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Industry News

Published on October 19th, 2021 | by The GC Team

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And the survey says… ‘Keep it down will ya!’

Over half of UK consumers would like their home to be quieter and even more are drawn towards quieter domestic appliances, with the washing machine noted as the product most likely to offend.

The impact of domestic appliances on the tranquillity of the home has been highlighted in a survey by the independent global certification programme Quiet Mark, which came up with some “surprise findings”, one being the engagement of younger people, who showed particularly strong preferences for quieter technology.

With kitchens becoming the home office for many during the past 18 months, it’s perhaps not surprising that 82% of people said they have home appliances that they would like to make less noise. For 45% it is the washing machine, and for 43% the vacuum cleaner – both of which consumers wished were quieter than their current models.

While 57% of people said they would like a quieter home, the draw towards quieter appliances (62%) is stronger amongst those aged 18-34 (63%), compared to 54% of those aged 55+, and it is this younger group which is also willing to pay for the privilege of lower operational noise levels, with 63% prepared to shell out for quieter models.

The survey, carried out by Opinium Research, sampling 2,000 UK adults aged 18+ across all regions, also showed that 79% of consumers care how loud an appliance is when purchasing one for their home, so noise levels have become a pivotal selling point.

John Lewis’s technology director Laurence Mitchell says there are more than 10,000 searches a month for appliances that include the term “quiet” on the retailer’s website, with washing machines and kettles the most likely products to be linked to the search.

There is also another downside associated with noise, and this, according to the Quiet Mark survey, is a general lack of knowledge related to the health risks it poses.

For example: 39% of people incorrectly believe that hearing loss begins at 110 decibels, about the noise level of a rock concert, and only 47% know that exposure to noise can disturb sleep and cause high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease… and just 19% of people know that, according to the World Health Organisation, noise is the second biggest killing natural pollutant after air pollution.

“Because sound is invisible it is often overlooked. Yet, the fundamental impact it has on all the physical rhythms of our bodies, our hormones, heart rate and brainwaves is so profound and inherent to our wellbeing,” said Poppy Szkiler, CEO & CoFounder of Quiet Mark. 

“There is still a huge knowledge gap about this in the UK, which often prevents noise reduction being made a priority in the design focus of new product development, yet unwanted noise is a serious pollutant which affects our brainwaves, heart rate, all our physical rhythms.”

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