Air Vents: How to Build Soundproof Air Vent Cover

If your heating or cooling system makes a lot of noise, why not learn how to build a soundproof air vent cover that looks beautiful and solves the problem cheaply. Store-bought air vent covers come with narrow slits. The tight passage of air through the narrow air vent cover slits can generate a whooshing sound like a tornado or a loud engine.

How to Stop Sound Coming Through Air Vents?

You can learn how to build a soundproof air vent cover with very little work. The trick is to use a trellis with large holes for air passage. When air can flow freely, the noise from the air vent cover will drop considerably. You can find beautiful metal garden trellises at the garden center of your home improvement store. The simplest solution, however, is to build a soundproof air vent cover from a cheap wood trellis.

There are several reasons why wood trellis is ideal for quieter air vents. For one thing, the grid is wide enough to allow for free air passage. In addition, you can easily cut a wood trellis down to size. You can even use the store’s own lumber cutting services because the air vent cover will be made of wood rather than metal, which stores are hesitant to cut. Finally, if you build a soundproof air vent cover from a cheap wood trellis you’ll save money over a metal trellis, but you can still give a metal finish to the wood.

Here are the steps for building a soundproof air vent cover that costs about the same (or a little less) than a standard, cheap and ugly store-bought cover.

You’ll Need to Build a Soundproof Air Vent Cover:

  • Wood trellis
  • Saw (unless you’re using the store’s cutting services)
  • Hammer and nails, or screws and a drill
  • Paint

Steps to Build and Install a Soundproof Air Vent Cover

Measure the Air Vent Hole

To build a soundproof air vent cover for your home, you can copy the measurements of your existing air vent (which you’ll be replacing), or simply measure the hole of the air duct. Add a few inches to leave you plenty of room to attach it to the wall.

Buy & Cut the Wood Trellis

Take the measurements for your air vent cover to your home improvement store. I recommend taking a wood trellis from the garden center to the lumbar section of the store and asking the attendant to cut it for you with the store’s complimentary cutting services. Be sure to select the smallest trellis you can get away with so as to save money. If the attendant is worried that the saw may break the trellis, be assured that I had my trellis cut at Home Depot and the cut came out perfectly.

Prepare the Wall for Reducing Noise

Unscrew the old vent cover to remove it from the wall. If the screws had cracked the drywall you’ll want to sand off the area. If there are any protruding pieces of metal from the edge of the air vent, hammer them flat. If the edge of the air vent is cut roughly, use duct tape to tape it to the wall. In short, to build a noise-reducing air vent cover, you must first clear the airway of any obstacles that may cause air to snag and circulate in place, generating that whooshing noise you’re trying to eliminate. Use a hand-held vacuum to clean the air vent as far as you can reach.

To conceal the air vent opening as much as possible, paint its frame and any duct tape with the same paint color as your wall. Do not paint inside the vent, however, since paint might chip with time and pollute your air vent filter.

Install and Paint the Soundproof Air Vent Cover

You can build a noise-reducing air vent cover that will blend with the wall and disappear from sight, as I did (see the pictures accompanying this article). Or you can build an air vent cover that has a unique finish. For the former, first, install the air vent cover over the vent using nails or screws, then paint the air vent cover with the same color as your wall. I prefer this look, as the air vent cover really disappears from sight.

If you want to give the air vent cover a special finish, however, do that before you install it over the vent. For metal finishes choose Rust Oleum metallic spray paints. For a crackled finish, check out the Rust Oleum crackled finish kit. For simple white finish, use a semi-gloss finish to match the air vent cover to your molding and trim around the house.


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