People seeking refuge from a noisy world are increasingly soundproofing their windows. Here’s why: if you can hear noise from outside, it’s likely coming through your windows since sound vibrations pass easily through glass. Also, noise slips in through cracks in drafty windows. Maybe you hear construction, traffic or sirens, but it’s affecting your quality of life. Relaxing after work isn’t as easy as it should be. You find yourself trying to mask the noise with music or just feeling . . . weary.
Before you tackle your noise problem by soundproofing your windows, it’s important to understand two things. There’s window sound reduction, which is about stopping the sound from entering your home in the first place. And sound absorption, which stops the reverberations of sounds that do get in.
Soundproofing Existing Windows
Sound reduction involves stopping noise from entering your space. If air can get in through the cracks in your windows, so too can noise. But soundproofing windows is possible.
Caulk cracks in the parts of your windows that don’t move on both the interior or exterior of the frame. Here is a good primer from the U.S. Department of Energy on caulking tips. Weatherstrip the movable parts of your windows with this useful resource on weatherstripping.
For more involved air sealing on older, historic windows, you can check out this 9 step guide from This Old House that involves dismantling the window.
Sound dampening curtains or drapes can help reduce outside noise from penetrating too. These block and your view light but are helpful at night when you want darkness and quiet.
Window inserts that install on the inside of your window frames are one of the most cost effective ways to soundproof existing windows. Indow Acoustic Grade window inserts will reduce up to 70% of the noise coming through operable single-pane windows and up 50% of noise coming through double-pane windows*. They are edged with silicone compression tube to block drafts and are easy to install. You just press the inserts into place in the window frames. If you want to soundproof an office or home, they’re an effective solution. Not only do they quiet noise, they make homes and offices more comfortable and energy efficient.
*Please note the 70% sound deadening performance is based on tests where Indow Acoustic Grade inserts were placed over operable single-pane windows. When placed over operable double-pane windows, Acoustic Grade inserts reduce noise by up to 12 dBA, equivalent to a 50%+ reduction in noise and an STC rating of 42 to 45. Overall sound reduction depends on sound coming through your ceiling, floors, walls and doors. Indow inserts are not recommended to reduce noise coming through laminated double- or triple-pane windows.