How to Soundproof a Window?

Don't Let The Noise In!

How to Soundproof a Window

Were you working and couldn’t focus because of that particularly annoying neighbor who likes to blast music in his house?

If yes, you have come to the right place. You may not know where to begin when it comes to soundproofing your windows. Insulating your windows yourself might be a way to save money if you’re a lover of DIY projects.

So, try these DIY window soundproofing methods to reduce those annoying sounds.

How Do You Soundproof an Existing Window?

How Do You Soundproof an Existing Window?

To begin soundproofing an existing window, you must first identify what kind of windows you have and the source of the noise coming through the window.

There are two kinds of windows:

  • Single pane
  • Double pane

Single-pane windows are constructed with a single layer of glass, whereas double-pane windows have two layers of glass, typically with a layer of argon or krypton gas between them.

Now that we have figured out what kind of windows we have let’s check where the noise comes from. There are several ways sound can penetrate the wall and window barrier. These ways include:

  • Transmission of ambient noise through the glass pane itself
  • Vibrational noise, also known as structure-borne noise, caused by rattling window frames
  • Noise seeping in (escaping) from the cracks all around the glass

Another thing to keep in mind is to assess the condition of your windows; if they are too far gone, you should consider installing new ones. For example, you can considerably reduce sound transmission by installing contemporary double or even triple-paned replacement windows or double-glazed windows in place of older single-paned windows.

Install Sound Curtains to Double Your Window’s Soundproofing Rating

Install Sound Curtains to Double Your Window's Soundproofing Rating

The first step in effectively soundproofing an existing window is determining how much sound the window is currently capable of keeping out. To illustrate, engineers and architects use a unit of measurement known as the Sound Transmission Class (STC) to evaluate the level of soundproofing provided by walls and windows. For example, you can expect an STC rating of around 28 to 32 from a standard double-pane window that utilizes single-strength glass with a thickness of 2 1/2 mil. When it comes to sound transmission, a window’s STC rating indicates how well it blocks off outside noise.

Installing soundproof curtains is a simple and efficient approach to increasing the window’s sound transmission coefficient by 26-29 STC. Acoustical air seals and sound-blocking materials are included in their proper installation, allowing you to enjoy some peace.

Seal Sound Leaks Around Windows

Seal Sound Leaks Around Windows

Following soundproofing, you should check for openings that might allow these noises to escape. Even the tiniest of cracks may damage sound-blocking, much as light-blocking. First, inspect the caulking around your window casing to see if it is missing.

  • Caulk, known as acoustical caulk, or green caulk, may be used to seal old windows.
  • You can install new weather strips in place of the old.

Strengthen the Area Surrounding the Existing Windows

Strengthen the Area Surrounding the Existing Windows

It is time to check for sound leaks in the foundation now that you have soundproofed the window against airborne sounds. However, if you are still dealing with a noise problem, structure carried sound may be the stealthy offender. 

You can stuff the area with expanding foam if you want. Because it can withstand some degree of movement without being cracked or broken, expanding foam is an excellent material for sealing wide gaps around windows. In addition, it has the potential to act as an effective moisture barrier between the brickwork and the window frame.

How to Soundproof a Window in an Apartment?

How to Soundproof a Window in an Apartment

Here are ways you can soundproof a window in an apartment:

Use Window Foam

Use Window Foam

It is one of the more economical options for DIY soundproofing for your windows, and it’s also known as a window plug.

You may reduce the noise in your home by fixing an acoustic foam pad inside your windows.

Foam soundproofing mats will attenuate part of the waves carried by sound, but they will also prevent light from passing through. Removing the foam and then putting it back in position is not difficult.

When it comes to soundproofing a house, foam is not the best choice. Additionally, it is unlikely that this will result in a discernible change to the sound. For example, the beauty of your interior might suffer if you have a foam sheet covering your lovely windows. However, it can be pretty distracting. To achieve harmony between the volume of the noise and the amount of light, you will need to add and delete them repeatedly.

In exceptional circumstances, such as a home recording studio, when every ounce of soundproofing matters, the momentary decrease in light may be worthwhile to get a marginal improvement in the level of outside noise reduction achieved.

Use Acoustic Sealant or Caulk

Use Acoustic Sealant or Caulk

Cracks and gaps around your windows, doors, and walls are common entry points for outside noise into your house. You may even spot cracks around borders, such as the seam where your window and wall come together.

If you haven’t sealed your windows properly, you’ll have acoustic problems even if you have a window treatment that cuts down on the amount of outside noise entering the room.

Look around for a particular kind of acoustical sealant. Traditional caulk will become brittle over time; however, acoustical caulk retains flexibility, and you can use it without degrading.

Install External Windows Designed for Storms

Install External Windows Designed for Storms

The installation of storm windows on the outside of your house is yet another alternative. Adding only one more pane of glass to each of your window panes will not only assist to reduce noise but will also improve the insulating properties of your windows.

All these factors determine the effectiveness of your storm windows in curbing sound: 

  • Thickness of the glass
  • Degree to which the frame needs to be sealed
  • Volume of air trapped  

As is the case when installing an acrylic or glass sheet on the inside, you want to ensure that your do-it-yourself project’s results are as similar to those of a professional as is humanly feasible, with higher-quality materials producing better outcomes.

Install Noise-Reducing Blinds or Shutters

Install Noise-Reducing Blinds or Shutters

The more material you can place between the location where the noise pollution is coming from and the interior space, the better the acoustic performance will be. The installation of any blinds will contribute to a reduction in the amount of noise.

Blinds with a unique honeycomb cell design are the most effective kind of window treatments for soundproofing. Additionally, their honeycomb architecture can capture more air, preventing it from entering space. Selecting ones that contain double cells will provide you with even more acoustic advantages.

Window coverings that reduce noise, such as insulating blinds and window shutters made of wood, are also good options. Because of its porous nature, wood is an excellent material for absorbing and damping sound. In addition, insulating blinds are constructed from a more substantial fabric, implying that they will perform better at obstructing sound passage.

How to Soundproof a Sliding Window?

How to Soundproof a Sliding Window

Make Use of a Pile Weatherstrip

Make Use of a Pile Weatherstrip

In the case of sliding windows, it is not as simple as placing a conventional foam weatherstrip since the act of opening or shutting the window may pull it out of place.

On the other hand, the weatherstrip is utterly useless if it is not sufficiently thick and if it does not produce a seal between the window and the frame of the window.

So, how do we go about dealing with this situation?

Because the bristles on a Pile weatherstrip like this one will bend when the window is closed, using one of these is the simplest solution to deal with this issue. In addition, the weather strip will not get ripped also. 

Before you buy the weatherstripping, make sure you know how much space you have between the window frame and the window itself, and then take the required measurements.

Installation Process:

  • To get accurate dimensions of the frame where the weatherstrip will be attached, measure from the top, bottom, and sides. Take measurements on both sides of the frame to get a perfect size.
  • It’s often not too difficult to remove sliding windows from their frames, so do that first if you want the installation process to go more smoothly.
  • To clean the inside wall of the frame, use rubbing alcohol.
  • First, attach the weatherstrip to the inside of the bottom frame. Then, continue to the sides and the top of the frame.
  • Reposition the window panels.

Installing a weatherstrip will not only reduce annoying sounds, but it will also keep the cold and the heat out throughout the winter and the summer. In addition, it will reduce the overall temperature loss within the house itself, which will reduce your monthly electricity bill.

You should be able to detect a significant decrease in noise if you were successful in doing this, and this alone may be sufficient in the majority of instances, at the very least.

If you feel that further soundproofing is still necessary, the following are a few additional procedures you may take.

Use a Window Insert

Use a Window Insert

Window inserts are, in essence, storm windows. However, unlike most storm windows, which are on the outer side of the window, window inserts are installed on the inside side.

These will generally need to be custom created to the dimensions of your window, and the way they function is for you to push them into the frame. When you do this, the inserts will form a tight seal around the window, preventing sound from penetrating.

A bit more expensive, but it’s a worthwhile investment in the long run! Additionally, you can quickly add and remove window inserts, adding to their versatility as a decoration option.

Pro Tip: The most valuable inserts are laminated glass.

Use a Soundproof Window Panel

Use a Soundproof Window Panel

Window panels that block and absorb sound waves are known as soundproof windows, customized according to your needs.

They are excellent because they include a thick piece of vinyl on the inside to block sound and some padding on the exterior to absorb even more sound.

They include grommets on the top to make installation more straightforward, and the rest of it is attached to the wall surrounding the window using velcro.

The biggest drawback is that these window panels will completely cover the window, making it impossible for light to enter. Fortunately, translucent vinyl panels are available, although they are not as effective.

How Much Does It Cost to Soundproof a Window?

How Much Does It Cost to Soundproof a Window

The cost of soundproofing windows varies greatly. For example, a professional may cost between $300 to $1,500 for one window; on the other hand, we can bring this cost down if we do the job ourselves.

  • Foam plugs: While they do not usually have an appealing appearance, foam plugs are effective. You may insert them into the frame of your window to provide an airtight finish that is also helpful in blocking out noise. The average price range is between $25 and $75 for each window.
  • Acoustic Caulk: Acoustic caulk, sometimes called acoustic caulk, is a flexible caulk that acts as a sound barrier; prices range anywhere from $15 to $100 for the job.
  • Shutters: Installing shutters is a way of soundproofing windows that is easy to install yourself and will provide a visual barrier between the inside of your house and the outside world. Most home improvement businesses have shutters. Installing soundproof shutters ranges from $70 to $350 per window.
  • Curtains: Curtains that lessen echoing and absorb sound are known as sound dampening curtains. This kind of curtain creates an environment that is less noisy overall. The thickness of these curtains determines the price, which ranges from $20 to $400.

Final Words

No matter which approach you use to soundproof windows, you will successfully lessen the amount of unwanted noise from the outside by using the above methods. Still, some strategies are more effective than others.

All in all, the best alternatives to block bothersome noise include window plugs, storm windows, plexiglass sheets, and complete window replacements.

We recommend you begin by attempting the less invasive alternatives and then go on to the more involved ways only if the former fail to solve the problem. And remember that combining several approaches is the key to the peace you want.

You can also look at ways to soundproof your ceiling and your door to get your perfect noise-free abode.