If you live in a noisy neighborhood with bars and clubs near your home, you probably struggle with getting anything done.
Soundproofing the walls can have minimal effect if you don’t also soundproof the windows.
If you work from home or you’re a student, a noisy neighborhood can be a problem. You’ll either struggle to work, study or get any sleep at all. For this reason, it’s essential to consider soundproofing the walls and windows.
Wondering how to soundproof a window?
We’ve got you covered in this post!
Why you shouldn’t forget the window soundproofing
Windows are the weakest points of the wall since they are thin. This is the main reason why most sound can get through as easily. Regardless of how much you soundproof your walls, the noise will always find the way in through the windows.
Even if you treat the walls, you’ll still hear barking, yelling, honking, etc. This is why you should also treat the windows.
Though you should always try and eliminate the source of the noise, sometimes it’s impossible.
If it’s a busy and noisy street, then there’s pretty much nothing you can do about it other than soundproof your home.
More so, you might not even have to soundproof the walls once you secure the windows.
How to soundproof a window cheaply
Luckily, there are several methods you can do yourself.
Each method provides different results since some are more effective than others.
Those that are harder to do usually also give the best results so that’s something you should keep in mind. Final results depend on the kind of noise you’re dealing with, too.
Continue reading to learn about the best ways to soundproof windows. We’ll cover some of the best and easiest ways of securing the windows that you can do yourself.
1. Use your furniture
The first and easiest technique is to rearrange the furniture in the noisiest room.
Some rooms let in lots of noise which then bounces around and produces an echo.
Have you noticed how are empty rooms always much louder than other furnished areas of your home? This is because the sound bounces off the flat and hard surfaces.
If you have a large window, try and place some furniture under and around it. The more you do, the less hard surface will remain for the sound to bounce off of.
However, keep in mind that this isn’t always as effective. It all depends on the level of noise as well as the size of your window. But since it’s a free technique, you won’t lose anything by at least trying.
2. Check for the gaps
Gaps are always a problem regardless of what you’re trying to soundproof. Almost every house has many gaps and cavities around the windows, and it’s where the sound can get right trough.
Sometimes you won’t be able to spot them at first glance, and you’ll have to inspect the area closely.
By just filling these gaps you can significantly reduce the level of noise coming in from the outside. You’ll be surprised to see how many tiny gaps there are around your windows.
One of the ways to treat them is by using acoustic caulk.
The material is quite easy to use and durable, so you won’t have to do it again anytime soon. However, make sure to opt of acoustic caulk or other green glue alternatives instead of regular as it’s more flexible and it won’t crack.
Weatherstripping tape is another popular alternative. It’s effective in reducing noise as well as energy waste and leakage.
The tape comes in many different forms, and you can choose between silicone, foam, rubber and many more.
Choose the tape that suits your needs the best. Consider the friction, exposure to different weather conditions, as well as aesthetics. This technique takes about 30 minutes and is relatively affordable.
3. Soundproof curtains
Before you get on with any time-consuming DIY projects to silent your windows, you should consider these curtains.
However, this technique won’t help much if you’re dealing with lots of noise. In most cases, it’s best you use them in combination with other methods.
These are thick and ideal to reduce the echo. Also, because they are so large, thick and heavy, they look quite nice hung on the wall.
You probably won’t be able to block all the noise coming from the outside, but you’ll notice it reduced significantly if you pair it with another soundproofing technique.
You can only gain with these since they reduce the echo, are aesthetically pleasing and give quite a cozy feel to every interior.
4. Soundproof blankets
Much like curtains, blankets can do very little on their own. They have a similar effect which is why it’s best you combine them with other soundproofing methods.
These are the blankets we see professional movers use to wrap up furniture, so it doesn’t get damaged in the moving process.
People have started using them for soundproofing because they’re made of dense materials such as polyester, woven cotton, mineral wool, and fiberglass.
There are many to choose from, but it’s recommended you go for the ones that feature grommets. These are easier to hang as you can just use a curtain rod or hooks.
Cheaper versions usually don’t have grommets so you’ll have to nail them to the wall maybe. Either way, you’ll quickly notice the difference.
5. Make a plug
Soundproof window plug is an effective way to get rid of the noise, but it also has a few negative sides. It’s a fun project that also won’t take much of your time.
Most people opt for this method because it’s highly effective in blocking the noise while you don’t have to tamper with the window itself.
Such efficiency usually requires messing with the actual window, which is why this method stands out among the others.
What you do is build a separate plug from dense foam on a wooden board. You should also install some handles that would make the use much easier.
Its foamy surface absorbs and slows down the sound so you’ll notice a considerable difference the first moment you use them.
Another benefit is its convenience since you can choose when to use the plug. Putting them up is easy, and you can always take them down afterward.
It’s a method that gives you control over how and when you apply it. It’s essentially adding mass to your windows, but temporary. The negative side is the obvious blockage of light.
Every time you put the plugin, you’ll end up in the total dark regardless of the time of the day.
6. Add more glass or acrylic
This is a real DIY project, but it’s a bit time-consuming and costly.
It requires attaching glass or acrylic on the inside of the window. This is one of the most effective Do It Yourself methods of soundproofing the windows, but it requires some skill.
Also, you can’t just add any glass since it has to be a special kind. Laminated and acoustic grade are the best choices.
You have to be careful when applying the extra layer. It has to hug the window tightly otherwise the project will have little effect.
It’s best you build a new frame made of metal so you can attach magnets to it to hold the glass layer.
This is essentially the same thing as adding a plug, but you’ll get to keep the daylight. It’s more aesthetically pleasing and easier to clean.
However, the materials are more expensive as is the overall installation. It’s a good way to reducing the noise on demand.
7. Acoustic panels
These are very similar to the curtains we’ve talked about before. Still, the acoustic panels are quite heavier and bulkier which is why they’re a bit better when it comes to reducing the noise.
Since more mass means less noise, these panels are a better choice if you’re looking to cancel annoying sound from the outside.
Most panels are made of quilted fiberglass which makes them a great sound barrier. It stops the sound and prevents it from entering the room through the window.
You’ll notice a significant difference the very first time you install them since they absorb on both sides.
These have brass grommets, so installation isn’t as tricky. In most cases, you can hang them on nails or different hooks but make sure you keep them close to the actual windows. The closer they are, the more effective they’ll be.
Though it’s a bit pricey technique when compared to others, it’s still cheaper than installing completely soundproof windows. Also, they don’t look quite as pretty as soundproofing curtains.
If you’re looking for a visually appealing solution, this isn’t one. One way to go around this is adding curtains on top of the acoustic panels.
If you don’t care about aesthetics as much, you’ll be impressed with its effectiveness and overall soundproofing abilities.
8. Add thick shades
Shades and blinds are another quite simple solution. Much like curtains, they cannot block sound completely but will reduce it to a minimum. The best is to combine the method with another more heavy-duty technique.
The installation is easy and doesn’t take much time or effort. Since we’re talking about blinds, it’s also important to mention their great ability to keep the light out.
You can use them as any out shades and blinds for more privacy.
If you can choose, make sure to get the ones with a honeycomb composition. These are the thickest and best when it comes to reducing the noise from the outside.
9. Consider double-pane windows
This is something you have to think about carefully since it’s one of the most expensive methods. Consider how much noise you’re dealing with and if this is the only way to keep it at a fair level.
You might not need to spend as much money if your noisy neighbor plays loud music only occasionally. But if you live near a construction site or a loud factory, then it’s something worth considering.
Multi-pane windows will block out the noise for sure. Not only they reduce the noise by 50%, but they also do great in terms of thermal isolation.
These help keep your place warm during winter and cold during summer.
However, this is something you can’t do yourself. You want to make sure it’s done professionally because every gap and crack will reduce its soundproofing abilities. You’ll spend lots of money on the windows, so don’t let it go to waste.
10. Block the window
The last thing you should consider is completely blocking the window. If the noise coming from the outside is too loud and unbearable, you might have to block the whole window.
The methods above are different in efficiency so some will be more effective than others. But what to do if none of them works?
Blocking the entire window is a big step as windows have many benefits. They allow us to let in the fresh air and sunlight. They might even provide a good view outside. For this reason, think of your pros and cons and whether the noise is as loud to call for such dramatic decision.
Before you try any of the techniques above, make sure to prepare the window and the surface around it.
If you’ve decided to add caulk, you have to clean and dry the area so the material can stick to it properly. This goes for every method. Clean all the areas you’ll treat before you add the soundproofing material.
If you opt for some of the projects that require more skills, it’s recommended you consult a professional.
Sometimes, hiring a contractor can help a great deal especially if you think you don’t have enough skill. Instead of taking the risk, you should consider having a professional help you.
It’s also recommended you take small steps towards your desired result. Go slow and apply the easiest techniques first.
Then you can go towards biggest projects if you notice that none of the simpler ones have an effect and the noise is still disturbing your day to day life.