Soundproof Windows Cost: Are They Worth the Price?
In a world that’s getting noisier every day, peace of mind is becoming more valuable — and yet harder to find. Whether it’s the city traffic outside your doorstep or the noisy freeway a hundred yards from your backyard, it can seem impossible to find a quiet place even within your own home. That’s where soundproofing comes in.
Soundproofing isn’t always a cheap remedy, but it is always a worthy one. Let’s review what soundproofing is, a few different soundproofing methods, and finally, which soundproofing method meets the best balance between staying under budget and getting the job done.
In order to answer that question, we need to examine what soundproofing is meant to protect against: noise pollution. Not as obvious as light pollution and not as scary as air pollution, noise pollution is easily overlooked as just another side effect of urban living. However, noise pollution poses significant health risks that should not be ignored.
Studies have shown that consistent loud noise can lead to increased stress and subsequent heart problems. According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), noise pollution causes sleep disturbances, cognitive impairment among children, and even tinnitus. We all know how just one bad night’s sleep can ruin a day, so imagine struggling to sleep every night due to noisy disturbances (if you’re reading this, you probably don’t have to imagine).
The windows of your home are the main vectors for noise pollution. A thin layer of glass can’t block out nearly as much sound as a brick wall or a roof.
One-time fixes like noise complaints might work for loud block parties or for the aspiring musician living on the floor above you, but you can’t file a noise complaint against an airport, garbage truck, or city traffic. At the end of the day, noise pollution isn’t going to go away anytime soon, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a solution. That’s where soundproofing comes into play.
What Is Soundproofing?
Soundproofing can be one of two things: keeping unwanted noises from getting inside your home or neutralizing the unwanted noises that are already inside your home. Respectively, these two different methods are sound reduction and sound absorption. Once you’ve determined which method you need, you can choose the best soundproofing materials to pair with the most effective method.
Sound reduction, the most popular goal, means keeping noise out. To achieve that goal, soundproofing your windows is the key, and there are three options.
- You can do a full replacement and install double-paned or even acoustic-grade glass and frames, but the process will be long, costly, and messy.
- You can install soundproofing curtains as a quick, extra layer over your existing windows, but this will reduce the amount of natural light that enters your home.
- You can install window inserts, a fast, easy method that is less invasive and costly.
All of these options are perfectly valid in terms of keeping the noise out, but they do have their drawbacks. Let’s go through them and compare their prices and efficacy.
Replacement Soundproof Windows
For many people, a full window replacement is one option that’s often suggested: just buy the best and forget the rest. However, assuming that you’re upgrading to double-panes, not counting installation, a full window replacement will cost up to $600-$800 dollars per window. And window replacement isn’t always the best option.
When factoring in installation, soundproof windows cost upwards of $1,000. Houses with non-standard windows can incur even higher prices for reinstallation because the replacement windows and frames will need to be custom-made. The good news is that, when all is said and done, you will have some sound cancellation for your home (though there are options that provide better soundproofing) — though your wallet will be much lighter.
Soundproof curtains are a tempting option for many homeowners. They satisfy that do-it-yourself crave, they’re easy to install, and they’re cheap, usually running in the $50-$200 range. Sound-canceling curtains are not nearly as effective as inserts or replacement windows in terms of blocking sound, but they are more versatile.
Soundproof curtains can be moved around the houses to trouble spots when needed. They can also be hung directly on the walls and function as sound absorbers. If you’re looking to put some padding between your daughter’s garage band and your home office, these just might do the trick.
The only big downside with curtains is that, well, they’re curtains. When they’re closed, they block out sound but also natural light. You can always open the curtains to let in more light, but then you’ll be letting in the sound, too.
Soundproof Window Inserts
Window inserts are the unsung heroes of soundproofing materials, and they’re very simple to install. As the name implies, you just insert them within the window frame behind the existing window pane. They can be moved in and out of position with ease, and certain brands like Indow offer up to 70%* sound reduction in addition to added insulation — saving you energy and money.
Window inserts are far cheaper than full-on replacement soundproof windows. They typically cost about $30 per square foot, equaling around $350-$450 per window, but they can be installed by the buyer and are easily measured to fit any frame in your home. Ultimately, window inserts are not a middle-of-the-road compromise, but a fusion of the adaptability of soundproof curtains with the soundproofing abilities of replacement windows.
If you are worried about the cost of a window insert, consider what you are willing to pay per day for the benefits of reduced stress levels and improved sleep. Divide the total cost of the window inserts by the time you spend in the space. And if you share the space with one or more people, divide by each person. The result is a tiny daily cost that greatly enhances your daily life and happiness.
You can also consider the overall value of your home. Homes with noise issues are much harder to sell (and sell for smaller amounts) than a home with noise controlling window inserts.
If you think installing window inserts is the right method for you, there’s no smarter or greener choice than Indow. We align our prices around the needs of our clients and the wellbeing of our employees. You can work with an Indow expert to review your environment and get solutions that will be effective for your specific space.
*We want to ensure our inserts help solve your noise problem. Overall noise reduction depends on the amount of noise coming through your walls, ceilings, floors, doors, and existing windows. Noise reduction will be less when placed over double-pane windows. Read our full Noise Reduction Sheet to learn more.
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Great product, well made. Helpful staff and great communication
The window fits perfectly and was easy enough to install by myself. It unfortunately does not reduce much noise, if any at all, from outside, that might be something for the more premium versions. I have noticed that it does help keep in warmth however which is nice.
They are wonderful and are keeping out the cold air this fall!
I love my Indow inserts! The installation was very simple and the Indow team helped me the entire way. I live near a busy road, an interstate, and an airport. Although not unbearable the noise from those aforementioned sources was noticeable (key word "was" :) ). I am so glad I found Indow because their inserts were affordable, not permanent, and easy to install. The Indow inserts significantly reduced the noise! I don't have official measurements but I'd say the inserts cut down at least 50% of the noise which is a huge improvement!
I am a 78-year-old woman and the windows in question are above two sliding glass doors. All 4 are almost 3'x4' in size. I had absolutely no problem ordering and installing them myself. The Indow rep I worked with initially answered all my questions. Indow helped all the way with the measurements, delivered the indows early, and provided detailed instructions on their installation. My only advice to potential customers is to measure thrice and order once. The key to successful inserts is a perfect fit - with the Indow-supplied laser, you can do it!
Great quality & service. Inserts are a good fit. Will be able to give better feedback after we have been hit by severe winter weather.
Great product, fit and finish was high quality. The difference of road noise was amazing. I rarel. Hear vehicles any more. Before it sounded like they were going to drive theough the wondow. Great invention!
The inserts weren’t too difficult to place and have made a huge difference in reducing outside highway noise. Love that they are barely noticeable once in place so don’t detract from the window view or appearance at all.
Wow! A company that is honest and transparent about their terrific product. Thank you! Received my window inserts this morning. They work well cutting road noise dramatically. Easy to install. But most of all doing business with them has been an uplifting pleasure. Warms my heart to see honest,dedicated people making the world a more peaceful place!
From start to finish, working with Indows has been a great experience. They made sure that the measurements I took were accurate so that the finished product fit perfectly. The Indows, definitely reduce the sound out on the street. In a small guest room inn our Inn in San Francisco, the need to open the window and air out rooms is a necessity so we will see how suitable the inserts are in the long run.
I am very grateful to have found and purchased Indow dor several problematic windows in my 1909 house. Wanting to retain the stained and other leaded design windows but making them more weather efficient, Indows solved the problem. I just popped them in and viola! Service was also terrific. I do have to adjust the seal occasionally on one of the picture windows but it is no problem.
Our 9-pane living room window was letting cold air in, so we purchases 9 Indow Window panels. They were fairly easy to install and have held up for a few years now. They make a huge difference in comfort in the living room. Great idea you had there!
The ordering process was smooth and easy. Window arrive we'll packed and clean. Installation was easy but the safety chains make no sense.
I work five nights a week and keep night hours on my days off, so having a pitch-black room is essential to my health and happiness. After reading some reviews I settled on the Indow sleep panels. My house was built in 1901. I have two bedroom windows that are about 6' tall and 3' wide. From the time I got in touch with Indow, through the measuring process, through the production and delivery of my inserts I felt like they were supportive. Reading the installation guide before their arrival was essential in preparing me for the process. I knew I'd need to install window brackets with a power drill and that unboxing the inserts might be a bit of a chore. This made the installation process smooth which I greatly appreciated. The inserts arrived a few hours after I'd worked through the night, so I was ready to get them installed in short order and get to sleep at a reasonable hour that day. As to their efficacy, the panels block all the light. The sound dampening isn't powerful, but I knew that going in as well. The inserts need to sit 4" from the glass for the full dampening effect and mine can only sit at about 2". There is a dampening effect, just not at the 50% noise reduction that they're capable of. The delivery service that shipped to my house didn't call to schedule the delivery as the instructions said they would. That's the only thing that didn't go according to plan, but I was home so it worked out. Other than that one thing, the panels perform as I hoped they would. I'm grateful for my dark room and my consistent deep sleep because of them. I would work with Indow again in the future.
We love our new inserts. All nine fit perfectly in our varied windows and now we can enjoy a warmer and quieter winter. Indow was fantastic to work with through the entire process. Thank you, Indow!