We’ve all been there - trying to rest down after a long day’s work or get a good night’s sleep, but the blaring car horns always comes in the way. Traffic noise is a big deal that most of us, the city dwellers, have to tackle with almost everyday. This is why, having compact soundproof windows serves as a boon to cancel out the loud and persistent noise hampering our daily activities. Read on to find out more about this growing issue and the best windows to reduce traffic noise.
Your home must be a safe haven for retreat and relaxation. No matter what goes on in the outside world, you must be able to unwind and focus when you are home. That said, with the alarming noise pollution levels in most places, our homes are invaded by sounds of idling buses, blaring sirens and highway traffic. These deadening noises not only have undesirable impact on our health and mental peace, it can also upset our personal and professional lives to a large extent.
How Soundproofing the Windows Help in Noise Reduction?
It is a no-brainer that windows are the weakest spots in your house, in terms of sound and thermal insulation. Most residential windows do a poor job in blocking the sound emanating from outside. Why? They are far thinner than the surrounding walls and hence provide easy access to outside noise. The glass window panes are ideal for letting sound waves pass through.
As a considerably large proportion of noise enters your house through the window, a proper noise cancelling window treatment is the ideal solution to your keeping your home free from outside noises.
Soundproofing the windows helps in fulfilling this objective by creating a protective layer between the outside world and your home windows, and thereby effectively blocking out any traffic noise. Soundproofing can be done by fitting an extra insert, adding air space or thickening the glass to provide proper sound insulation.
If you are looking to replace your existing windows, it can be a costly affair. In fact, soundproof windows cost a lot based on their quality and noise-reduction properties. Instead, if you are opting for alternatives methods, which include soundproofing your existing window, the expenses may vary depending upon the choice of material and other factors. You should also choose the materials depending on the intensity and proximity of noise you’re dealing with.
Simple and Cheap Techniques of Soundproofing Windows to Reduce Traffic Noise
Rearrange Your Furniture Settings
A clever arrangement of your existing pieces of furniture as well as a few new pieces, create obstacles in the path of the sound entering through the window. The soft and uneven surfaces help in reducing echo and reverberation whereas the hard, sturdy surfaces block sound from entering and reflect it back to where it came from.
You can achieve this doing two things – either by blocking the window completely, placing closets, bookshelves or couches in front of it, in turn, blocking any light or by rearranging the furniture in and around the window so that they absorb most of the sound without blocking the light.
This method doesn’t cost a single penny and is one of the most preliminary methods for sound reduction.
Has it ever occurred to you that the sound from outside may creep into your home through those cracks and irregular gaps between the walls and window frames? These are often easy pathways for noise and can be dealt with by acoustic caulking, which comes handy in preventing these sounds from pushing through.
Acoustic caulking provides a quick fix in sealing those forbidden gaps, and lasts up to three or four years, if not more. These have a high amount of durability and flexibility, which means they don’t crack or shrink at any point, as is the case with regular caulk.
Another cost-effective solution is to hang thick, soundproof curtains, which is a good alternative to other more complex and costlier methods.
Though they don’t cancel out the noise entirely, they help to reduce the echo to a large extent, making the room quieter and more peaceful.
Coming in different soothing and vibrant shades, they are also a perfect addition to your interiors, complementing your home décor and adding in an element of style and sophistication. Moreover, they keep the light away and facilitate thermal insulation as well.
Sounds like a good deal, isn’t it?
Install Laminated Layer of Glass or Acrylic
In many cases, caulking the gaps doesn’t completely serve the purpose and noise may still sweep in. This might be because of the glass panes. In such cases, opting for an additional laminated, acoustic grade glass pane or piece of acrylic to be attached to your existing window can make a huge difference.
There are many companies who provide their installation services at a wide range of prices. You can also choose to install your own DIY lamination. To that end, you must make sure that the new layer hugs the window as tightly as possible, for which you might use a metal frame and special magnets.
This type of soundproofing not only effectively reduces traffic noise but also allows light. It can also be removed for cleaning purposes. The drawbacks of this method include the fact that they are more expensive, time-consuming and require more effort to install.
Using Professional Acoustic Panels
Made out of quilted fiberglass which obstructs sound, these acoustic panels are products with heavy and bulky masses. Having a greater mass helps them in lessening more noise compared to its lighter alternatives like soundproof blankets. Also, their irregular surface is beneficial for reducing echoes and effective sound absorption.
Fortunately, these panels come with brass grommets on all four sides, making them easy to install near your windows.
These panels may seem a bit costlier than the previous options. Plus, you might also want to avoid them if you are a stickler for looks and aesthetics. However, you get what you pay for and if you want to maintain both style and functionality, you can always throw in some elegant curtains over them.
Install Double-Pane or Triple-Pane Window
If you have kept aside a hefty amount for soundproofing your home, you may consider this option. Proper installation of a double-paned or triple-paned window is a guaranteed soundproofing strategy. Not only does it deaden all the annoying traffic noise by 50% or more, it also provides excellent thermal insulation aside from being highly energy efficient.
These windows need specialized and professional installation to ensure that there isn’t a single gap or crack and the frames are set correctly for maximum impact.
On a Final Note
Your peace and comfort should be your own choice and not determined by external factors. In order to make your personal space a place for relaxation and enjoyment, without the constant interruption of annoying traffic noise, take matters in your own hands and start soundproofing today. Good luck!