The city of Chicago is known for its architecture, history and some extreme weather — and the Windy City is one of the largest in the United States. Chicago is home to a variety of classic and trendy apartments and homes, and these living spaces have something in common: they require a specific amount of soundproofing to keep the home comfortable.
In large, noisy cities, a quiet home can become a sanctuary for weary homeowners — but the older home designs and bustling streets of Chicago can make that a challenge. Here’s how to design your home so that it’s a space of comfort and quiet, even if you live near the busy streets of Chicago.
Why Should I Soundproof My Windows?
“The Chicago region is a very urbanized landscape,” Chris Mulvaney, manager of restoration programs at Chicago Wilderness, told the Chicago Tribune. “There are a lot of artificial sounds that we’re exposed to on a daily basis.”
Despite the aesthetics of the beautiful old homes and buildings in Chicago, classic designs come with a lot of maintenance to keep them looking beautiful. Older windows often have drafts leading to the loss of insulation and energy efficiency. In high-traffic cities, these windows can also make it difficult to keep out external noise.
And in a metropolis like Chicago, there are several kinds of noises that residents and visitors often encounter:
• Construction: As of March 2022, there were 116 permits issued for new construction projects in Chicago. The building industry is busy these days, and that can make things loud for anyone living or working near a job site.
• Outside traffic: For apartment dwellers and homeowners on main thoroughfares, the sound of cars, buses and pedestrians nearby can easily infiltrate the home.
• Airports and public transit: If you live near an airport or train stop, you’ll also likely hear noises that can be disruptive. From planes overhead to foot traffic, living near these busy transportation spaces gets loud.
Living in one of the noisiest cities in the country means that homeowners and apartment renters often struggle to find peace and quiet. A noisy home can mean losing a good night’s sleep and have an impact on your mental health.
But there are a few ways you can design a quieter and more comfortable indoor environment.
What to Consider: Soundproofing Your Home
When you live in an urban area as busy as Chicago, ensuring your home is a haven is a must. There are a few things to consider about soundproofing and strategies first, so you determine the best method forward.
Repairing or replacing old windows can be risky and might come with some challenges. If you live in a historic home or neighborhood, there are building codes and other restrictions that dictate the type of window design you’re allowed. If you’re stuck with single-pane windows because of these requirements, you’ll need to find a way to reduce outside noise.
When homeowner Scott had to find a soundproofing solution for the windows in his older home, he considered buying thicker, single-paned windows. But replacing windows can be cost-prohibitive for many homeowners and isn’t always the best solution for insulation. “Why am I going to spend all this money to get nominally better windows when we can renovate these existing windows?” Scott said.
Another hurdle that comes with repairing window units (or replacing them) is the installation. If you have a home with multiple stories or don’t have the right tools, you’ll likely need some assistance. Window installations are best handled by professionals to lessen the risk of damage or injury.
But you’ll have to wait to start the project: building and remodeling projects, including window installations, are in high demand these days, and a replacement can only be scheduled when the weather is favorable.
“If your goal is to keep your home well insulated, it does no good to replace just a few windows — you’ve got to do them all. You can imagine how costs add up when you realize how many windows you have!” writes Oliver Harriett for Bob Vila.
There’s good news, however! There are effective and affordable ways to improve the comfort of your indoor environment, even if you live in a noisy, busy city like Chicago.
Alternatives for Soundproofing Windows in Chicago Homes
For older apartments, historic homes and houses that need soundproofing, window inserts offer a great alternative to window repair and replacement. Window inserts give historic homes an additional layer of insulation from outdoor noise, and offer a few other benefits:
• Installation of window inserts can be handled by the homeowner or tenant. It’s a simple process and won’t require special tools or equipment.
• Window inserts provide a seal over older single-pane windows, for better energy efficiency and insulation of the home.
• Indow window inserts reduce outside noise by at least 50% when placed over an operable single-pane window, and the acoustic grade product reduces noise by up to 70%.
Window inserts are an effective and budget-friendly option for homeowners everywhere, but especially for Chicago residents who need a soundproofing solution for their homes in the Windy City.
Designing a Quieter Chicago Home
For homeowners who don’t have the time or money to spend on replacement windows, window inserts from Indow offer a highly effective and long-term solution for soundproofing.
In the large, lovely and loud metropolis of Chicago, homeowners need a way to protect their homes from excessive outside noise and distraction. Using Indow window inserts offer effective soundproofing, as well as insulation and energy efficiency for a comfortable home.
Indow offers homeowners everywhere affordable and easy-to-use window inserts that improve under-performing windows and indoor spaces.