How can I soundproof my windows cheaply?
If you want to reduce the noise coming through your windows but don’t want to replace the windows or use secondary glazing, you have a few backup options:
Plant hedges or fence front of the window
If you have a house facing a busy road with garden space at the front, or your house backs onto a train line you can use natural elements to dampen the sound.
Dense shrubs, hedges, thick trees or a high solid fence will all help to reduce the transmission of sound towards your property. So, when the soundwaves hit your windows they are already reduced.
By combining noise reducing windows with the use of hedges and shrubs the nose reduction will be even more enhanced.
Plug all gaps, acoustic caulk and weatherstrips
As mentioned above, sound can diffract around corners and will find its way through any gaps. You can tell that the seals on your windows are starting to fail, because the noise from outside starts to get louder.
It’s not just the edges of the glass that can fail. If your window hasn’t been installed efficiently, there can be small gaps that leak noise.
Use specialist acoustic caulk and fit weatherstrips around the frames to eliminate as many gaps as you can. If the gaps are too big, the only solution is to replace the windows.
Use sound dampening curtains or shutters
Heavy fabric can make a surprising reduction to noise levels. Specialist sound dampening curtains have several layers of fabric - polyester being the best - which creates a dense fabric that can absorb sound vibrations. Sound deadening fabrics also help to absorb sound that bounces around open spaces.
Wooden plantation shutters that are becoming increasingly more popular make a notable difference to warmth and sound. The classic solid wooden style shutter is especially efficient at reducing noise as it’s installing a solid barrier to your windows every evening.
Noise reducing acoustic glass has a laminate coating on one of the panes of glass that helps to absorb more sound waves as they transmit through the glass.
Window film is an instant DIY fix that can reduce noise by a small amount. However, the film can obscure the window to lose clarity of the glass. And, unless it’s professionally applied, it can cheapen the aesthetic of the window.
All of the options above can help to reduce noise before you install new windows. You can also read how to soundproof a room for more ideas on how to deal with pervasive traffic noise or noisy neighbours.
For the best result, planting hedges outside the window, having noise reducing glazing and installing wooden shutters will make the most difference to reduce noise coming through your windows.