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Is the noise from traffic, loud neighbors, barking dogs, or running machinery invading your house and disrupting your lifestyle? We have your back. We have 10 ways on how to soundproof a window and effectively nix the noise.
It’s no rocket science that any unwarranted noise — infiltrating your home or office — can affect your well-being and performance.
Imagine the scenario: there’s construction going on in your neighborhood or someone near your house loves to play loud music at odd hours! Such situations are enough to disrupt your sleep, concentration, or conversations. And, of course, peace.
Therefore, a noise problem is a huge problem, especially if you live in a highly-populated area.
Why soundproof your windows?
Most often than not, your windows are the likely culprit for letting in the outside noise. That’s because sound vibrations can easily pass through glass and any present cracks or holes. Your window is designed to let in light and air into the house, and while it does so quite effectively, it also lets in a lot of sounds.
Therefore, you need to take steps to soundproof your window and reduce the noise pollution — getting you more restful nights and less stress. So, here are some important ways on how to soundproof a window.
1. Fill up all the gaps in the window
The first step you need to take is to make sure that there are no tiny gaps and cavities around your window. Such pores don’t just make your window look aesthetically unpleasant, they create a path for the noise to enter.
Now, there are two simple ways to get rid of these gaps. They are through acoustic caulk and window weatherstripping. Let’s explore both of them in a little more detail.
Acoustic caulk is a noise proofing sealant that is used to seal holes or gaps on the perimeter of windows, walls, floors, ceilings, electrical outlets, pipe penetration, etc. The best part is, this economical way to soundproof your window will last you for at least three to four years.
A quick fix that’s durable too! Since it’s designed to stay flexible, it doesn’t shrink or crack.
Read more: caulking windows by the pros
A weatherstripping tape effectively reduces noise leakage and energy waste. It’s available in various forms such as foam tape, rubber tape, silicone tape, etc.
Depending on the amount of friction your window is likely to experience, weather exposure, or the look of your window, you can choose the material that suits your requirement.
This gap-filling option helps get rid of dust, noise, wind, water leakage, and even protects you from household pest intrusion.
2. Replace your existing windows with soundproof windows
If you’re really serious about keeping most of the noise from the street out, you need to invest in soundproof windows. Typically, they have multiple layers of glass with air gaps in between. They are quite effective and aesthetically pleasing too. However, you will need to hire a professional contractor for installing soundproof windows.
How much do soundproof windows cost?
As compared to replacing your windows, it is often less expensive and hassle-free to buy soundproof windows. Soundproof windows are available according to size and most range from $400 to $900.
3. Soundproof an existing window with a seal kit
If the above option is not a viable one for you, you can get a window seal kit and install it over your existing windows. Most of them mount to the window trim or install in between the jambs of the window magnetically.
Such kits provide both acoustic and thermal insulation. The best part is that you can easily remove them for cleaning or maintenance. The inexpensive add-ons reduce noise and lower heating & cooling costs. What’s more, they are compatible with a wide range of window styles!
Read more: DIY house window cleaning tips
4. Use acoustic panels
These panels are made out of quilted fiberglass and act as a sound barrier. The material doesn’t let the sound waves pass through. Moreover, due to their uneven surface, they reduce echoes and absorb sounds on both sides of the panel. Keep in mind that the greater the mass, the lesser the noise will be.
These panels are easy to install as they come with metallic grommets on all four sides. You can easily hang them on hooks or nails to any surface. Another point to remember is that the closer you place them to the windows, the better the noise proofing effect will be.
Just a fair warning though: these panels are not very visually appealing. However, they are very effective.
You can even find clear vinyl panels which are applied to the window frame using velcro. They adhere to the perimeter molding — creating a good seal and air gap while allowing light to pass through.
5. Treat your windows with some sound-dampening curtains
Window treatment can help you conquer noise pollution to a large extent. You can opt for soundproof curtains that contain materials inside the lining. They have soundproofing qualities such as mass-loaded vinyl. The only drawback is that they can be quite heavy and require special mounting hardware.
You can even go for thick, heavy drapes. However, they will not be as effective as a sound-dampening curtain or window inserts. You can always complement these with other soundproofing methods for better results.
These thick curtains will help reduce the echo while boosting your home decor and keeping the unwanted light out of your home. A complete win-win solution.
Have you heard about window tinting? All about this great improvement process for your windows with our essential guide on home window tinting
6. Invest in thick blinds or shades
Another way on how to soundproof a window to an extent is to install thick material blinds or shades. The installation is quick and hassle-free. Similar to the earlier option, these blinds and shades are a great way to manage the amount of light you let in, apart from reducing noise.
We advise you to go for a honeycomb one, it will enhance your window’s ability to absorb and dampen the sound waves. A great window work solution for peace as well as privacy.
7. Add an extra layer of glass or acrylic over your window
Did you know, you can reduce the noise coming from the outside by attaching a piece of acrylic or glass over the inside of your existing window? However, make sure that you use laminated glass or an acoustic grade glass. This is because laminated glass has an extra protective layer of plastic that acts as a barrier between the two external glass sheets.
Remember that tempered glass, on the other hand, does not offer quite as much soundproofing. While it can withstand use and force with robust strength, it does not offer superior noise reduction.
Also, keep in mind that the new layer should hug the window as tightly as possible. You will need to install a metal frame on your window and then use special magnets that will hold the glass sheet to the frame.
8. Buy double-pane or triple-pane windows
Once you decide to spend a fair amount of money on this soundproofing project,
You can buy multi-pane windows to effectively block out the unwanted noise. Interestingly, they can reduce noise levels by almost 50% and more.
Moreover, they will help keep your room cool in summer and warm during the winter months — saving a significant amount of dollars on energy bills.
Do ensure that the installation is handled professionally. There should be no gaps or cracks around the window edges.
9. Create DIY soundproofing with window plugs
A window plug is a soundproof sponge which helps to absorb, reflect, or block sound. You can use soundproof matting for such a DIY project.
These plugs are affordable and are quite effective in blocking noise. You can plug them in when you need some peace and quiet. And, they are easy to remove too.
10. Learn how to soundproof a window by rearranging furniture
Here’s a simple science formula: noise travels through air until it reaches a surface. It can either pass through the surface or bounce off. A great way to add more obstacles to the sound’s path is to rearrange your existing furniture.
Use soft, uneven surfaces to absorb the sound waves and stop them from bouncing around your room. You will end up reducing echo and reverberation along the way.
You can also block the window by placing closets, bookshelves, or couches. However, don’t let your furniture completely block the outside light.
Place them around the window or next to it — allowing them to absorb some of the sounds.
Also, consider sound-dampening rug pads, wall hangings, or indoor plants for the same reason.
If you live in a noisy neighborhood, you will do everything in your power to block out the annoying noise from outside. Therefore, soundproofing your windows play a great role in reducing the amount of sound that gets in and out.
Taking inspiration from this article, you can easily soundproof a window. Although the methods may not be 100% efficient, they will yield positive results if you combine two or more options.
It all depends on how much noise you’re dealing with and how big your home renovation budget is. Want to know how much your home improvement will cost you? Try our free remodeling estimator.
Once you decide to go ahead with the above steps and ideas, the priceless reward will be peaceful nights, reduced stress, and improved concentration.
Read more: How to Soundproof Your House