Frequently asked questions
On this page
- About the Silenceair Products
- Using Silenceair acoustic vents in your home
- Installing Silenceair wallvents
What are Silenceair® acoustic ventilators?
They are first and foremost a ventilation device. They are designed to let fresh air into your home through small vents in your wall, just like the ventilators you see high on the walls of older style houses. The advantage of Silenceair® acoustic ventilators is that they let the air in and keep the noise out.
How do Silenceair® acoustic ventilators work?
Silenceair® products principally consist of a box with a ventilation passage running through the centre of the device from one side to another. This passage is lined by a special arrangement of tubes called 'acoustic attenuators'. As air moves through the ventilator, it passes over these tubes and sound waves are deflected inside. The sound waves are channelled in such a way that they cancel themselves out, significantly reducing the noise moving through the passage. See the Using Silenceair acoustic vents in your home section of the FAQs for further information.
How do Silenceair® products differ from other products?
Most traditional ventilation products rely on foam-lining and baffles in the ducts to reduce noise, but these can reduce airflow. There is also the problem of build-up of dirt, dust and small insects in the pores of the foam, leading to loss of performance over time and the growth of bacteria and pathogens. The foam itself may also physically deteriorate.
The new technology at the heart of Silenceair® products eliminates the need for foam-lining and allows a much freer passage of air into your home. Silenceair® products are made from recyclable polypropylene, mixed with fire retardants and UV protectants and are virtually immune to environmental degradation.
Why should I choose Silenceair® acoustic vents?
The patented technology behind the Silenceair® products provides a more effective and efficient solution to ventilation and passive noise reduction than existing technologies and products. Silenceair® products are easy to install and have a flexible design that can be incorporated and updated with your home décor. The Silenceair® system is environmentally sustainable, requires no energy and is fully recyclable. It can be used as a whole-home ventilation system or to solve specific ventilation and acoustic problems in particular spaces.
What are Silenceair® products made from?
Silenceair® products are made from fully recyclable plastic that has special additives to protect against ultraviolet light and fire. They also contain recycled material where possible.
The packaging is fully recyclable and degradable and is designed to naturally break down if placed in a landfill.
Are Silenceair® products environmentally responsible?
- Silenceair® products are passive; they do not need electricity to work
- They reduce the energy consumption of your house by reducing the need to run your air conditioning system
- They eliminate the construction costs and material requirements associated with alternative acoustic ventilation systems
- With basic maintenance, they can last indefinitely
Which type of Silenceair® acoustic vent is for me?
This depends on the thickness and construction type of the walls in your house. Please refer to the Installing Silenceair wall vents section of the FAQ, or go to the shopping cart pages for full product choice and installation information.
What level of sound insulation do Silenceair® acoustic vents offer?
Silenceair® wall vents can reduce airborne noise by up to 85% (similar to a plate glass window). The patented technology at the core of all Silenceair® acoustic vents has been designed to be especially effective at reducing those sound frequencies to which humans are most sensitive (250-3,000 Hertz) and reduces noise by up to 34 decibels at 1600 Hertz.
In bad weather, do Silenceair® wall vents let in water?
Silenceair® wall vents have been designed to allow the free passage of air, while restricting the entrance of moisture. The exterior louvres and the configuration of the unit itself effectively prevents precipitation from entering the building. In extreme weather conditions, the adjustable louvre on the inside plate can also be used to shut down air flow.
Do Silenceair® wall vents keep out insects?
The exterior louvres have an integrated fly screen to keep out the insects. The louvres can be removed for periodic maintenance, such as washing the flyscreen.
Can I paint over the interior / exterior face plates?
Yes. A range of colours is available, but you can paint the face plates to match any colour you want. Plain white versions of the interior and exterior face plates are available for this purpose.
How much airflow can I expect through a single Silenceair® wall vent?
The aerodynamic ventilation passage allows for higher airflows at lower pressure than traditional foam-lined ducts. At very low wind pressures, the Silenceair® 240 wall vent can allow nearly twice as much air through the same size aperture as foam-lined products.
For example, assuming a gentle summer breeze, each Silenceair® unit allows nearly 25 cubic metres of air into a room each hour. Fitting two units into a standard room size of 12 square metres will allow total air recycling every 35 minutes.
What if I open my window?
Silenceair® is designed to reduce the noise that comes in through the ventilator passage that is built into the unit itself. It does not absorb noise that is already in the room. It cannot stop noise out in a garden or absorb the noise that comes through an open window. It is designed to provide you with a ventilator air passage that is acoustically controlled, thus reducing the need to open the window and maintaining the integrity of the acoustic barrier of the wall.
How many Silenceair® wall vents do we need?
On average you will need two for a living space and two for each bedroom. It is important to consider if you can get cross ventilation through the rooms, as this will help with air movement.
How can Silenceair® wall vents be used as part of a whole-home ventilation system?
Installing Silenceair® wall vents into your home can provide a low-energy alternative to air conditioning or noisy mechanical ventilation systems.
To work effectively as a whole-home ventilation system, in cases where you cannot obtain adequate cross ventilation, Silenceair® wall vents should be used in conjunction with passive thermal chimneys, wind turbine ventilators (whirligigs) or bathroom / kitchen exhaust fans. This will ensure that there is enough pressure difference between the inside and outside of your home to draw fresh air in through the Silenceair® vents.
To ensure that all rooms can benefit from the ventilation, there must be an adequate 'air corridor' between rooms. This can be achieved simply by undercutting the interior doors by 20 mm.
Can I filter the air?
Filter pads can be added to the system, but remember that the filters will cause some resistance to normal air flow.
Can Silenceair® wall vents be used to keep noise inside a room, such as a home theatre?
Silenceair® wall vents are also highly effective at keeping noise in. They can be installed in any area where you wish to contain noise, while still providing adequate ventilation, such as music practice rooms, home theatres and workshops. In these situations, the Silenceair® wall vents should be installed in reverse.
How do I maintain my Silenceair® wall vents?
Silenceair® vents contain no moving parts, so they are extremely simple to maintain. An occasional rinse in soapy water will maintain performance indefinitely.
Full installation instructions for the whole product range can be found
on the shopping cart pages.
Are my walls suitable?
There are two types of Silenceair® wall vent available, designed to fit within the most common wall structures. Check your wall construction carefully.
The Silenceair® 240 Wall Vent is designed to fit into most masonry wall systems that are at least 240mm thick.
- Victorian period houses are usually solid double brick (230 mm) with a layer of plaster on the inside (10 mm) and possibly painted render on the outside (10 mm)
- Some modern houses have two layers of brick with a cavity between them (250 mm). They may have a layer of render on the inside and outside faces (10 mm each)
- Other modern houses have a timber frame with a layer of plasterboard on the inside and a brick skin on the outside (brick veneer). These wall can be between 250-280 mm thick.
The Silenceair® 140 Wall Vent is designed to be used in a wall with a minimum thickness of 140 mm. These wall types include:
- 140 mm thick cement blockwork filled with concrete. The faces of the blockwork can be plain, painted, cement rendered or lined with plaster on the inside face
- 140 mm thick tilt panels
Some houses have a timber frame and weatherboard or fibro on the outside and a plasterboard lining on the inside. We are currently developing a 90 mm thick Silenceair® wall vent that is designed to go into these wall types. This product is due for release in the second half of this year.
How big are Silenceair® wall vents?
The Silenceair® 240 Wall Vent is about the size of 2 house bricks. The face dimensions are 230 mm high x 140 mm wide. It is 240 mm deep. They are designed to fit into a wall that is at least 240mm thick. Most masonry houses have walls that are this thick.
How many Silenceair® wall vents do we need?
On average you will need two for a living space and two for each bedroom. It is important to consider if you can get cross ventilation through the house, as this will help with air movement.
Can I retrofit Silenceair® wall vents into an existing house?
Silenceair® vents are dimensioned to fit into the same space as the brick vents you see in older style houses. For newer houses without vents, it is simply a matter of cutting a hole into the wall, installing the unit and then fitting the face plate louvres into position.
What colours do they come in?
The acoustic ventilators themselves are black.
The interior and exterior louvres come in a limited variety of colours. We will expand the colour range in time and if necessary we can make up special colour batches to suit your needs.
Can they be painted?
The face plate louvres can be painted any colour to suit your décor. We recommend you use the white louvres if you wish to paint them.
Once installed, can I easily change the interior / exterior face plates?
Yes. Full details of how to install or change the exterior and interior face plates are included in the installation instructions, available on the Shopping Cart pages.
Do Silenceair® ventilator products comply with the Building Code of Australia (BCA)?
Silenceair® products can be understood as an operable window (a window that can be opened). As such, the limitations on the use of operable windows in the BCA apply to Silenceair® products. For example, Silenceair® products cannot be installed in a wall that is within 900 mm of a property boundary. In multi-story applications, they cannot be installed within 900 mm of a window belonging to a neighbour.
Where do I find installation guides?
PDF installation guides can be found on the Shopping Cart pages.
Do I have to employ a builder to install Silenceair® vents?
No. Anybody with a reasonable level of confidence in home renovation can install Silenceair® wall vents. Please refer to the full installation instructions available on the Shopping Cart pages for further information about how to install.