How To Soundproof Old Windows – 5 Best Ways!


Replacing windows completely is not only expensive, but it is a pretty big hassle for people out there as well. The good news is that there are some ways to extend the life of windows if they need precisely that.

One of the first signs of needing to replace windows is if they are a bit too noisy. Maybe soundproofing a window, or all the windows for that matter is about the only solution available quiet everything down.

For older windows, what are the best methods to keep things as quiet as possible? We take a look at a few different ideas on how to make windows very quiet inside the home.

Most of the tips are pretty inexpensive, and any individual can do them with a little bit of focus and hard work. For others, they might want to reach out and hire a professional to help, and that can work out well in the end.

Before going out and replacing windows, try these tips out first to see if everything ends up being just fine. For a lot of people, all they need to do is put in a little bit of work to get their old windows back to normal.

Maybe these are viewed as some workarounds before a bigger replacement is needed, but not everyone has the ability to pay for new windows.

1. Window Inserts


 

A window insert is a lot like adding another pane to the set up without the full insulation cost. This involves installing the insert in the window frame, a few inches in front of the existing window.

They are not always permanently installed, but they help out as a temporary solution so that people are not dealing with too much extra sound. By having a second layer, vibrations are killed quite a bit, and it just makes it a more enjoyable experience overall.

Most inserts are made of laminated glass, and people love how easy it is to put in inserts instead of having to go through the whole window installation process. If a person does want it to be in all the time, it can cost a few hundred dollars, but that is nothing compared to how much a full window replacement will cost.

2. Acoustic Caulk

Older windows are very susceptible to having gaps along the edges that have formed over time. It is very challenging to treat these gaps correctly, but there are a few solutions out there that work better than others.

From a soundproofing perspective, acoustic caulk is going to be the most efficient option available at this time.

Use it just like any type of caulk out there, and make sure to sand everything down so that it looks nice after the fact. It is one of the most inexpensive ways to soundproof windows, as a person might spend as little as $10 to get some caulk that works well.

3. Soundproof Curtains


 

These are some of the easiest options for windows of any age. Not only do they help with controlling sound, but it helps keep light out to make a sleeping situation that much more enjoyable.

A lot of soundproof curtains (Amazon) are actually advertised as blackout curtains, but a person should be looking for anything thick and durable. There are so many different options out there that a person can find the curtains that match the overall look of their home pretty quickly.

4. Double Cell Shades

Double Cell Shades

There are cell shades out there that work well for windows to help with light and sound control as well. These are going to be very similar to soundproof curtains in some ways, but some people prefer one look over the other.

It is essential to go with double cell shades (Amazon) because there is more material to help control sound. It is not going to make a huge difference in the grand scheme of things if the windows are not up to par, but it is something worth looking into if any finishing touches are necessary.

5. Replacing windows for better sound reduction

If it seems like the only solution is to replace the windows for sufficient soundproofing, it is important to pick the right type of glass that will meet those needs.

Laminated windows are usually the most recommended, as they have the proper composition that keeps sound away from traveling in or out. Laminated windows also do a great job of overall insulation, which helps noise and temperature.

It is easy to fall in love with thinking that more layers of glass will equal better soundproofing, but that really does not impact things as much as people might think. For example, going up to three panes for windows does not really make that much of a difference compared to just two panes.

Think about only spending money on one or two-pane windows to provide a sufficient amount of soundproofing. If a person is not sure which option works best, seek out professional help, and suggestions to see what they might think.

Is laminated better than tempered glass for soundproofing?

If there is one competitor to laminated glass on the market, it is tempered glass. The difference is, it does not have quite as much in the soundproofing department.

It is more of a type of glass with durability that may be in the main focus, and for some people, that is going to be exactly what they want. It is without question very strong and sturdy, so it might end up lasting longer in the end.

The difference-maker is that laminated glass has that extra layer of plastic that acts as a protector and a barrier between the two sheets of glass. It does a great job of deadly sound, and there are just fewer vibrations overall.

What are some warning signs that old windows need repairing?

There are obvious situations where old windows need to be fixed to help with soundproofing, but that is not always the case. It is important to monitor older windows from time to time to make sure that they are not doing more harm than good. Keep an eye out for warning signs is one way to do exactly that.

Heightened Outside Noise

There are some scenarios where outside noise is just becoming louder because there is more going on. Maybe a person lives in a busy part of town, there is new construction, or neighbors are getting a little louder overall.

However, if everything is staying relatively the same, but the sound is getting louder, this could be a sign that there might be a small leak in the windows.

One way to figure out what is going on is to get close to the window and listen near everything to see what might be going on. Some people will notice that there is one area, in particular, that might be letting in more sound, and that is where it needs to be treated.

Higher Energy Bills

Those people have a pretty good understanding of how much their energy bill will be each month, but there are some exceptions to the rule. For example, if it is a particularly hot month, the air conditioner might be used more often, and the price goes up.

Another issue could be the fact that windows are letting in air from the outside. If the energy bill goes above 20% higher than usual, start to be proactive about identifying an issue. The windows are not always the issue, but they are on the list for sure.

Too easy to open and close

This might be a gloss over the issue for some people, but the ease of how the window works could be an alarming trait to keep an eye on. If the window does open and close too easily, that might mean it is failing to create a seal that is sufficient enough to handle sound.

The older windows get, the more they are used overall. Years and years of opening and closing windows could cause the alignment to be a little bit off, and that can lead some sound in that some people might not realize.

A window should be opening and closing in a pretty snappy fashion. Try making some adjustments at first to see if there are some small Lamb issues. There might be a need for some sealant or tape if the window is not performing as it should.

Advantages to Soundproofing Old Windows

People jump into using soundproofing techniques for old windows because of noise, but that is not the only advantage to making some simple upgrades, repairs, and more.

Instead, what many people will end up realizing is that they should have done everything quite a while before to save money and make life more enjoyable.

Lower Energy Bill

On average, a person could be paying 20%-25% more money every single month on energy bills simply because their windows are not as solid as they should be.

There might be some upfront cost with soundproofing windows, but it is easy to make that money back in just a few months if it lowers the energy bill.

A lot of people just look at their energy bill every single month and pay it without thinking too much about the number. If it seems like it is progressively getting larger and larger, the windows might be in a lot of need for assistance.

Temperature Control

In older homes and older homes with older windows, one of the toughest things people run into is the fact that temperatures will fluctuate from room to room, and even in certain parts of her room.

Everyone who lives in an older home understands that certain rooms are more comfortable than others during the summer, and there might be a difference in the winter as well.

It is easy to just start accepting this is the norm, but that is not the case at all. In fact, it can really do some long-term damage if rooms are getting too hot or too cold during certain parts of the year.

For example, there could be mildew forming inside of certain places that get too hot, and certain material does not do well in colder temperatures.

Windows are one of the biggest reasons why temperatures will fluctuate inside of any area. It is never going to be a solid as a wall, and it can be a hassle trying to get everything set up correctly. A lot of the soundproofing techniques will also apply to keep outside temperatures outside.

Saving Money

Going through an entire window installation process is not only time consuming, but expensive. If a person takes the time to soundproof everything as they should, it is going to be worth that money and time investment in the end.

Some people automatically jump to the conclusion that they need to fully replace the windows for everything to be back to normal.

That might be the case in some scenarios, but a lot of people can make some soundproofing enhancements, and then be back to normal. The important thing is to stay diligent and not let a window problem last a long time.

How Often Should Windows be Replaced?

A good set of windows should last at least 20 years with standard maintenance during those years. The only real issue that might pop-up is if they are damaged, or they are exposed to certain elements that are a bit out of the norm.

For example, windows that are exposed to certain elements every single day might go through a bit more wear and tear than windows that are in the shade and not really used that much overall.

Materials matter of course, but so does the installation process. Windows are something that most people feel comfortable spending money on with the installation process instead of doing it themselves.

Since a person might only install new windows once or twice in their home for years, it just makes sense to get it right that first time. Hiring a professional team means that they will have all the equipment necessary, instead of having to go out and buy some tools that might only be used once.

There are some cases where a person might purchase a new property and find out that the current windows are not efficient enough. If that is the case, it is usually pretty difficult to bring

them up to a new level without just starting over. If there is still some life left in the windows, there is the opportunity to sell them to someone else used to get a little bit of money back.

Here is a study on the many benifits of replacing older windows in homes. 

Additional Tips After Soundproofing Old Windows

The windows are soundproof and ready to last a few more years. The only problem is, a person still might not be completely satisfied with how everything sounds. When that is the case, there are some additional tips people can keep in mind so that they are living a tranquil life overall.

Treat the walls around the window

It does not seem like the smartest idea to only soundproof windows, without at least looking at the walls surrounding them. In some cases, people already have a very soundproof set up as far as their walls are concerned, but if they are not treated, this is the time to go ahead and do that as well.

There is more surface area with walls, so it might be a bit more tedious, but the good news is that the process goes rather easily. More options work out there for just the walls so that sound does not stand a chance.

Do not ignore doors

The other tricky area inside of a room are any doors, so make sure those get extra attention as well. There are always some cracks and crevices for sound and get through, even if the door is brand new.

Doors are very challenging because of the space at the top and bottom, but there are specific ways to treat those areas so that people do not have any issues whatsoever. Doors can be a problem if they lead to the outdoors, or if they are an interior door.

A lot of the same material that can fill up cracks and crevices with windows can also work with doors. It is a good idea to have something around to help fill any gaps that might pop up.

Finish enhancements off with a new look

While soundproofing an older window, go ahead and improve the overall look as well. Chances are, it could use a little bit of touching up as far as paint and design are concerned.

It just makes sense to give the windows a little bit of attention while making some enhancements.

Martin Poirier

For the last number of years, I've Been dedicating a lot of time in soundproofing and helping people be able to soundproof their home, business, and vehicles. I also have a YouTube channel by the same name Soundproof Guide.

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