Having a hard time focusing on your work with all that noise coming from the outside? Whether it is loud neighbours, highway traffic, or chirping birds, noises from the outside world are going to disrupt your activities.
You can’t control what goes on outside, but you can certainly block or reduce all the noise by soundproofing your windows. But you already know that if you have soundproofed your bedroom or your walls! You even know how to reduce road noise in the garden! Don’t know anything about it? We have got your back. Read on to learn everything you need to know on how to soundproof windows like an expert!
Table of Contents
- Types of window soundproofing
- Method 1: Soundproof a window with inserts
- Method 2: Replace single-pane windows with double-pane equivalents
- Method 3: Use acoustic caulk to seal gaps
- Method 4: Hang sound-dampening curtains
- Method 5: Install double-cell shades
- Method 6: DIY a soundproof window plug
- Method 7: Install window shutters
- Method 8: Add window soundproofing film
- Method 9: Block the window with furniture
Types of window soundproofing
Before you start, you have to learn about the main types of soundproofing. There are two types that you should keep in mind.
1. Sound Reduction
If you use sound reduction, it will stop all the noise from entering your home through the windows in the first place.
2. Sound Absorption
Sound absorption will stop the noise that penetrates the windows from reverberating throughout the entire house.
Most of the time, you will need both types of products so that you will have absolute peace. For instance, if there is a lot of street traffic around your home, you need to soundproof your windows to keep the noise out.
Also, you need to install sound-absorbing items as well so that if some noise does get in, it won’t echo around your house.
Method 1: Soundproof a window with inserts
If you live in a place with heavy noise pollution, then you should install window inserts to reduce all the cacophony. The acrylic glass inserts are installed in the frame of your window, almost 15 cm in front of the window interior.
The air space between the window and the insert will not let the sound vibrations from going through the glass. The most effective inserts, as per our opinion, are made of laminated glass. They consist of two layers and have an intervening layer of plastic that blocks the vibrations.
Method 2: Replace single-pane windows with double-pane equivalents
If there is relatively less outdoor noise pollution around your home, and you are disturbed by the occasional kids playing out in the yard, noisy neighbours, etc., you can replace your single-pane ones with double glazing panes of glass.
Single-pane windows don’t have an air barrier between the glass and the outside, so they allow all the outdoor noise to enter. On the other hand, double pane windows with secondary glazing have two glass pieces with air between them and effectively block noise.
Triple-pane windows with triple glazing are also available. These fibreglass pieces have high STC ratings but are a bit expensive.
Method 3: Use acoustic caulk to seal gaps
Did you know that all that noise coming inside your home was through tiny air gaps between the walls and window frames? Most of us don’t. By simply blocking these small noise channels, you can keep the noise from coming in.
This is where acoustic silicone caulk will come in handy. Acoustic grade caulk is an efficient way to seal gaps and acts as an excellent sound barrier. It is designed to stay flexible over a long period of time.
This means it will not shrink or crack, and you will not have to redo it for several years to come. The sealant will block sound and reduce the amount of noise coming in through the windows.
Method 4: Hang sound-dampening curtains
Another affordable way of soundproofing your windows is by getting sound-dampening curtains. This method will not block out the noise completely but is certainly an effective way of reducing the noise.
What soundproof curtains do is that they help to reduce the echo. Apart from blocking noise, these thick curtains will block out unwanted light as well. Plus, they will enhance the look and feel of your room.
These soundproofed curtains are usually made of thick, heavy fabrics like velvet and have a vinyl lining that absorbs unwanted noise. All you need to do after you get them is to hang them and enjoy the silence!
Method 5: Install double-cell shades
Double-cell shades – also known as honeycomb curtains – have two rows of hexagonal tubes stacked on top of each other. These shades not only absorb the unwanted sound that enters a room to reduce the echo, but they also retain heat in winter and stop indoor heat gain in the summer.
Similar to noise-dampening curtains, these shades are best suited for those people who don’t live in highly noisy areas. They are also a great alternative when you want to dress your windows without curtains!
Method 6: DIY a soundproof window plug
Inserting a window plug is one of the cheapest ways of soundproofing your windows. You can simply attach an acoustic foam mat to them and help reduce the noise levels. If you attach soundproofing mats, they will not only dampen the sound waves but will also block the light.
However, this may not be a good option for people who don’t want to cover their beautiful windows with foam sheets that ruin the interior aesthetics. If you are making home recording studios, and don’t care about the window plugs blocking the light, you can go for this option.
Method 7: Install window shutters
Another affordable and effective way to block outdoor noise is by using window shutters. Usually, window shutters consist of two panels that are attached to both sides of the window. Similar to curtains and blinds, they ensure the privacy of the homeowner as well.
There are two types of window shutters:
1. Exterior Window Shutters
Exterior window shutters not only protect your windows from harsh weather but also act as a protective layer between outdoor noise and your home. This will not only solve the noise problem, but will also act as a weather-proofing layer.
2. Interior Window Shutters
Interior shutters are not made of weatherproof material as you are not going to attach them outside your windows. You can choose interior shutters that go well with your home décor as well as block noise effectively.
Method 8: Add window soundproofing film
When you are adding a window insert, you are using a separate layer of glass. However, when it comes to adding window soundproofing film, you are simply applying the film on the already existing window.
Simply peel off a corner of the film and press it directly onto clean window glass smoothly. Window soundproofing film will reduce the outside noise levels but not block the traffic noise out completely.
Method 9: Block the window with furniture
The easiest and budget-friendly way of soundproofing your windows is by placing the right furniture near them. Combine this neat DIY trick with the methods that we have discussed above to make the soundproofing as effective as possible.
If you place a thick, heavy rug next to your window, it will absorb some of the sound waves. Moreover, you can place a heavy couch, chair, etc., near it.
There are various DIY noise reduction strategies and soundproofing materials that you can use when it comes to soundproofing windows. From temporary and quick fixes such as using acoustic panels to complete DIY soundproofing projects , the option you choose depends on how much noise there is, your requirements, and your budget. By soundproofing your new windows, you will be able to finally have some peace inside your home, with the outside world staying where it should – outside. Hopefully, the tips and tricks we have shared above will let you successfully soundproof windows like an expert.
Here’s to a noise-free, peaceful home!