How to Soundproof Your Windows
Plus, a window expert shares his best tips for creating a noise-free home.
Whether you live in an apartment building with noisy neighbors or inside a lofty house on a traffic-filled street, soundproofing your windows can improve your quality of life. "Installing soundproof interior windows will substantially reduce outside noises, from car and truck traffic and sirens, from entering the living space," says Michael Damelin, President at Cityproof. "This creates a quieter, more peaceful home environment."
But the perks of soundproofing your windows don't stop with noise reduction. "Depending on the manufacturer, interior soundproof windows will also provide 99% UV protection and 99% dirt and draft elimination, which helps to protect window treatments, furniture, carpeting, and artwork from getting damaged," Damelin says. "Further, they provide maximum thermal control which can reduce energy costs by up to 30% annually." Ready to create a cleaner, more energy-efficient, and quieter home? We asked Damelin to walk us through the basics of installing soundproof windows, and here's what he had to say.
More Panes, Please
According to Damelin, interior windows composed of double- and triple-paned glass are all the rage in new developments, and that's because more layers means less noise can make its way into your space. "This type of window is becoming more common for new construction," he says. "It's also possible to replace old exterior windows with ones constructed of either double or triple pane glass."
Power in Pairs
If the architecture of your home won't allow for double or triple paned windows, Damelin suggests installing an additional interior window to soundproof the existing exterior one. "It works in conjunction with the existing pane to create a buffer zone of airspace between the two sets," he explains.
Know Your Structural Limitations
While Damelin says, in most cases, no alterations or structural changes are necessary to install a soundproof interior window, if you don't have enough depth, you might have to go another route. "In these cases, the frame of the exterior window can be extended into the room to provide a proper mounting area for the new interior one," he says.
Looking for a foolproof way to ensure your windows are soundproof? Combine both styles—windows composed of double- or triple-pane glass and an additional interior option—for maximum noise reduction. "The combination of the two sets of windows and the airspace between them seals out noise, as well as drafts and dirt," he says. "Depending on the manufacturer and thickness of the glass, this can reduce noise infiltration by 50-95%."
Don't Settle for DIY
If you're tempted to try a DIY method to insulate your windows—think blackout curtains, thick fabric blinds, and sealed window gaps—Damelin says to remember that they won't work nearly as well as bonafide glass. "Other potential solutions like fabric barriers do not provide a seal from the outside," he says, "so they are not nearly as effective."