Last updated: October 27, 2020 at 9:33 am
Noisy streets, neighbours, and traffic (not to mention early morning bin men) can all put a damper on your living and working space. Noise pollution can find its way through the windows of any house, apartment or office. Thankfully, there are simple ways to upgrade your windows (most of them you can do yourself) to help with soundproofing. Here are seven ways to soundproof your windows.
7 Ways to (Easily) Soundproof Windows
1. Get Rid of Any Cracks
Inspecting your windows is a good place to start, before jumping in and committing time and money to soundproofing solutions. You will want to ensure that the window has been installed properly and that there are no cracks in the window. Small cracks can be repaired, but if there is considerable damage to the window, then replacing it entirely will yield better (and quieter) results.
Continue reading to find out more about the best replacement windows for soundproofing. As for those whose windows are intact but still need better quality soundproofing, keep reading for more ways to soundproof your windows.
2. Acoustic Caulk
Small gaps and cracks around the window can allow air to pass through from the outside environment into your home or office. Even the smallest of gaps can let in unwanted noise, so it is important to have a proper seal around the entire border of the window.
Caulking is a rather simple home improvement DIY project, but it is important to get the right materials. Purchase acoustic caulk to help with soundproofing your windows. Typical caulk hardens into a stiff barrier that can eventually wear down and crack over time, whereas, acoustic caulk remains rubbery and flexible, a strong and sturdy barrier that reduces outside noise.
Acoustic caulk is easy on your budget, simple to install, and offers a good starting point for soundproofing your windows, especially for those who have windows in old or worn-out window frames.
3. Soundproof Curtains
For those looking for a quick solution with easy installation, soundproof curtains are your answer. These can go by many names –blackout curtains, dampening curtains, or soundproof curtains –but the effect remains the same.
These curtains are made from thick, densely-woven fabric, and they absorb sound. This actually works both for sounds coming in through the windows, and sound within the room, providing reduced noise from the outside environment while also absorbing sounds inside the room for better acoustics. In addition to sound dampening and sound absorption, the thick fabric of soundproof curtains also provides thermal insulation and blocks sunlight from entering the room.
Soundproof curtains are readily available online, and quick and easy to install, simply replace your current curtains and ensure they’ve got a sturdy rod.
4. Window Plugs
Window plugs are definitely one of the most effective and easy to use solutions to soundproofing your windows. They are essentially a large foam insert that can be placed into the window frame. Most often window plugs are a do-it-yourself job, to ensure that the plugs fit snugly into the frame. However, they are easy to make, and they are lightweight for easy maneuvering and portability. Although, they do of course come with their drawbacks.
Window plugs are a temporary soundproofing solution. They are removable fixtures that must be placed in the window when noise reduction is desired and then removed when the window is being used. They will block the window completely (sunlight and all), which can be a positive or a negative, depending on what you need them for. Often window plugs are used for those their highly efficient sound dampening and removability makes them a great temporary solution for soundproofing windows.
5. Upgrade the Windows
If you are looking for a more effective and permanent solution worth investing in, you may want to consider replacing your current windows with new ones that have better soundproofing properties. The first feature to consider is the type of glass, while tempered glass is strong and durable, it does not provide the same soundproofing qualities as laminated glass.
Laminated glass has an additional layer of plastic between the two panes of glass, providing an extra barrier to absorb vibrations. A more substantial way to reduce noise coming through windows is to upgrade single-pane windows to double-pane ones. Double-pane windows are standard in modern homes, but if your house or building is more than fifteen years old, then single-pane windows might still be present.
This is the most costly and time-consuming option listed here but it is also one of the best in terms of a drastic, permanent solution that won’t block out the whole window.
6. Thick Shades or Blinds
Investing in thick material soundproof blinds or shades can also help to decrease sounds coming from outside your windows. Honeycomb cell shades provide the best shape for soundproofing. The hexagonal tubes are able to trap more air, reducing the volume that travels from the outside in.
Better yet, double-cell shades have two rows of hexagonal tubes, creating a thicker barrier that better prevents noise from going through. In addition to soundproofing, thick material blinds and shades block sunlight, which can absorb sound within the room, reducing echo to provide better acoustics. As well, they retain indoor heat in winter and block sunlight and outdoor heat in the summer.
7. Add an Extra Layer
Another means of soundproofing your home or office windows is to add an extra layer to your existing windows, such as an extra acrylic or glass sheet. The extra air space stops many of the vibrations from making their way through the glass. This is a project better suited for the experienced DIYer, and it is a budget-friendly soundproofing solution as well. Adding a layer of acrylic can be an effective way to help reduce minor sound pollution.
There is a more significant decrease in noise when installing an extra acrylic or glass sheet on a single-pane window, rather than a double-pane, making it a cheaper and easier option for those who do not want to fully replace their current windows.
Soundproofing your windows is one of the easiest ways for homeowners and renters alike to reduce the noise coming into their homes. There are options to fit any budget, while most are do-it-yourself solutions as well. If you are looking to make an impact on your window’s soundproof qualities, you’re sure to find something here that is right for you.