What causes house to "beat" in the wind?
March 20, 2004 9:36 AM   Subscribe

What causes houses to "beat"? It's very windy here in St. Louis today, and every time the wind really kicks up, I hear a distinct "hoom, hoom, hoom", at a frequency of about one per second. When I was a kid, i thought it was the spinning vents in the attic, by the house I live in now doesn't have those. Spurred by this thread on beat frequencies, I thought I'd pose the question to the AskMe hive.
posted by notsnot to Science & Nature (13 answers total)
 
Ever blown across the top of a pop bottle?

Same thing.

My T-Top car does it, too, if the windows are left rolled up.
posted by five fresh fish at 9:46 AM on March 20, 2004


So, it's just the interference from the different resonant frequecies of my attic vents?
posted by notsnot at 10:16 AM on March 20, 2004


Sounds like it. Get the wind blowing at just the right velocity and direction, and you get soom resonance action. Resonance has all kinda' nifty application, especially when engineerers forget to incorporate resonance it into construction projects
posted by jmd82 at 11:40 AM on March 20, 2004


Great question. I love that 'hoom hoom' sound. Haven't heard it for ages -- I don't suppose you could record it? This reminds me of the house in The Shipping News.
posted by Shane at 2:23 PM on March 20, 2004


uhm, I'll try to set up my laptop (with mic) next time it's windy.

Thanks guys!
posted by notsnot at 4:01 PM on March 20, 2004


ever notice how the water level in the toilet bowl sort of wobbles up and down when the wind blows?
posted by quonsar at 10:09 PM on March 20, 2004


You probably wouldn't believe how seldom I check behind me after I fart, quonsar.

So, no, I haven't noticed.

Though I will admit that I'm surprised your wind is so strong as to wobble the toilet bowl.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:59 PM on March 20, 2004


I'm surprised your wind is so strong as to wobble the toilet bowl.

It's not wobbling the toilet bowl, it's blowing across the top of the pipes on the roof that are connected to the drain system and creating a partial vacuum.
posted by kindall at 3:18 AM on March 21, 2004


My first-floor flat in a Victorian house conversion (i.e. 2nd-floor apartment) sways quite a bit in high winds, and the motions can become quite regular (to continue a theme). I've heard that this is because there are no deep foundations: the bricks are simply laid on top of bedrock.
posted by cbrody at 4:23 AM on March 21, 2004


kindall, WTF would Quonsar be farting across pipes on the top of the house? The guy's presents an oddball persona, sure, but not that odd!
posted by five fresh fish at 9:22 AM on March 21, 2004


kindall: 1
fff: 0
posted by quonsar at 11:55 AM on March 21, 2004


Hah. "your wind" = "your farts." I get it!
posted by kindall at 2:21 PM on March 21, 2004


Well, that was a dud.
posted by five fresh fish at 2:35 PM on March 21, 2004


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