Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI) is moving more and more travelers each year. Unfortunately, that growth is coming at the expense of neighborhood tranquility. Noise complaints about air traffic at BWI are on the rise, and regional officials are slow to react. According to the Baltimore Sun*, attempts to reach those officials are escalating but in most cases, these messages are going unheard. Noise complaints have reached staggering volumes. To put it into perspective, four years ago there were only 283 calls. In 2016, that number reached 2,694**.
Homeowners in the affected areas have formed grassroots neighborhood groups to organize and focus their noise complaints. These include grievances to Baltimore-Washington International Airport (BWI), Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA), and Washington Dulles International Airport (IAD). Some individuals, like Roberto Vittori, went above and beyond in attempts to reach the FAA. Mr. Vittori is aa former astronaut, and he used his training to include flight-specific details in his complaints. While living in his neighborhood, nearly five miles from DCA, he logged nearly 3,000 complaints. In fact, he raised the concern that the flight paths were more than a nuisance. He believed they broke the legal limits for height, frequency and duration. Unfortunately, change didn’t come swiftly enough for Mr. Vittori; he decided to move away from the area.
Frustrations from the persistent background noise caused by air traffic are common. Here are some things you can do to reduce the noise in your home.
Home Comfort Tips
Noise enters your home through your walls, windows, doors and roof. Each conveys noise in a different way. Homes with poor insulation tend to be noisier (and drafty!).
Here are a few suggestions to be more comfortable in your home:
- Get a home energy audit to find out if your home has enough insulation against the elements
- Replace your windows to create a better barrier between you and the noise source.
- Consider extra quiet, noise-abatement window options, like our Sound Shield™ window glass.
A typical window might offer some resistance to ambient traffic noise or waves. Those generally rate at 60-65 decibels. We know that homes need noise abatement from vehicles. A whopping 97 decibels comes from motorcycles, or airplanes at 100 decibels. Our handy graphic shows the sounds that boom through regular windows. Now our windows create a more comfortable home environment in spite of the noise outside.
How Can Sound Shield Help?
A Sound Shield™ glass upgrade can reduce outside noise by up to 35% (versus our standard double-pane window.) Imagine what that might mean in your home. Peace and quiet at the dinner table. An extra half hour of sleep. Both of these can actually have a significant positive effect on your life.
Our Sound Shield glass has been independently tested and verified, and we can install it in your home any time of year. Let’s get you on the path to peace and quiet. Request a consultation from one of our representatives to get started.