Sounds and neighborhood noises like playing children, barking dogs, honking horns, screeching tires, and blaring radios will always be there to disturb you in your sleep or quiet time at home. The only way to solve this problem is by learning how to soundproof windows.
Your windows are a great place to start because a lot of sounds can travel through glass. Glass is very thin, and sound levels can travel through glass with almost no resistance. With soundproofing, your windows are altered so sound waves can no longer get through.
Your home will be much quieter as a result.
How to Soundproof Windows: The Best Methods
There are quite a few different techniques you can try to soundproof your windows. In the next few sections, we’re going to take a quick look at some of the best soundproofing methods to try.
Get Double Glazing Installed
Double glazing is sometimes used to insulate homes, but these window treatments are terrific for blocking out street noises.
Double glazing involves fitting a second or even third pane of glass to your original window pane. There’s usually a 12 – 16mm space between the glass. This space is strategically designed to break down sound waves so the level of noise you hear will be reduced.
The windows are usually sealed off tight. Once sealed, the gaps between the glass panels are filled with argon gas. This gas also helps restrict sound waves so your home will be quiet.
Double glazing isn’t something you can do yourself. The acoustic performance of these windows won’t be effective if there are flaws in your design or leaks in your panels.
Double glazing can be pricey but it’s one of the best ways to soundproof your home or your office. Normal single-pane windows have an STC value of 30. This means loud speech can be understood on the other side of the room. Double glazed windows have an STC value of 41. This means that loud speech will barely be audible through the windows.
Consider Glass With High Acoustic Control
If the price of double glazing is too high, then you can try to replace your window glass with high acoustic control glass. When it comes to how to soundproof windows, there are quite a few different types of acoustic window panels available to achieve soundproofing results.
Acoustic laminated glass is designed with two sheets of glass that have acoustic film on the inside. The glass is pressed tightly together so you can still see easily. Sounds that travel through this type of glass are a lot quieter.
Acoustic glass can have several layers of glass panes and acoustic film. For extremely noisy neighborhoods, you can consider triple-layer acoustic glass. This type of glass is thicker and blocks out most of the sounds you hear coming from outside.
Acoustic control glass is a lot tougher compared to normal glass and can also protect your home from burglaries.
Build a Window Plug
If you need an affordable solution, then consider building a window plug. These window treatments are more affordable and are relatively easy to build. This can be a good temporary solution for your home or apartment.
Window plugs need to be designed with handles so you can easily install them in your windows or take them down during the day time.
To build a window plug, grab a sheet of wood. The wood sheet should be a bit larger than the window size. Install handles to the back of the wood. Next, you need to apply soundproof matting to the wood. A layer of acoustic foam can then be attached on top of the soundproof matting.
When you install this plug, the foam and matting will absorb all of the sounds that might come in from outside.
Hang Soundproof Curtains
Soundproof curtains act a lot like a window plug, but they can be much easier to install since you can hang them on your existing curtain rods. Soundproof curtains work much easier than a window plug and look much better than a sheet of wood and foam.
These curtains are designed to block out a lot of noise but they won’t solve loud noise problems. The curtains are made with quilted fiberglass panels. They’re a lot thicker than your average curtain and are much heavier. Where normal curtains will easily drape or drift in the wind, these curtains will lay flat due to their weight.
A lot of noise will be blocked out when the curtain lies flat against the window. Some sounds can, however, escape at the top and base of these curtains. Buyers often get curtains that are longer to try and overcome this issue.
When it comes to how to soundproof windows, soundproof curtains can be a good way to drown out some of the noise, but these window treatments won’t create a completely silent interior space.
Install Noise Reduction Blinds
Blinds are always a good alternative to curtains. Lots of people prefer blinds because they can give you more control over the amount of sunlight you let into your home. They’re multifunctional because they act as window treatments while creating a quiet interior space.
There are many different types of noise reduction blinds on the market. Some of these are much more effective than others.
Blinds with a honeycomb design are usually the best for blocking out street noises. This type of blind has cavities on the inside. Sound waves are blocked by the fiberglass materials of the blinds. The cavity inside also adjusts the sound wave so less noise can get into your home.
Seal Gaps in Your Window
Gaps around your window frame will let a lot of sound escape from your home. These gaps can also let in lots of sounds from outside. Before you start altering your windows you should properly insulate them.
Get foam or acoustic sealant and fill in any gaps around the window sill. If you fill these gaps, your interior space will be quieter and your home will be more insulated.
Cover Your Windows With Soundproof Blankets
Soundproof blankets can be a good temporary solution. Buy a soundproof blanket that is wider and longer than your window. You can secure the soundproof blanket to the wall so the entire window will be covered. Once covered, your interior space should be a lot quieter.
The only problem with soundproof blankets is that it might be hard to hang them if there are no hooks around your window to attach the blanket to, and it may not be the most aesthetically pleasing option out there.
Benefits of Soundproofing Your Windows
Learning how to soundproof windows is a great way to create a more comfortable living environment, but these treatments also have other benefits.
Here’s a quick look at some of the top benefits of soundproofing your home:
Better Sleep at Night
Noise pollution can keep you up all night. With soundproof windows, all of those street noises will be muted and you can get much better quality sleep.
Hear Yourself Think
The sound of noisy neighbors, barking dogs, crying children, and roaring engines can all be very distracting. These noises can affect your focus while trying to study or work. When your windows are nice and silent, you can concentrate better and get much more done.
Acoustically treated windows also stop noises from getting out of your home. Soundproofing enhances your privacy because no one can hear what you’re discussing with family members or colleagues in private. You can also enjoy more parties or watch your favorite shows at full volume without disturbing others.
All of the soundproofing solutions we’ve discussed in this guide are ideal for reducing your energy bill. Acoustic treatments insulate your home, and homes that are insulated require less energy for warming up during winter and cooling down in the summertime. This can save you a small fortune on energy.
Some soundproofing solutions, like double or triple acoustic glass, can make your home a lot safer. These types of windows are very thick and a lot harder to break into. With triple-layer glass panels, there’s usually no need to install window bars.
When it comes down to how to soundproof windows in the most effective way, double glazing is probably your best bet. Double and triple layer acoustic window glass is a close second that can also be very effective.
If you can’t afford these solutions, then the best way to drown out street noises is by installing soundproof curtains or soundproof blinds.
We hope that this guide helped you find a good way to block out unwanted noise pollution. No matter which method you choose, all of these concepts will make a huge difference in the intensity of the noises you hear.
If just soundproofing your windows isn’t enough to help you achieve your desired indoor sound levels, then it might be time to consider soundproofing your doors or walls, as well. Check out some of our other guides to find out how to soundproof other parts of your home.