What are Door Chimes?

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  • Written By: KN
  • Edited By: R. Kayne
  • Last Modified Date: 19 October 2019
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Door chimes are melodious tones that sound when someone presses the doorbell. Door chimes do not actually emanate from the doorbell unit itself. A separate unit, which is centrally located in the house, produces the tones that can be heard throughout the home.

Traditional chimes are hard wired to run from the actual doorbell push button to a transformer that activates the chimes unit. The installation or repair of this type of system requires running electrical wires through existing walls or ceilings.

Newer chimes rely on wireless systems, either from a simple plug-in electrical source, or a battery-operated system. These units work on a radio signal that picks up the action at the doorbell and transmits that signal to the unit, which then trips the door chimes.


Door chime kits are available in a wide selection of colors, sizes and styles to match any type of home d├ęcor. Several units can be operated by the same doorbell and placed strategically throughout the home, providing coverage to remote areas of the house, garage or garden. The volume can be easily adjusted, and many manufacturers offer a wide selection of tones or tunes. For example, for the feng shui enthusiast, chimes are produced to mimic the gentle strains of a wind chime. Maybe Westminster chimes are more your style. There are even recordable door chimes with CD-quality playback to hear 10 seconds of anything you like. Perhaps you'd like to record a few bars of your favorite song, or if you have a sense of humor, your own voice shouting, "Someone's at the door!"

Many people find that installing chimes is a fairly simple task -- especially with the newer plug-in or battery-operated models. For door chimes that are hard wired into the house's infrastructure, you may want to consider hiring a professional electrician to do the work.

Door chimes produce more soothing tones than the old-fashioned buzzers or ringing bells and personalize your home. By installing chimes, you will be giving yourself a gift every time someone pushes the doorbell.


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Post 4

@rundocuri- Maybe the electric door chimes that you have heard were older models, or were simply turned down to sound softer. I can hear my chimes perfectly, and I also have a two-story home.

From my experience, I have found that there are different types of electric door chimes available that have different sounds and volume controls. These are features you should check out when you shop for your chimes so you are sure to get the type that works perfectly for you and your home.

Post 3

@ocelot60- I am thinking about getting electric door chimes, but I'm concerned that they won't be loud enough to hear on the second floor of my house. I've been in peoples' homes that have these door chimes, and this seems to be a concern. How do you feel about the volume of your electric door chimes?

Post 2

I have electrically-operated door chimes, and I love the way they sound. I also like the fact that if I want some privacy or not to be bothered, I can simply unplug them. This is a feature that is not possible with other types of door chimes.

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