Your airing cupboard provides you with the convenience of drying damp clothes but can quickly become a nuisance if the boiler is too loud. We have all the tips you need to remedy this issue.
While most people don’t experience too much noise from their airing cupboard, here’s a few ways you can soundproof it:
- Place acoustic panels
- Use carpet tiles
- Hang soundproof curtains
- Implement a fiberglass barrier
- Use blankets
The last thing you want to deal with is a noisy airing cupboard while you’re trying to unwind, relax, or sleep. Many of these are close to bedrooms, so they’re likely to create night time noise.
We’re covering all the methods you can use to soundproof your airing cupboard. If you are thinking about installing one and the noise factor is a concern, we’ll supply some information for you as well. Continue reading below.
What Is an Airing Cupboard?
Maybe there is a chance you’ve never even heard of an airing cupboard before; that’s fine. It’s a simple concept. Inside many homes, especially throughout the UK, there is a cupboard where the hot water tank is. This tank holds the already hot water for the house.
This tank is usually located near a landing, stairway, or wherever a bathroom is. The cupboard varies in size based on how big the tank is, and the tank size is typically determined by how much hot water the house will need.
If you have a house with eight people living in it and you have four bathrooms, chances are you’ll have a bigger airing cupboard than someone else because the tank will be larger. So, years ago, this was just a basic holding cabinet for the tank until people realized they could turn it into a multi-purpose closet.
Instead of just keeping the tank in there, we could keep towels, clothes, blankets, and more in there to dry because the cupboard is warm.
Due to the tank storing the hot water in there for extended periods, the cupboard maintains a warm temperature, which is enough to finish drying damp clothing.
As a result, people started putting their damp clothes in there to finish drying, which helps save money on electricity and prevents there from being too much moisture in the home when homeowners leave their wet clothes around to dry at room temperature.
Why Use an Airing Cupboard?
You’ll find a water tank at the bottom with shelving over top of it when you look in most airing cupboards. Your first thought is that it’s the perfect place for a linen closet. When you get out of the shower, you can pull a towel from the cupboard, and it would be nice and warm for you. It works both ways, though.
You can also put the towel back in the cupboard when you’re finished so it can dry. It’s also a great place to hang a damp coat that has been through the rain. If you don’t have a utility room or mudroom to store your coats, the airing cupboard can also be useful for this if it’s in the right location, of course.
It’s important to understand that you shouldn’t put clothes in the airing cupboard when they are soaking wet. You cannot take clothes or towels directly from the washing machine and put them in the cupboard.
It’s a warm closet, but it’s not hot enough to dry clothes. It’s intended for use on damp clothing. If you leave something in an airing cupboard that is soaked, it will likely become musty or even moldy.
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How to Properly Set up Your Airing Cupboard
If you are not organizing and setting up your airing cupboard properly, it can mean that your clothes won’t dry. They need enough space to breathe because air needs to circulate throughout the cupboard if you expect them to dry evenly and at a respectable pace.
Many people recommend putting small items like socks and underwear towards the top of the cupboard or storing them in baskets because they don’t take as long to dry, and they don’t require the same level of heat.
If you’re trying to dry damp towels or blankets, those will require more time, so you’ll want to put them closer to the tank.
Also, you should use slotted shelving or wire rack shelving in your airing cupboard because you need air to circulate to the bottom of the clothing as well unless you plan on going through every two hours and flipping the towels (which I doubt).
Make sure the shelves aren’t too close together and that you leave a little bit of space between everything so the warm air can move to all four corners.
What Noises Do You Hear? What Causes Them?
So you’ve got your airing cupboard, and you’re enjoying the many financial and physical benefits of not having to dry your clothes completely before putting them away. But, you’re faced with one problem. The sound of your boiler is becoming too much, and you’ve tried all the obvious things.
The first thing you’ll want to check is if there is air in the system. When air gets into the boiler, it causes a gurgling sound, which is what most homeowners are familiar with. You’ll want to remedy this situation by bleeding the boiler using a key and check the pressure. Open the valve, allow some water to expel from the system, and then close it.
For most, this should fix the problem. If you’re still experiencing noise, you may need to soundproof the cabinet to prevent it.
How to Soundproof the Airing Cupboard
There are a few simple and easy steps that every homeowner can take to soundproof their airing cupboard. If it’s located close to your bedroom, it has likely become a nuisance to your sleep and relaxation time. Luckily, the following strategies we’re discussing will help rid you of this problem for good.
An acoustic panel is what you see inside music studios and places where they fill video. Usually, people use them to keep the sound in the room or to fill in space and give the music something to bounce off. In this case, you want to use acoustic panels to create a barrier between the airing cupboard and surrounding rooms.
This strategy works best if you share a wall with the cupboard. Acoustic panels are two pieces of foam with a sheet of fiberglass in between. They’re light, easy to work with, and simple to install on the wall. You can hang them up on the inside of the door and even throughout the walls of the cupboard if it makes sense.
If your airing cupboard doesn’t contain any carpeting that can be the culprit of the noise problem. In many cases, if you have an airing cupboard upstairs, the boiler’s vibrations can travel to the downstairs as well, which can interrupt more portions of your day. A great way to take care of this is by using carpet tiles on the floor and throughout the cabinet.
One important factor to remember here is that you need to get a low pile carpet that won’t absorb too much moisture. The airing cabinet is going to have quite a bit of moisture even though it’s a dry heat. If you have a high carpet tile, it can get musty and moldy, which will lead to your clothes smelling bad.
You want to find the heaviest and most tight curtains you can find and hang them inside and outside the door. This will create a sound barrier, and while it won’t actually stop the room from generating noise, it will help you not to hear as much of it.
As with the carpet issue, there is always the factor of moisture-related issues with an airing cupboard. Don’t put clothes in the cabinet when they’re soaking wet, and you shouldn’t have to worry too much about this problem.
If you’ve found that the carpet tiles or the acoustic tiles work but not as much as you would like. Curtains are a cheap and simple way to provide another level of sound protection without having to get too involved.
Most of the insulation in your house is likely made from fiberglass. Fiberglass is shards of glass that get heated and pushed through small holes to create little filaments. They then use the filaments with fire-resistant fabric material, and that becomes the insulation we see today.
Throughout your home, there are many square feet of fiberglass insulation in the walls to protect the house from cold temperatures.
That said, if you’re a handy person and you’re okay with knocking down walls, then go ahead. You can demo some of the areas around your airing cupboard and install insulation in between the studs. This will not only reduce the sound you hear, but it will help keep more of the heat in the room.
If you’re not interested in tearing down walls, then you could insert the fiberglass insulation around the airing cupboard where you see fit. When you’re shopping, be sure to look for fiberglass that is best for soundproofing. Some are meant for heat insulation, while others are specifically designed to help keep sound in the room.
They even sell blankets designed exclusively for soundproofing; they’re called acoustic blankets. You can hang these inside the airing cupboard and on the outside if you like. They’re made similar to fiberglass insulation and are super simple to install and use. Make sure always to keep the moisture factor in mind because you don’t want things to get musty and moldy.
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Get to Work
Well, it looks like you’ve got some work to do. All the methods above will help soundproof your airing cupboard, so you don’t have to put up with any unnecessary noise. I would suggest going with the acoustic tiles and then adding something else to the mix if you find that it’s not enough sound protection.
If you’re learning about airing cupboards for the first time, that’s great too. If you find that it’s too loud you can use some of these methods as well.
Regardless of what method you choose, good luck, and I hope it helps you get many nights of fulfilling rest!