Sound Carries Through Heating Ducts - AVS Forum | Home Theater Discussions And Reviews
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post #1 of 3 Old 01-10-2008, 11:59 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm soliciting ideas on how folks have been dealing with theater audio traveling to all parts of the home inside the heating ducts.

I know I could have installed an independent heating system such as baseboard electric heaters but instead I left the existing ducts in place passing through the theater room and even cut openings in the ducts for louvers to get heat into the room.

Currently I don't plan to do anything about it. I do not play the audio anywhere near as loud as a commercial theater does (my hearing is starting to deteriorate too) and therefore I don't expect that the problem will be annoying.

Remember when lines and logos burned the TV screen? I was at a concert where a musical selection made extremely heavy use of about four of the keys of the piano.
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post #2 of 3 Old 01-10-2008, 12:11 PM
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I'd like to know too. I had a bunch of company over for Christmas and the wife and I snuck upstairs. Needless to say it wasn't a secret what was going on. The heat ducts in my house carry sound forever.

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post #3 of 3 Old 01-10-2008, 12:14 PM
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BigmouthinDC wrote up a nice summary the other day here is the HVAC part:

Originally Posted by BIGmouthinDC View Post

The general consensus of the "experts" that pop into the thread is yes you need to treat ALL walls and Ceiling if you want a chance at containing the sound.

The reason given is that sound will leak out the side walls and travel up the behind the walls (flanking) and defeat the effort put into the ceiling.

Here are some some other things I've learned on my journey Most of them too late.

HVAC - sound control

If your house is like most of ours, you have large metal ducts called "trunks" that supply heated and cooled air and bring it back via returns. Off of these trunks you will have individual take off ducts that each supply an individual register somewhere in the house.

The worst cast scenario is you have metal take off ducts,

So you build a theater and it should have both supplies and returns. The most common technique is to just cut in a couple of supplies and returns and use metal ducts to connect up the theater.

If you or your contractor does this, it is nearly identical to cutting a hole in the ceiling to the room above from a sound containment perspective.

There are are number of solutions and generally the amount of sound isolation is dependent on how much you are willing to spend.

The cheapest solution is to not connect the theater with metal ducts. Instead use flexible Acoustical Ducts. or duct board. Include a few 90 degree bends so that the sound carrying capacity of the duct is reduced.

see the two products on the right of this chart:

There are other solutions including zoning the theater, or installing a totally separate HVAC for the basement or theater.

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