This is not the most common question I field on a daily basis, but it does merit it’s own category on this website.
Soundproofing a furnace or boiler room is much the same as soundproofing any other room. Oft times the boiler or furnace is located in a basement area and the basement is not generally used for family activities, yet the problem stems from the fact that when the furnace or boiler kicks on, the noise that is transmitted to the upstairs living areas is very annoying.
If the furnace or boiler has a solenoid igniter (loud magnetic switch type) simply put that equates to impact noise so it will most likely require floating the ceiling. The floated ceiling can be installed using either resilient channels (RC-1) or better yet, the RSIC-1 or the Isomax sound clip ceiling suspension mounts. To learn more about this system and it’s installation please click HERE.
This should give you a firm grasp on how to effectively float a ceiling in any boiler or furnace room.
Now, if the basement is indeed used for family activities (game room or media area etc.) and the noise from the furnace or boiler is a real problem, then it will be necessary to line all the walls with a mass loaded vinyl. American Mass Loaded Vinyl is an excellent choice because it comes in two delicious flavors, the 1 lb. Per sq. ft. and the 2 lb. per sq.ft. weight.
As described in other installation narratives on this website, the mass loaded vinyl or (MLV) would be stapled or glued up to the existing walls, you’d butt the seams together, caulk all the seams as well as the entire perimeter of the vinyl, and then tape the seams with a lead foil tape, or a good quality seam tape. We generally recommend layering over top the (MLV) with a layer of drywall, not necessarily for the aesthetic look of the room, but rather for the extra soundproofing that the drywall provides to the walls and ceiling.
Lastly, and possibly the main sound leaking culprit in any boiler or furnace room is the door. It must be a solid core door and all the seams (including the gap at the bottom) must be sealed. This can be done with a closed cell foam tape and a transom seal at the bottom of the door.
If your furnace or boiler is free standing (no room or enclosure around it) then I highly recommend that you contact a soundproofing expert at Soundproofing America, Inc. because the lack of an enclosure makes soundproofing a free standing boiler or furnace much more difficult.
Thanks for reading and learning about furnace and boiler soundproofing. Remember, knowledge is power.
As always, Dr. Bob and Scott “the man” Swisher”.
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