How to Soundproof Windows

Main Options for Soundproofing:

  • Try weather stripping first. 
  • Utilize forgotten storm windows.
  • DIY! Cut one of these to size: styrofoam insulation, carpet padding + cardboard, mattress topper + cardboard, vinyl or linoleum flooring, mass-loaded vinyl, soundproofing foam.
  • Buy soundproof curtains, or make some with moving blankets / pads.  
  • Install acoustical glass windows if you want to keep your view. 

Loud street noise is an unwelcome annoyance. Since sound travels through glass easily, it’s the first place to start when you want to keep the noise out. Whether it’s cars or noisy neighbors, Glass Doctor can help you drown out the noise. 

To decide which soundproofing technique to use, you must decide if you want to be able to see through the window and allow daylight to enter. Ask yourself if you want a permanent solution or one that can easily be removed. Read on for more considerations to take when you’re deciding on a method, as well as tips for applying each solution.  

Considerations when Soundproofing Windows

Weather Stripping

Start simple. Before considering installing sound barriers, replace the weather stripping on your windows to see how well it prevents unwanted noise from entering your home. There are many different types of weather stripping. Click here to learn more about weather stripping options. This method won’t just reduce noise, but it will also prevent air leaks and lower your utility bill. Sometimes this simple maintenance task will be sufficient to seal out unwanted noise. 

Storm Windows

Some homeowners have storm windows and don’t even know it. These windows are added to the exterior of the home in the fall and removed in the spring (or sometimes never removed). They help insulate the windows and protect your home from the elements. Sometimes they are removed and stored in the attic or crawl space and forgotten about. If your home has them, make sure they are installed. If you don’t have storm windows, an expert can tell you if your windows can accept them and will help you source them. The thicker the glass, the better. Make sure you have at least 2 inches of air space between both panes. Storm windows are a great addition to make your windows more efficient and soundproof. Not only that, but they’re easy to install too!

DIY Soundproof Barrier

A simple soundproof barrier cut out in the shape of a window is the most economical option. Although this won’t allow daylight to pass through the window, the barrier can be removed when soundproofing isn’t required. Styrofoam insulation (also known as blue board or pink board) is cheap and easy to cut to size. Simply measure the dimensions of your window and cut the board to size. Just don’t forget to cut indented handles on one side for installation and removal. You can even add fabric to one side for a better look when it is installed.  

If you don’t want to buy Styrofoam, you can create a soundproof barrier with a variety of materials you may have around the house. A combination of carpet padding and cardboard can make a cheap and functional soundproof window plug. An old mattress topper can be glued to the back of a cardboard cutout for effective soundproofing that’s easy to remove. Leftover vinyl or linoleum flooring is also a good option. 

For a more effective DIY soundproof barrier, homeowners can purchase specific soundproofing foam or mass-loaded vinyl to create their own barriers. Ask local music shops or recording studios, which usually have these materials on hand. If you’re really pinching pennies, local carpet shops might give you a great price on carpet or padding scraps.

Soundproof Curtains

Soundproof curtains are a better-looking and more permanent solution for blocking out the noise. They are not as effective as dedicated barriers but are easily installed and more convenient. If you already have curtains installed, simply replacing them with a heavier fabric or specific soundproof curtain can be very effective. Old moving blankets or pads cut to size can also make great DIY soundproof curtains. Go for an oversized curtain; the air held in the baffles reduces sound. 

Acoustical Glass Windows

For homeowners who want to keep the daylight and the views, a soundproof window is the best option. Older single-pane windows are the best candidates for replacement. A new window will be airtight, more energy efficient and soundproof! While double- and triple-pane glass offers better soundproofing capabilities than single-pane, acoustical glass is the best option. This glass is specifically designed to seal out noise and will give the best, quietest results. 

Let There Be Silence

No one likes to listen to the neighbor’s drum practice or impatient drivers honking their horns. Homeowners deserve peace and quiet, and Glass Doctor wants to help. Depending on how bad the outside noise is, you may need to use a combination of techniques for the best results. If you need advice or would like a quote for acoustical glass windows, your local Glass Doctor can help. Call (833) 365-2927 for emergency service.

Like most parts of your home, windows need maintenance. It’s easy to put maintenance tasks off, especially cleaning. Keeping windows clean not only looks great; it also helps the coatings on the windows perform better. Learn how to clean your windows and keep them clean with help from our sister company, Molly Maid, part of the Neighborly network of trusted home service providers.