If you live in a noisy neighborhood and are annoyed by all the noise coming from outside of your home, then it might be the time to soundproof your window and get rid of that inconvenience. I faced the same problem when I shifted to my new apartment and a few months ago decided to take a DIY route and fix this problem. I will share what I found to work best in dampening the outside noise.
You can soundproof a window by completely blocking it. There are several methods to do this with each having its pros and cons. You will have to decide what you are willing to compromise for a comfortable environment. Some ways are expensive, but they don’t compromise on quality and aesthetic. Other methods may compromise on aesthetic or appeal, but they are cheaper than the ones mentioned earlier. The easiest way is to use some dense material to cover the window to prevent any sound from entering the room for this you can even use any extra blankets you have.
Many people use acoustic foams, to dampen the noise, but it is a big mistake as they only absorb echo, not reduce the sound if you are unfamiliar with this concept think it as playing music on iPod in a bathroom vs. playing it in a closet. As the bathroom has hard floors and walls, it will bounce the sound making it noisier while the clothes in the closet will absorb some noise to make it sound a bit quiet.
Below I have mentioned some methods that can help in reducing the noise.
How to soundproof a window
1. Block the Window
First, you should see if blocking the window entirely is possible. If you block the window with some dense material, then the noise coming from outside will decrease significantly.
The main idea behind blocking your window is that no gap remains between the walls and window. You can get cheap $15 insulated panels from Lowes or Home Depot. They are easy to install. All you need is to have cut them according to your window size and fit them. They won’t look great aesthetically. You can cover the windows with curtains to hide these panels.
They will absorb most of the noise, but if you live in a very noisy neighborhood, some sound will still pass through the window. In that case, I would recommend you to go for the soundproof fiberglass blanket from Amazon.
2. Thick Material Blinds
Blinds can also help in reducing the sound from entering the room. The blinds not only absorb echo but also dampen the noise
When I was soundproofing my room, I tried honeycomb blinds, and they did a decent job of absorbing the sound. The good thing about these specific blinds is they let some light to pass into the room.
If you live in a very noisy neighborhood, then these blinds won’t make a difference. So, consider other steps for soundproofing.
3. Sound Deadening Curtains
The most effective yet budget-friendly method is to go for the sound deadening curtains. I have personally used them and found them quite good at the job. They will not soundproof 100% of the noise, but they will make a considerable difference in dampening the sound from outside.
I have written a detailed review of the sound deadening curtain on this site. You can read that article for more details. Sound Dampening drapes not only absorb echo, but they also reduce the amount of noise passing through them due to the dense and high-quality sound diminishing materials like polyester and vinyl used in them. For better results, it is recommended to get more panels than usual to cover the window completely. NICETOWN Blackout Heavy Full Shading and H. Versailtex Heavy Premium Blackout Curtains are the two curtains I will highly recommend due to their weight and material used in them. Best Home Fashion Thermal Insulated drapes are another such great product with a high number of satisfied customers.
4. Sealing the gaps
Usually, during the installation of windows, some gaps are left between them and walls along the edges. Noise entering the room through these gaps can be reduced by sealing them.
You can use this inexpensive and easy to install self-adhesive to dampen the sound entering through the window.
If you are still not satisfied with the results, then you can try this budget-friendly window installer kit.
5. Use double or triple pane windows
(image courtesy: Pellabranch)
If you have a big budget and are willing to spend on this project than you should go for double or even triple pane windows. A double pane window can reduce the sound by up to 60%. These windows also reduce heat transmission. They will keep your room warmer in winter and cooler during summer. They are hence saving you a lot on the energy bills.
It is highly recommended to hire a professional for installation instead of doing it yourself. If installed incorrectly or any gap if remains that would lead to noise entering the room. You can also go for the soundproofed windows instead of the double pane window. They are also a lot harder to install and will require some specialist for this purpose.
6. Window Inserts
A window insert is merely an airtight frame designed with a wooden frame and some foam. The foam is the main material that will be absorbing the sound. These inserts are very easy to install and can be removed when not needed making them suitable for a temporary solution.
How to Make an Insert Plug?
First and foremost take the measurements of your window. Once you have the sizes, you will need a wooden frame of the same area.
You will also need the following materials to complete the insert.
Steps to make an Insert Plug
- Cut the soundproof mat the same size as the wooden board and attach it to the board using glue.
- Cut the acoustic foam a little bit larger than the frame itself so it can completely cover any gaps between the window and the wall.
- Attach the handles facing the window outwards.
- Cover the remaining gaps with adhesive tape.
There are several methods of soundproofing your window. Each has its advantages and disadvantages. Some are costlier while others are less appealing visually and some don’t give 100% result. If you live in a relatively quieter area than using curtains or blinds will suffice. However, if your residence is in a noisy area, you should go for the other methods or even use the two to three options in combination for an improved result.