot of mass.
Also, the best way to add more mass ofter the insulation is by adding a second layer of drywall. Make sure the type of drywall is not your standard 1/2″ but a 5/8″ sheet of drywall.
The added thickness the 5/8″ sheetrock delivers makes a big difference in terms of blocking noise from either coming in or going out of the home theater.
2. Decoupling the Wall
Once mass is only going to do so much, the next step is to turn to decoupling. The coupling is another way to reduce the connection between two surfaces by creating some type of air cavity.
Anytime sound passes through an air cavity, it loses a significant amount of energy. A big cavity can make a huge impact on soundproofing in a short amount of time. The problem is, it can be a little difficult to decouple walls for a home theater room fully.
Building a room within a room is the most effective way to create decoupling in a home theater room. This is when two separate walls are not linked in any way to each other. This creates a very large air cavity that kills a lot of sound.
It makes sense to fill these air cavities with some type of insulation that is not all that dense. The insulation needs to be loose enough so that the two walls do not really connect at all.
It is impossible for the two walls not to share the floor, so go with some type of underlayment to help with soundproofing if needed. An acoustic mat (Amazon) is one way to achieve that.
3. Double Stud Wall
There are a lot of similarities between a double stud wall and a room within a room construction. The only difference is that the two studs are not going to be completely separated.
Instead, the sets of studs connect to a common base plate. That makes it easier to set up compared to a room within a room. That is a bit of a complicated matter since the studs need to attach separately to the floor.
There is no doubt plenty of people have had a lot of success with a double stud wall when it comes to soundproofing a home theater room. It creates a huge air cavity, and people do not have to stress out about results too much. Once completed, the STS will be somewhere around 60.
4. Staggered Stud Wall
Yet another option is to go with a staggered wall to save money and space. There is still an air cavity that is created, but it does not take up as much space as one might think. The downfall is that the STS will not quite be as solid as the other options, but it is still at around 55.
It is not going to end with the same results as other ways to decouple walls, but it is still worth exploring if a person does not have any other options. It is probably the easiest to pull off for someone who wants to do it themselves without any professional help whatsoever.
5. Resilient Channels and Sound Isolation Clips
Decoupling does not always require having more than one wall. Resilient channels and sound isolation clips can help with the process, as well. They both work in different ways, but people have been using them in different rooms for years and years.
A resilient channel is a very flexible metal channel. It attaches to the studs, so that the drywall is connected only to the resilient channel itself. This makes the wall floating instead of being attached the normal way.
If not done correctly, it will not be very effective with this setup. Make sure to take the extra amount of time to attach everything with screws to the drywall correctly, and not connect to studs.
The reason why people go with resilient channels is that it is one of the cheapest options out there for decoupling. If a person does not know what they are doing, it is fairly easy to mess up. The good news is that even if a professional is needed, they do not charge nearly as much to work on a resilient channel as some of the other options.
Sound Isolation clips are another way to work with decoupling despite only having a single stud wall. It is different than relying on a resilient channel, as these clips are put directly on the studs.
Drywall is screwed onto a hat channel, which then gets placed inside the sound isolation clips. It is very important not to have any contact between the screws and the studs in the setup.
Sound isolation clips come in many shapes and sizes, and some people have their personal preferences as far as whether they want clips or a resilient channel.
A resilient channel does well with high frequencies, but struggles a bit with low frequency. For low-frequency assistance, sound clips might be the better way to go.
Damping is considered to be one of the final steps when it comes to soundproofing any type of room. There seems to be a common theme for a lot of people to rely on Green Glue (Amazon) as the biggest damping compound out there. There are other brands out there for sure, but this one gets a lot of publicity for helping out right away.
Damping is important in a home theater because it helps with low frequencies more than anything. There is less of a rattling sound at low frequencies, which is always positive. Some combination of decoupling and damping is going to provide quality results.
7. What if the Walls are Made of Concrete?
Drywall is the most common type of material for the walls of a home theater, but there are plenty of people who have concrete options as well. For example, anyone who decides to put a home theater in their basement can probably rely on concrete as a way to help out.
Many are well aware of the fact that concrete has a good STC value, but what they might not realize is that it is a solid transmitter of sound at low frequencies. This can be a little problematic for people when looking at the big picture.
That might not matter in some cases, but it would definitely be noticeable in a home theater. That is why, in many cases, another wall made of drywall is necessary to help with soundproofing.
Decoupling with a concrete wall means using suspension brackets or spacers to help out. It creates enough of a gap between the concrete and drywall so that there is very little sound transfer.
Concrete definitely has a few different problems that people need to deal with, but most people find a way to make it work. At the end of the day, most agree that starting with a concrete wall is better than starting without one. There is also something to be said for the extra amount of protection when it comes to sound.
8. Best Way to Soundproof Without Construction?
There are many reasons why people might want to soundproof a home theater room without doing any type of permanent construction. Maybe they want to test out whether or not the room will be a thriving area for people to hang out in. There is also the case of people not wanting to damage a rental for one reason or another.
The best way to soundproof a home theater room without doing any permanent damage is to use mass loaded vinyl. It is very affordable on nearly any budget, and it is easy to put up for temporary or long-term solutions. It might not look as professional as some of the other options detailed in this article, but it does a better job than just about anything else.
There are many benefits to using mass loaded vinyl over alternatives. For starters, it is about as thin of a mass as a person can add while seeing results. Some people sandwich it between two layers of drywall, and it does a pretty good job without anything else. It is easy to cut to any shape, so people love having something versatile around that helps.
Is it Possible Soundproof a home theater room the DIY Way?
This is a tough question to answer, simply because there are various levels of do-it-yourselfers out there. It is one of the harder things a person can do, simply because a home theater room should be extremely quiet. This is not as simple as adding mass and then being fine with everything else. Most people want to eliminate sound coming in or going out, and they wanted to look professionally done as well. This is where a professional might be able to step in and help.
Of course, it is impossible to see the results all at once without really knowing how it all shakes out. Just put in the time and effort, and everything should come together nicely.
There is definitely a lot of challenges when it comes to soundproofing a home theater, or any room for that matter. Some people think that they can’t ask for help, but without question, a person should consult with a professional if they are in over their head.
It might seem like doing everything without professional assistance can save time and money. One costly mistake can actually make it a huge challenge in the end. There really is no such thing as a shortcut that actually works, especially when trying to soundproof an entire room.
With the right material and a positive mindset, there is a way to make a home theater a reality. Do not be afraid to read up on what techniques work best, and how it might work out an individual’s home. Some people are going to end up having more success than others when meeting the goals they put together in the beginning.
In the end, soundproofing is a bit of a learning process. Start with something simple, yet practical to understand the impact. After that, explore some of the other options out there before finding what works best.
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