If you found this article you’re probably having noise problems. Perhaps you live on a busy street with lots of loud traffic, or there are barking dogs in the neighborhood. We’ll look into both cheap and expensive solutions in this in depth guide and will answer the most common questions that are asked about soundproofing windows.
Two very important factors to keep in mind when dealing with a sound transmission problem is the elimination of any air gaps as well as the importance of increasing the mass/density in between your location and the source of the sound.
So, how to soundproof existing windows?
In a hurry? Soundproof windows are the most effectivesolution, but they’re also the most expensive one and not suitable if you’re renting a place. So the easiest and most affordable solution is the high density foam tape and soundproof/blackout curtain to significantly reduce the noise.
You may also want to read our article about the Quietest Window Air Conditioners in 2021.
What are the best ways to soundproof a window?
1. Eliminate air holes and gaps
Sound travels through air, it is thus very important to eliminate air holes and gaps between yourself and the source of the sound.
A quick easy way to get some peace and quiet away from everything around you is to soundproof your windows by getting rid of the air gaps that let the sound through.
You might think that it is unnecessary and that it won’t help, but a small air gap of 2-3 % in a noise barrier can allow almost 50% of sound through, and a gap bigger than 5% can allow more than 80% of sound through.
What to use for covering up air gaps in windows?
The most efficient and convenient way to fill up air gaps is the use of high density foam tape.
What is high density foam tape and how to use it?
For all DIY lovers, this is definitely the best option to soundproof your own windows.
High-density foam tape has an adhesive layer thus it is easy to apply, especially along the edges of a window.
High density foam tape will also weatherproof your windows, killing two birds with one stone is always a win-win situation.
Difficulty: Very easy to get a hold of and to install. See the video below for more details.
- It is effective
- Easy to use and apply
- Takes away from the original design of the window
Does foam tape really work?
High density foam tape definitely works to reduce sound. It won’t deliver the same results as some of the more expensive solutions but it will without a doubt reduce outside noise from entering a room.
Does high density foam tape offer value for money?
High density foam tape might not be the best soundproofing option on the market but it is effective, affordable and easy to use and apply without the help of a professional.
How much does soundproof foam tape cost?
Different places offer different prices, but soundproof foam tape is very affordable. It’s actually one of the cheapest solutions available.
Which high density foam tape is the best?
There are many different high density foam tapes available on the market, but we recommend the highly rated Foam Strip Weather Stripping for Door and Windows by YIJUHOU. It has many very good customer reviews which you can check out below.
Install Blackout (Sound Deadening) Curtains
What are blackout (also known as soundproof) curtains?
One of the ways to block unwanted sound is to increase the mass/density of the material between yourself and the source of the unwanted sound.
If all the air gaps in your windows are filled up but you are still experiencing a noise issue then installing soundproof curtains is without a doubt the next logical step to follow.
Difficulty: Easy to install without the help of a professional
What are SPC made of?
Soundproof curtains aren’t regular curtains, it is a thick heavy tightly woven curtain that adds mass/density between the noise source and the recipient of the noise.
- Easy to install
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Reduction of the amount of light that enters a room
- Soundproof/blackout curtains aren’t as effective as some of the more expensive alternatives
Do soundproof curtains help reduce noise? How do they work?
Soundproof curtains don’t necessarily block unwanted sounds but it absorbs and deadens sounds by reducing echoing within a room. In order to ensure that blackout curtains are most effective, make sure that the curtains hang all the way down to the floor when installing, additional mass will increase the curtains capability to reduce unwanted sound.
Are soundproof curtains (SPC) worth the money?
Before you spend a lot of money on soundproof windows give soundproof curtains a try. Not only will it reduce the noise within a room but it will also have other pros such as blocking out unwanted light.
Which soundproof/blackout curtains are the best?
NICETOWN is a well recommended blackout curtain, it is Amazon’s soundproof curtain of choice and buyers rave about it in their reviews. Buyers are particularly impressed with the affordability and quality of the curtains.
Tip: If you’re not satisfied with the results of using this blackout curtain then try hanging two curtains. The increase in mass will definitely lead to better results, and due to the affordability of these blackout curtains it won’t break the bank to buy two sets instead of one.
Is there an alternative to blackout curtains?
If you have some freedom in your budget then you might want to consider buying acoustic curtains instead of blackout curtains. They do carry quite a hefty price tag, but acoustic curtains are still much more affordable in comparison to getting soundproof windows. Manufacturers claim that acoustic curtains reduce noise by as much as 70-90%, but in reality it blocks about 40-50% of outside noise, which is still a significant amount.
Install Soundproof Windows Behind Existing Windows
If high density foam tape and soundproof curtains don’t solve your noise problems then the installation of soundproof windows is the only option left to pursue. The installation of soundproof windows will reduce outside noise in the most effective manner.
What are soundproof windows and how do they work?
A soundproof window is an additional window that gets installed behind the existing window. Existing windows are mounted on the outside edge of the window frame, and soundproof window systems are mounted on the inside edge. The result is a double window system that blocks sound and that is aesthetically pleasing to look at.
Difficulty: Advanced, might require the services of a contractor
- Very effective at reducing outside noise
- Aesthetically pleasing
- Difficult to Install
What are the costs of installing soundproof windows?
The cost of a soundproof window depends on the size of a window, but you are looking at spending several hundred dollars on a new soundproof window. There might also be additional installation costs on top of the costs of the window itself.
Do they open and close like regular windows?
Yes, soundproof windows will function the same as your existing windows.
How does a soundproof window look?
They are attractive and will enhance the interior beauty of your home. Customs design options are also available to fit the existing interior theme in your home.
Do soundproof windows work?
Yes, soundproof windows definitely work. Very loud noises can’t always be completely blocked out but soundproof windows will definitely block out everyday noises from traffic, barking dogs, machinery etc.
Are soundproof windows worth the cost?
Yes, soundproof windows are worth it if you’re experiencing a serious noise problem. Soundproof windows are quite expensive thus it will be wise to try some cheaper methods first. The cheaper methods might work better than expected and maybe you can avoid spending a lot of money to solve your noise problem.
Conclusion – what is the best way to soundproof a window?
There are many different methods to soundproof an existing window.
Some are cheaper than others, and some work better than others. What is best for you depends on how big your noise problem is.
Before choosing an option that is best for you, you have to decide how much noise you want to reduce and how much you are you willing to spend.
The more money you spend the more sound you will be able to reduce.
Soundproof windows are the most effective, but they are also the most expensive.
In some instances they might not be an option, if you are renting a place it will be a waste of money to install soundproof windows, unless the landlord is willing to pay for it.
Before choosing an option that is best for you consider all the relevant factors to ensure that you choose an effective cost effective sound/noise reduction method.
Have any questions that didn’t get answered in this article? Ask them in the comment and we will try to answer them.
Know a great way to reduce noise coming in through windows that isn’t mentioned in this article? Let us know in the comments below!