Last updated: August 4, 2023 at 14:35 pm
There are some noises that a window makes that are entirely normal and not a cause for concern, such as popping or cracking noises. These noises usually occur when the window glass expands and contracts at a different speed than the surrounding frame.
Whistling noises that occur through windows can cause concern and should be dealt with. There are solutions to fix this problem but first, we must understand the source of the issue.
IN THIS ARTICLE
Why Do Windows Make a Whistling Noise?
There is quite a simple answer to this. And that is wind. When the wind reaches a specific velocity, this whistling noise can be deafening and high-pitched. Even a thin whistle becomes suddenly audible. What happens is that the wind moves through a small space in or around the window and it then bounces from side to side.
Any gaps in your window will allow the wind to enter and cause this bounce from side to side, thus creating a high-pitched whistling sound. But there are solutions that can fix this problem and stop the whistling noise, even in the winter months when the weather worsens.
Related: Do Soundproof Window Inserts Work?
If the aluminium that’s used on your windows is of a low-quality, you will likely face this issue. This can occur two to three years after the window installation process as the frames become deformed and they lose their sealing property.
Air passes through the gaps that are formed, and this will cause the whistling noise in question. Try to choose high-quality material when installing windows or replace the old windows if you’ve already installed them.
Gaps From Inside the Window
If there is a gap between the frame and the window aperture, this can cause a similar noise when it’s windy outside. Gaps act as a type of amplifier that will make any kind of noise sound even louder.
This problem is less likely to occur in modern windows as nowadays any gaps in windows are filled with expanding foam insulation from the very start of the process. This will prevent any noise or draughts from occurring. Older windows are a different story as any cavities that were present during the installation process were often left open, causing these noise problems.
Make sure you secure anything on the window that could have come loose in the future such as trickle vents, as this will help prevent unwanted noise and stop it altogether if it’s already occurring.
A less common but certainly real problem that causes whistling noises through windows is paint build-up.
If the paint hasn’t entirely dried by the time, you cover it, some of the paint will be pushed into small crevices. Older houses will often have old layers of paint that are flaking off.
This paint can then get caught up in old window frames which creates air currents. These air currents can cause a whistling noise when it’s windy outside.
Types of Windows With This Issue
While this whistling noise can happen for several reasons, there are certain types of windows that are more likely to experience this issue.
If you’re trying to decide what material to use for your windows and wish to avoid this whistling noise problem in the future, it’s important to pay attention to the quality of the material. This will save you time and money in the future.
Sliding Sash Windows
Sliding sash windows are infamous for this problem, especially if they’re older windows. These windows that have wooden frames are known to shrink over a period. After this happens you’ll start to see (or hear) gaps forming around the window.
Air passes through these gaps and you’ll begin to hear the whistling noise through the window. Keep in mind that modern sash windows don’t tend to have this problem due to the updated manufacturing and installation methods, so don’t rule them out as an option entirely.
UPVC windows can cause this whistling noise problem. Draughts are common with uPVC windows for several reasons. The most common reason is that there are hollow spaces between the window aperture and the frame.
Another common cause of the whistling noise in uPVC windows is when the window hinges are broken and are therefore stopping the window from being able to close properly. Thus, causing the whistling noise when wind blows.
Similarly, the gaskets may need replacing, which will solve this issue. Lastly, if the storm shutters of a uPVC window are installed incorrectly, they can vibrate when the wind is strong and cause this whistling noise.
Steps to Solve This Issue: Identify Draughts
The first step when fixing this problem is to identify any draughts around the window in question. This occurs when the silicone sealant (which is used to seal the window during the installation process), cracks or shrinks in size.
This will cause gaps around the window in question; thus, the whistling noise will come through. A broken sealant can cause even more problems in the future. Such as creating a buzzing noise if it’s loose and wind enters. Therefore, mending the broken sealant is one of the very first steps you should take, if necessary.
You can fix the sealant by replacing it around the edges of the glass and this will typically fix the whistling problem entirely. In some cases, the whistling noise will continue. If the noise continues, you may need to replace the entire window.
Installing double-glazed windows will ensure the room is soundproofed from any exterior noises, such as wind. Triple glazed windows will cost more but will provide an extra layer of window soundproofing.
If you don’t wish to install entirely new windows, an alternative solution would be to apply foam tape to the rims of the window and cover the whole window with plastic.
Plastic is insulating and air-tight so the temperature of the interior can also be preserved using this method.
An alternative is simply going round the edges with flexible sealant.
If you ensure your windows are installed correctly, you can avoid this whistling problem in the future. For starters, windows should be installed in an accurate and upright position. If you don’t take the precautionary measures to do this, there will be gaps forming between the wall and the frame of the window as time passes.
Soon after, you’ll start to experience a loud whistling noise through the window.
Seal the heads of the expansion bolts that attach the window frame to the wall to ensure that water trapped in the frame can’t seep into the wall).
Pre-installation prepping is just as important. Before you install your windows, make sure to caulk the gaps between the window frame and the wall. After the sealant solidifies, put sealing strips on all sides of the window frame to stop rainwater and wind from seeping through.
Make sure both the interior and exterior parts of the window frames are sealed thoroughly to avoid the whistling problem entirely.
If you’re just starting the installation process, you should be extra careful with the material you use for your windows and the way in which you install them.
However, if your windows are already installed and you’re experiencing this issue, all is not lost. Follow the above steps to solve the problem of a whistling noise coming through windows.