If you are still suffering from sound and noise coming through your double-glazed window, how can you soundproof it? Is it the best you can get with a double-glazed option, or are there alternatives or additions you can make to the windowsill?
How can you make double glazing more soundproof? If you’re unsatisfied with what the double-glazed windows will provide, then there are alternatives and options to help block out more sound. You can apply acoustic caulk and weather-stripping tape to the double-glazed window to close any gap. More options are to install soundproof curtains and window film, and create a barrier outside of your room, etc.
Although double glazing is one of the best options to soundproof your windows, there are small additions you can make to best soundproof your home with cheaper costs or even make an addition to your home with a triple glaze windowsill. Find out what your best options may be by reading below!
How to Make Double Glazing More Soundproof
If your windows are still in fine condition or are new, it may not make financial sense to fully replace your windows. Plus, a double-paned window should be doing its job, so it might be other features of the window that may be at fault.
If you are wanting to just make some additions to improve soundproofing your double-glazed windows, some of these options may be an easier improvement.
Let’s quickly review what double glazing is before we move forward. In general, a double-glazing system can reduce traffic noise from 60 to 75 percent. When a window is double glazed, there are two panes of glass inset into a frame.
The panes are a couple of inches apart and filled with argon gas. This provides insulation and helps with heat transfer. This means that your room should be cooler during the summer and warmer during the winter, which ultimately means your energy bill should be lower than a single pane window.[Related Article: How To Soundproof Window Air Conditioner DIY]
8 Options to Enhance your Window
- (Acoustic) Caulking
- Weather-stripping tape
- DIY Window Plug
- Laminated Glass
- Soundproof Window Kit
- Window Soundproof film
- Retrofit laminated glass installation
Option 1: Acoustic Caulking
With some closer examination, you may be able to spot some spots between your windows and the connecting walls. Unfortunately, this is pretty common and almost natural. With years of extensive love and care, some homes can still have these holes due to the original caulk work.
For some homes, the caulking could have dried up in the past years, which could explain the excess noise. If this is the issue, this could be as easy as implementing a fresh new seal that does the job. By fully insulating any air gaps that sound can travel through, you can eliminate a greater amount of excess noise that may be seeping through your windows.
By caulking, you provide a seal around your window frame. For this application, try to find an acoustic caulk. Acoustic caulk is easy to apply but also very durable. It will stay for at least four years in which you can apply a new layer of caulk again.
Again, acoustic caulk is different than regular caulk. It is efficient, flexible, and more durable than regular caulk. They’re made flexible to absorb any sound, and it won’t shrink or crack as easily and will be a great addition to your window frame.
Option 2: Weather-stripping
Weather-stripping tape is a great addition to catching noise path and energy waste. These tapes are widely available in different forms of materials such as foam, rubber, and even silicone (and much more).
Weather-stripping is a tape that can be applied to the gaps of windows that open, the window jam. These thick tapes work as they block any gaps and almost acting like a caulk for exposed surfaces.
Different types of weather-stripping tape may work for your home, so explore different options and find what’s best for you. They are easy to apply and efficient, especially for their cost!
They also come with added bonuses. The areas that weather-stripping foam tape covers are usually the biggest leaks of noise and air that comes in and out of your house. With this implementation, you will reduce your energy loss, dust, and even small insects!
Here is an example of a great weather-stripping foam tape to get you started.
This is a short video about the weather-stripping window:
Option 3: DIY Window Plug
If you are feeling crafty and saving some budget for your windowpane, try making your own soundproof window plug. They work great like the weather-stripping tape and acoustic caulk mentioned above, but when you need the peace and quiet.
They are easily removable and an effective method to block the sound leaking through.
Option 4: Laminated Glass
Next option, after checking the seal around the window, you may want to target the next suspect in letting the sound through – the glass pane itself.
This option would be implementing another layer of glass to the pane. Although this is a bigger project than caulking, it is much cheaper than implementing a new insert of window glass or doing a full replacement.
Be sure to talk to the representatives when you are picking out your new layer of glass pane. Many laminated glasses work to seal the sound, which means you may not be able to open up your windows afterward.
Option 5: Soundproof Window kit
If you feel like looking into a DIY kit for adding an extra layer of glass, look into options for a window kit. This method attaches a piece of acrylic or glass over the current windowpane.
Be sure to get a laminated or acoustic grade glass to increase the noise cancellation.
It may not be an easy DIY project, but it will be an effective method to help lower the noisy distractions coming through the windowpane.
Option 6: Soundproof Window Film
If the DIY project above or reaching out to a company for your laminating project, there are cheaper and easier alternatives such as window soundproof film applications. Although it may not be as effective, it will be a great combination with the acoustic caulking and weather-stripping tape to block out the sound.
A soundproof window film or a vinyl window film is an alternative solution that can easily be applied like stickers. You match the size of your windowpane and stick them right into the windowpane surface.
This option will be the most helpful to eliminate noise that is come through any small cracks or even vibrations that are transferring through your window. If privacy was an added concern, the soundproof films are great as they come in various designs such as frosted, colored, opaque, and of course, transparent options.
With colored and opaque options, this will also be a fun element to add to your home.
Option 7: Retrofit Laminated Glass Installation
The other option would be to get a retrofitted replacement. With retrofitted installations, a new “insert” replacement of a new insulated glass unit is put into your pre-existing frames. For the new replacement, you can request a soundproof or security glass to decrease the noise effects.
Option 8: Triple Glaze
If you’re unsatisfied with applying just the previous options or are generally unsatisfied with your double-glazed windows, consider a triple glazed windowpane. Although this may be on the pricier side, if not the most expensive option on the list, it will enhance the soundproof effect.
When you consider triple glazing, this means this will add another pane of glass and argon gas in the gap. If you were to compare double glazing to triple glazing, the R-value significantly changes from 1.8 to 0.5 or better.
On a side note, an R-value is used for insulations and windowpanes to represent the measurements of how well the barrier resists the conductive flow of heat.
For soundproofing, the Rw measure, which is the weighted sound reduction index measure, can jump from 32 to 40. An increase of a single Rw value translation to a reduction of 1db in noise level, which means it will significantly decrease the noise level you are experiencing with your double pane window.
Other Options to Soundproof
Another option is to think about the sound that is coming through your windows. As your windowsill may be the culprit letting in the sound, what else can you do to prevent it from getting to your head?
- Rearrange your furniture
- Couches and Upholstered Material
- Cover the windows
- Rugs or Carpeting
- Fill up Bookshelves
- Soundproof curtains
- New Blinds
- Create a barrier
Option 1: Rearrange your furniture
Rearranging your furniture may not have been on your mind with the problem being at the windowsill, but in reality, what you’re hearing is the sound that comes through the windows then jumps around the room, then to you!
The best way to prevent this sound from getting to you is to let it die out quickly by absorbing the sound at the places it will bounce. For this reason, it might be an idea to add soft furniture and additions that will dampen the sounds and reduce the echo. You may want to place them close to the window and at the bouncing walls.
Although this may not be the magic solution in every case, it may help in the rooms that face the most sound disturbance and catch the echoing to travel further into the home. This option applies best for big, empty rooms with hard floor surfaces that face the street. Some options even include blocking the window, as a last resort.
Option 2: Couches and Upholstered Material
While arranging your furniture, if you wanted to consider new furniture from the hard surfaces to the soft ones, consider soft couches and upholstered designs. In comparison to a leather couch, a soft fabric couch will help catch and dampen the noise.
While you decorate, choose blankets and cushions to your decor. This will be an aesthetic addition that, again, adds to the absorption of sound. Blankets are great for improving acoustics.
As many videos or sound recording studios often opt for, you can also hang blankets on the wall. Of course, this may not be the optimal design you would like for your family room, so look into tapestries and wall-art that can cover up the hard wall. Exposed surfaces from a soft tapestry would help with similar effects to absorb the sound in the echoing room.
Option 3: Covering the windows
Even though covering a window may not be the ideal option for an everyday room, such as a family room or a common room, it may be an option for theater rooms or simply for movie nights when you need some better acoustics and fewer distractions.
This hack uses acoustic blankets, which can be like the blankets as mentioned above but purposed to absorb sound and block sunlight. There are various options that come in panels or simple curtain designs that can be applied to stand or hang in front of the window during the time that it is needed and simply set aside during other times.
If you are filming or recording, this may be a great option to add as along with your acoustic controlling walls.
Option 4: Rugs or Carpeting
If your room is big with beautiful hardwood floors, consider buying a rug to complement the room while still appreciating the beautiful floors. For large empty rooms, the hardwood floors are a culprit in letting some of that sound bounce around and echo into the house.
Rugs are a great addition to bring a room together and aesthetically please the harmony of the furniture, all while providing some dampening effects to the noise from your windows.
If you really cannot stand the sounds bouncing off the walls and the floors, it may be a chance to consider a wall to wall carpeting. Offices or businesses that are suffering from sound-proofing issues may consider carpeting for aesthetic and easy-care purposes.
Option 5: Filling up Bookshelves
Another option to help with filling up the echoing room is to fill up your bookshelves. Paper and books are a great addition to absorb sound and cozy up the room at the same time. Hard wooden bookshelves could be adding to the sound bouncing around in the room.
Option 6: Soundproof Curtains
Another simple addition that can change the aesthetics of your house and also help with preventing sound coming through. Like the previous method, soundproof curtains may not be the only and ultimate way to cancel out the noise but will be a great addition to the other options.
Thick soundproof curtains are another soft barrier to reduce the echo and dampen the noise coming through your windowsill. They can be aesthetically pleasing and also come at a cheap price tag like the example here. Other buyers enjoy these thick curtains as they are also known as blackout curtains.
For professionals that work during the night and need a peaceful sleep during the day, or for any of us that can enjoy some sleeping in on the weekends, this is a great option!
Overall, they are great to reduce the echoing of the noise by dampening them and have other benefits such as aesthetics and blackouts for those that would like to pair this with other options.
Option 7: New Blinds
Another option that can help with absorbing and dampening the sound past the windows would be changing out your blinds. If your home has metal blinds, consider changing to a fabric type. Fabric blinds help to absorb the sound with its material type in comparison to the hard surfaces on a metal blind.
Another option is to install thick material blinds or shades. Such as the blackout curtains, these blinds can also help with providing a better shade and noise reduction at the same time.
A great, thick fabric option is a linen material shade, such as this option. It’s thick, durable, and cheap!
Option 8: Create a barrier
Okay, so by a barrier, I don’t mean for you to build a wall, but think about planting more trees and shrubs between your window and the busy road pavement across your lawn. This might be as easy as planting a few more shrubs in front of your window.
If your HOA allows, a fence in between the traffic and your house is another option. Although it isn’t the only ultimate way, it’ll help to block out the sound waves and help in controlling the noise from getting through.
Although there are various options to soundproof your windows, your choice will vary depending on your budget and what best fits your current situation.