Why do older people hate noises

Humming, crackling, rustlingSounds in the Flat: Where from you come

Something cracks there, there is a whistle and this penetrating hum is coming from somewhere! The background noise in an apartment can be varied - and annoying. But in most cases the source can be found quickly.

When Deutschlandfunk-Nova reporter Julius Stucke threw himself on his bed after a long day of bedroom renovation, he suddenly heard this little noise: a rustling right below him. It didn't take long to realize that the uninvited guest was a wood worm in his bed.

It is not always possible to assign the strange and mostly annoying noises in an apartment immediately. But it is worth sticking with it, because in most cases the cause will be found in the end.

He could easily see the wood worm in Julius' bed: holes in the wood and brittle areas. There the larva of the rodent beetle had clearly been eating its way through the wood for a long time. Stephan Biebl, wood engineer and pest fighter from Upper Bavaria, gives the all-clear: you have several years to observe beetles such as the rodent beetles or roebucks. Quite different with termites, which should be fought much faster, but are also less common in our country, says Stephan Biebl.

"The good thing is: you always have time. It's never like termites. With the roebuck, you always have a few years to watch it."
Stephan Biebl, wood engineer and pest controller

Provided, of course, that you can bear the noise. Stephan Biebl has also had cases in which those affected could no longer sleep and just went crazy every night.

But what could you do in such a case? According to the wood protection standard DIN 68 800 from 2011, it starts at the very beginning: It's best to throw away the wood. With a valuable piece of furniture there is also the option of having it treated with oxygen deprivation, heat or cold. Treatment with highly toxic gases would be very rigorous, explains Stephan Biebl.

Cracking heating pipes

Cracking heating pipes can be more nerve-wracking than bugs. These are primarily a problem in older apartments and houses. Deutschlandfunk-Nova reporter Julius Stucke has already had his experience with this as well. Carsten Kuhlmann, heating technology expert at Viessmann, analyzes the noise of Julius Stuckes heating.

The source of the noise: a welded steel pipe. As soon as the heating is switched on, the pipe expands a good centimeter and then cracks its way through the wooden floor.

"It's a welded steel pipe. When you turn on the heating, this pipe becomes a good centimeter larger and it has to go somewhere."
Carsten Kuhlmann, heating technology expert at Viessmann

With old heating systems it can take a while to find the correct cause of the noise, says Carsten Kuhlmann.

Faulty water transport whistles or rustles

Basically, says Carsten Kuhlmann, there are some sources of noise that can be easily assigned. Anything that whistles or rustles usually indicates that something is wrong with the water transport.

"Everything that rustles and everything that whistles can usually be traced back to something wrong with the transport of water."
Carsten Kuhlmann, heating technology expert at Viessmann

When the noise becomes louder, such as a fan gun taking off, the problem usually lies with the device itself, explains Carsten Kuhlmann.

Noise nuisance from low humming

It gets really nasty with the noises whose origin cannot be easily assigned, such as a deep, subliminal hum. Christian Fabris deals with low-frequency noise at the Federal Environment Agency. He says that this problem - especially in densely populated residential areas - is getting bigger and bigger.

The peculiarity of low-frequency noises is that up to a certain frequency they cannot be heard at all. If they exceed this, however, then deep noises can be just as annoying as real noise, the noise effects researchers agree on that, says Christian Fabris.

"A special feature of the low-frequency noises is that you cannot hear them up to a certain threshold. But as soon as you can hear that, noise impact researchers actually agree: Then it is also noise and annoyance."
Christian Fabris, deals with low-frequency noise at the Federal Environment Agency

Humming noises can come from many different sources: ventilation systems, air conditioning systems, or heating systems.

Some people are more sensitive to these types of sounds than others. Especially with this type of noise, it often takes time to find the source, but in most cases there is an explanation at the end, reports Christian Fabris.