After moving to a new apartment, in a very noisy neighbourhood, I got to realise just how much noise can come in through doors and windows. Noise pollution and noise reduction became two phrases I began researching often. Figuring out ways to reduce noise was important to me as I often work from home, not to mention the long sleepless nights and countless headaches.
So I thought, how can I make my windows soundproof? Over the next few weeks, I dedicated my time to researching ways to soundproof my windows. After a lot of research, I figured that I would need to soundproof my doors and windows for the optimal benefit. I then identified 12 ways to make my windows soundproof.
The window is also arguably the weakest spot on the wall.
I started researching on how to soundproof my windows and was able to find a lot of information on how to do it from a number of different sources. If you are experiencing a similar problem to mine, just read on, as I have written out the steps I learnt when dealing with my windows and have a list of tips listed below on the best ways to soundproof windows.
Getting Soundproof Windows
1. Start by Fixing any Obvious Gaps or Cracks
Believe it or not, noise can waft in even from the most insignificant gap anywhere on your wall. Most windows usually have spaces around the edge depending on how they were installed. You should take out time to inspect any gaps around your windows and try sealing them. I think this should be the first thing you try.
All you need to seal any gaps you find is an adhesive sealant. This option is also reasonable cost-wise and would not cost much for you to try it. I found a highly rated sealant on Amazon when I explored this option. You should check out this adhesive as this should work out just fine and might be all you need. This sealing strip is great as it is waterproof, soundproof, and durable.
2. Thick Material Blinds Would Save You Some Noise
If blinds are your thing, you should opt for one that is thick as this can help minimise the noise that may come in through your window. These should also lessen echoes in your room and help restore a feeling of calm and quiet. You can check out the Calyx Interiors Cordless HoneyComb. These should work great and they are easy to cut and install.
If you are also big on décor, these can add more style to your room. I also advise you get this particular one as it is thicker than most of the shades you will find. Although they won’t entirely block all the noise that may come in through your window, they can be a great help and installing them will take you little or no effort.
You can also do this alongside some of the other options mentioned below.
3. If Thick Material Blinds Don’t do it, You Can Get Soundproof Curtains
These work like the options mentioned above, they are also not complete noise blockers, but they block out some noise. These curtains are great as they can also act as light blockers. If you’d like to live out your vampire fantasy and at the same time enjoy the joy of your personal space, you should get some thick soundproof curtains.
They also help with sound deadening the echoes in your room. You can get one that flows from top to bottom and this way, you can conceal any other seals you put in around your window. With curtains like this, you can peacefully sleep without having to worry about noise or sun rays waking you up.
These soundproof thermal curtains are bound to give your room an overall feeling of privacy and peace. I would advise you pair this with any other option mentioned here for the best result.
4. A Barrier Panel is a Great Option Too!
This contains acoustic foam and works by absorbing unwelcomed noise and their reflections. These come in different sizes. You should look out for one that goes well beyond the surface of your window and that allows easy flow of air. If your neighbours are much noisier than regular folks, you should consider getting double panels. You can check out this barrier panel on Amazon.
You could also go for acoustic panels to help with sound deadening, but these are quite heavy. However, the heavier it is, the less noise you’ll have to deal with. These contain quilted fibreglass and can block sound and do not let any sound come through them.
They also have brass grommets on the edges for easy hanging. On the downside, these are pricey and are not so good to look at. The Singer Safety Fiberglass Panel on Amazon should be perfect.
5. Making Your Own Simple DIY Soundproof Window Plug
These are window inserts which you can make yourself with objects ranging from a sponge or foam to any other material that might work. This is supposed to make your window airtight and as we know, if you have an airtight window, you’ll be less likely to encounter noise filtering in from the window.
This can be a temporary soundproofing solution as they can be inserted and removed whenever you feel like it. Making a plug is very easy. All you have to do is cut the material in use to about an inch (if your windows are small) larger than your window so they can fit comfortably on them. You can use soundproofed matting and acoustic foam for your plug too. For wider windows, you may have to create a frame first where the foam can rest on.
It is very important to measure your window first before you cut out your plug. Frames are not necessary for smaller windows, but it is advisable to have one anyway. This process will cost you little to nothing and with this, you’ll be able to control when and how much quiet you get.
6. Adding an Extra Layer of Glass or Acrylic to the Window
Although you can do this yourself, it might need your dedicated time and effort. You may also need to get a window soundproofing kit. This option is very effective but it must be done with laminated or acoustic glass to get any results. When adding this extra layer, you should ensure that it sticks to the window very smugly.
Adding an acrylic layer lessens the sound that may filter in from your window. To do this, a metal window needs to be made available on your original window first. You will also need magnets as they are what will help the acrylic stay put on your existing window.
Although adding an extra layer of glass or acrylic takes time and effort to install, they can be taken down and cleaned and they also keep the light in as they are transparent.
7. Window weatherstripping
If the outside noise coming in your window is a problem that you’re not willing to spend much on to solve, you can comfortably try weatherstripping for the window. Installing soundproof weatherstripping tape on your window is another means to lessen the noise that can come in from your window. Whether you decide to produce these tapes yourself or buy some, the result will undoubtedly be the same.
You should also consider certain things like how tapes will look on your window and weather exposure generally. You should check out the Closed-cell Foam Tape as I find these to be great for this fix. You can also explore other materials that you can use. The actual process of the taping is easy and won’t take much of your time and that is just ideal, as you should be saving your time for all the peaceful sleep you’ll be getting after doing this.
8. Covering Your Windows with Soundproof Blankets
This works the same way that curtains do in soundproofing windows. Also, like curtains, they do not entirely prevent noise from coming in but can lessen the degree of noise that filters in. These may seem like they won’t work but you should know that they do because of what they are made of.
Moving blankets contain materials like fibreglass and they are what movers wrap important stuff with to avoid damages while moving. Now, these blankets are very stuff and as we know, thick objects can help bounce off most sounds. These blankets come with grommets too!
Less work for you as you could simply hang them on the windows either with a curtain rod or any other suitable tool. I would advise you to spend that extra dime on one with grommets as they are pricier. You can also get a cheaper one without grommets but this will mean you’ll have to find a way to install them. You could nail them on the wall but this could ruin the wall.
Most importantly, blocking out that neighbour whose stereo never goes off should motivate you to do either of the two installations.
9. Using Film to Soundproof Your Window
If you have pane windows, then this is another window insert option. Unlike other window inserts, you won’t need an added layer of glass. The way this is used is more or less like a sticker. I’d advise you to go for vinyl window film. You install these the very same way you’d use a sticker as they come with a self-adhesive side as well.
A wise thing to do will be to take in to account the size of your window before getting one of these. Not to worry though, when you peel off and place the film on your glass and they are too large for your window, you can simply make them sizable with a knife or some cutter. Although using film won’t make all the possible noise go away, they prevent some and they also help with cracks or vibrations.
If you’d prefer a coloured film rather than a transparent one, there are a range of options available for you to pick from. For added results, you could use acoustic caulk with this.
10. You Could Block the Entire Window
As far as hatchet DIY window jobs go, this is right up there. Before you do this though, you should know that you won’t be getting much light through those windows after this. This works very effectively though and for little cash, you could get the insulation panels which you’ll need to carry this out. After doing this, there will be no space left on your window.
You should also try to get one that will fit your window perfectly. Also, they don’t look great but you could fix this easily with a fancy curtain and considering the quiet era that will follow, I think the look of it won’t be a big deal to you.
If, like the rest of us, you would however rather have your usual dose of sunlight, you should consider one of the many other options.
11. Replace Windows with Double glazing or triple-glazed Windows
First, you should know that this will mean spending some real cash. The good part is that with these, you stand to enjoy more benefits. Windows with multiple panes are known to effectively lessen the noise that can come into or go out of your room through your window.
Interestingly, they’ll keep your room cool during summertime and relatively warm in wintry days and this means you’ll most likely spend less on energy. Since you’ll be spending so much to get these you should consider having a professional window installer do the job.
It is also important that during the installation, every gap or opening around the window should be properly closed as the smallest space means that noise would still find its way in.
12. Removing the Window Completely
This is the most drastic step to take. If your neighbours are simply impossible to bear, this might be the final option for you. Before you do this though, you should take out time to think it through and probably consult with someone else.
Windows are not just fancy features that come with buildings as they are made for particular purposes. Besides letting air in, your windows can help provide a great view often. If you’re considering removing your window, you should consider what it will be like without one. There are quiet fans you can use but not much will take the place of being able to open your windows if needed.
If you, however, think that this is the only option that will work, you simply need to begin by taking off your current window, this will leave an open space which you will have to fill. You can then finish up by installing some plasterboard over the space that was once your window.
You should consider all the other options above, prior to considering anything as drastic as this.
How Soundproofing my Window Changed Things For me
As mentioned at the beginning of this article, I was unable to get any sleep or work done due to how noisy the neighbourhood I had just moved into is. At every hour of the day, it was either a dog barking, tyres screeching or little kids making so much noise playing around with angry parents calling out to them.
This sounds like so much, I know but right now, I feel so grateful that I took out time to research and install a number of soundproofing options around my house.
I am very satisfied with the outcome of my projects as right now. It almost feels like I moved into a completely new neighbourhood. Soundproofing my house was worth every penny I put into it. It is worth noting that my window was not the only part of my apartment that I had to soundproof.
If you are facing a problem that is very similar to mine, there’s no need to worry as I am living evidence that you can overcome this problem. The first thing you need to do is take out time to digest this article. You should know that some of the options outlined above may not solve your problem on their own, so it will be wise to consider applying at least two or more options together.
Also, if money is an issue for you, there are always some cheaper options worth considering.
The most important thing is to act. The peace of mind and sleep you’ll be getting will be worth all the time, effort and money you put in.
If you do soundproof your windows and still have noise issues, you should consider soundproofing other parts of your house as well.