Music is music when you play and listen to it, but it becomes noise when it emanates from your neighbour’s house. You love to rev your car in traffic, but hate the sound when it comes from other cars. Noise can affect your peace of mind.
One of the ways noise enters your home is through the windows. There may be gaps in the frame that allow noise to enter. Even if your window has a glass pane and you keep it shut, the glass pane vibrates and transmits sound. If noise annoys you then it is time to take steps to make your windows as soundproof as possible. Using these options, you can achieve as much as 75% noise reduction and enjoy a peaceful environment inside your home.
Improve Insulation of Frame
Gaps between the window pane and the frame could allow sound vibrations to enter your house. Improving insulation of the frame and window pane to provide a tight seal could result in a measure of sound reduction.
An extreme measure to block sound is to cut foam to the size of your window opening and place it over the window. This will drastically cut down sound but, at the same time, it will also cut out light and air. This idea is not practical.
Change the Glass of The Window Pane
One of the various methods of windows noise reduction is to remove existing glass and replace it with a thicker, acoustic quality glass pane that will reduce sound transmittance. You may find that noise is reduced but it may not be removed altogether.
Add an Additional Pane of Acrylic
A quick way to achieve windows noise reduction is to buy clear acrylic sheets cut to the same size as the glass opening and affix them in place with tape strips. It does improve sound reduction but it may not be aesthetically perfect.
Double Glazed Window Panes
One of the better ways to achieve windows noise reduction is by removing existing glass panes and replacing them with double glazed window panes if the frame accommodates it or install double glazed windows completely with tight sealing. Double glazed windows have two sheets of glass with an air gap. The gap may be filled with argon gas or it may have air inside. It is quite effective in reducing noise besides improving energy efficiency in your home.
Sound Dampening Plastic Film
One of the cheapest and fastest methods to achieve noise reduction is to affix a layer of clear plastic film on the glass. The dampening plastic will absorb some of the sound and will prevent glass from vibrating too much.
Thick pleated curtains over windows will help somewhat to achieve noise reduction.
Install Secondary Glazing
Sometimes it may not be practical to remove existing windows such as in period style houses or conservation buildings. Addition of a secondary glazing on the inside or on the exterior will achieve a high degree of acoustic insulation without affecting looks. This could be the most practical method of achieving noise reduction in windows and also reduce energy bills.
However, there are certain precautions to keep in mind when you have this goal of reducing noise. Sound needs a medium to be transmitted. If the double glazed windows or secondary glazing are not installed with proper care they will not achieve the objective. Sound absorbing and dampening materials need to be used to soak up sound vibrations. The sound reduction index (SRI) or the sound transmission class (STC) ratings or noise reduction coefficient (NRC) of materials are important. This is a percentage of sound the material absorbs.