In this blog post, we will talk about “how to soundproof a window”, 11 ways to soundproof a window. This covers topics such as the cost of soundproofing a window, energy efficiency of insulated windows, and an 11-step guide to soundproof a window effectively.
How to Soundproof a Window?
You can easily soundproof a window in these 11 popular ways;
- Seal The Gaps with Acoustic Caulking
- Hang Sound Dampening Curtains
- Add Weatherstripping Tape
- Use Soundproof Window Inserts
- Cover Windows with Soundproof Blankets
- Add Acoustic Window Panels
- Install Window Shades or Blinds
- Soundproof with Window Foams
- Add Exterior Window Shutters
- Add Interior Window Shutters
- Insulate with Acoustic Grade Glass
Techniques to Soundproof a Window
There are two common techniques to soundproof a window; the Sound reduction and sound absorption. Both these techniques effectively insulate the room yet, their use cases differ from one another.
Before making the final selection, it is important to determine whether you need sound-absorbing or soundproofing products. Sometimes, both these products are used in conjunction to provide premium sound insulation.
Sound travels through a medium in the form of waves and vibrations. Air sealing and insulation materials are used to absorb these vibrations and damp the sound intensity.
This technique is mainly used if you desire to reduce the extent of echo and reverberation being produced in a room. Echo can amplify a simple sound into high intensity and cause a nuisance.
Sound absorption materials function by adding a layer of sound-absorbent products on windows, walls, floorings, and ceilings to stop the reverberation of sound in the room.
Sound Reduction or Soundproofing
Sound reduction or soundproofing implies the reduction of unwanted noise coming from the outdoors. Soundproofing the windows help cut down traffic noises and other disturbing outdoor noises.
So, if you need to cut down the reverberation of sound being generated indoors, use sound-absorbing products. If you want to reduce the external sounds coming from the outdoors, use soundproofing.
How much Does it Cost to Soundproof a Window?
An average window insert by CitiQuiet for a 15 square-foot window costs around $1,000. This price includes both the material and installation costs. This price could soar upwards if higher insulation is desired and can be reduced to some extent if the need to insulate is minimum.
On the other hand, customized insulated windows usually cost around $10,000 per window. This is only the custom-cut material cost, excluding the installation charges.
A renowned architect named Rui Ponte once quoted a price of $250,000 for a triple-pane insulated window with laminated glass. He designed this window for a home over 6,000 square-foot. Located nearby the airport, the purpose of the window was to cut down the airplane noise.
What is the Difference between Energy-Efficient Windows and Sound-Blocking Windows?
Many people live in misconception over these two window types. Sound-blocking windows are not energy-efficient, and energy-efficient windows don’t block sound.
Energy-efficient windows have low-E coatings and a cavity filled with a noble gas to cut down the heat transfer and augment energy efficiency.
On the other hand, sound-blocking windows use a laminated glass of high thickness and entail massive air gaps between the glass layers to deaden noise.
It is possible to make a soundproof insulated window energy-efficiency by adding an external coating. However, it is not relatively easy to transform energy-efficient windows into sound-blocking windows.
11 Ways to Soundproof a Window
Soundproofing a window doesn’t necessarily have to be a professional’s job when you know these 11 ways to do it yourself.
Seal The Gaps With Acoustic Caulk
The simplest, easiest, and one of the most effective ways to soundproof a window is by sealing the cracks and air gaps with acoustic caulk. It is a great sealant that is easy to use and lasts for years.
The sound usually uses these small pathways to enter the house and no matter the degree of insulation used, leaving these gaps open spoils all the investment and the efforts.
Hang Sound Dampening Curtains
Sound canceling or sound dampening curtains are commonly used in conjunction with other soundproofing techniques. These thick curtains aim to reduce the echo effect in the house and cut down the reverberation of noise from solid surfaces such as walls, windows, and doors.
These curtains don’t entirely block the noise or make the room soundproof, but they help in enhancing the efficiency of other soundproof decor elements. Above all else, these curtains are pleasing to the eye and are a nice addition to modern homes.
These curtains are the same as other curtains and all you need are good solid side supports to support the weight of these thick curtains. As a plus, they also restrict the passage of light.
Add Weatherstripping Tapes
Weatherstripping tapes are effective in curtailing the energy waste and also stop noise leakage. Available in tons of different materials, silicone, rubber, and foam tapes are most commonly used.
The adhesion of these tapes differs from one another and the material selection is mainly based on the type of friction. As titled weatherstripping tapes, their function is to sustain weather exposure and provided desired insulation.
Installing these hardly takes half-an-hour and all you need to do is clean the surface, cut the tapes to the desired length, and apply the strips across the window borders and joints.
Use Soundproof Window Inserts
If the need to insulate is high then you can certainly try using soundproof window inserts. Placed over the interior side of the window, these inserts are simple sliding panes whose purpose is to restrict the passage of outdoor noise into the home.
These inserts are usually installed by professionals and function the same way as a highly efficient and properly-installed soundproof kit does. However, efficiency is hard to achieve when using DIY soundproofing kits and that’s where inserts come into play.
Cover Windows with Soundproof Blankets
A soundproof blanket is an alternative to soundproof curtains and functions the same way. Their efficiency lacks a little as compared to curtains, yet still, forms a viable option.
You can try many DIY tricks to cover your window with these blankets and all you need is a way that looks not-so-odd and fulfills the basic insulation need.
Use Acoustic Window Panels
An acoustic window panel is another option from the family of curtains and blankets. The only difference is that they are even heavier and thicker. Designed solely for sound insulation purposes, these panels use their mass to block maximum noise.
These panels are built with fiberglass and a layer of quilted-blanket-like material to make them a complete sound barrier. Additionally, their functionality is high and can be used to restrict two-way noise passage.
Provided with four brass grommets, these panels are easy-to-install and can be hanged on nails or hooks. One key consideration to keep in mind is to always place them as closer to window panes as possible to reduce the cavity and enhance efficiency.
Install Window Shades and Blinds
One of the simplest, fastest, and easiest ways to insulate or soundproof the windows is by using thick shades or blinds. Similar to other options like curtains and blankets, these shades cut down noise to a great extent.
There are many unique window shades of varying composition available and cordless single cell shades with honeycomb composition is one of my personal favorites.
Soundproof Window Foams or Plugs
Installing DIY soundproof window plugs is one fun, easy, and effective way to insulate your home windows. You can even build these plugs at home. Easy to apply and simple to remove, these plugs can be used on an as-and-when basis.
Exterior Window Shutters
Using window shutters is a cheap, effective, and simple soundproofing technique. Besides providing privacy, these shutters do also provide sound insulation.
Exterior shutters are commonly used in places where there’s a great need to protect the windows from unpredictable weather. Besides this, they also provide good sound insulation.
Interior Window Shutters
Interior window shutters function the same way as exterior shutters but are not weatherproof. In these shutters, aesthetics holds greater value than weather-resistance as they become a part of interior decor.
Add An Extra Laminated or Acoustic Grade Glass
Another option that you can use to soundproof the windows is simply by adding an extra layer of laminated or acoustic-grade glass. Doing so makes complete sense if you desire to restrict the outdoor noise and yearn for high-end insulation.
It is important to only use the right type of glass as simply adding a standard glass over another won’t do the trick. A simple way to add an extra glass pane is by using special magnets that hold the panes firmly together.
However, it gets even easier to install the extra glass pane by using soundproofing kits. These kits have all the tools and materials you need to soundproof a window except the pane itself and a screwdriver.
In this blog post, we discussed the top 11 ways to soundproof a window. We also shed a light on the cost of soundproofing the windows, the difference between energy-efficient and sound-blocking windows, and some common queries.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): How to Soundproof a Window?
How can I make my windows soundproof?
The first thing you need to do to make the windows soundproof is sealing the air gaps around the window borders. An acoustic sealant or insulation foam can be used to seal these air gaps.
Insulation is the key to perfectly soundproofing a window. To increase insulation, you can also add a thick layer of insulation tape on the bottom and at the joint of the sill and window.
How can I soundproof my windows cheaply?
There are certainly a few cheap ways to soundproof your windows. Here’s what you can do;
- Rearranging Home Furniture
- Using Soundproof curtains
- Sealing Cracks and Crevices in the windows frame
- Using soundproof blankets
- Try installing thick blinds and shades
- Using acoustic panels
- Adding double layers of glass
- Using DIY window plugs
How can I reduce noise from outside?
Yes, you can easily reduce noise from the outside by following these simple steps;
- Seal cracks and crevices in your house walls
- Cover cracks near ventilation grates and electrical sockets.
- Replace hollow-core doors with solid-core doors
- Replace or reinforce windows with insulated glass
- Insulate the home ceiling and walls
What Do You Mean By Soundproof Windows?
Soundproof windows are simply noise-reduction windows or sound-blocking windows. Their function is to block unwanted outdoor noise penetration or indoor noise reverberation from the indoors.
A good soundproof window can effectively restrict up to 95% of noise. These windows have STC ratings as a measure of their insulation characteristics. The minimum STC rating for a soundproof window is 45. Soundproof windows with STC rating around 50 blocks up to 95% of unwanted noise.
What are the best soundproof windows?
These are the seven best soundproof window types and materials;
- Laminated Glass Windows
- Fiberglass-Framed Windows
- Double-Insulated Windows
- Soundproof Curtains
- Acoustic Panels
- Noise-Reducing Blinds
- Insulated Vinyl Frames