We are asked so often how to make a kitchen quieter that we had to come up with something for our customers. But where do you start?
Kitchen noise tends to come from appliances, such as the rangehood, oven, dishwasher and waste disposer, all of which have noise producing mechanical operation.
Most ovens have a fan-assisted cooking setting. The cooking fan will make a noise of course. But modern ovens are fan cooled (you’ll notice air being pushed out of the front) so using the fan-assist will result in hearing two fans operating at the same time. Most of us don’t find this too distracting but it is something to bear in mind.
Although waste disposers can produce a lot of noise, particularly when chewing through bones and shells, the noise doesn’t last very long. In our experience there is little difference between budget disposers, with or without the sound shell.
Dishwashers typically need to work for hours rather than minutes to do a thorough job. They generate both mechanical noise and sound from the water sloshing around. Budget dishwashers will tend to be noisier mainly because they are more flimsy and have less insulation. When choosing a dishwasher check the weight of it. In our experience, the heavier the machine the quieter it will be due to sturdier construction and heavier sound insulation materials.
The rangehood is inevitably the worst noise producing culprit in most kitchens. Some rangehoods are so noisy that cooks won’t even switch them on. Or if the do use them, they only do so at the lowest setting, which makes them ineffective for some types of cooking.
Even expensive rangehoods can be too noisy and testing them in the shop does not give a ‘real life’ indication of how much noise will result once they are installed.
The only real way to guarantee a reduction in noise we have found, is to install a silencer. It won’t actually silence it totally of course but, rather like the silencer (muffler) on your car, it does reduce the noise to more tolerable levels. We have also found that the irritating note of some rangehoods – that high pitched whine – is eliminated.
Air line silencers are available from a number of sources but the only rangehood ducting silencer kit we are aware of in New Zealand is the Rangehood Tamer. So this is our recommendation for most roof and soffit rangehood installations.