Noise Blocking Window Film: How do they work?
No matter your lifestyle, a peaceful and quiet living space is something that we all aspire to create for ourselves.
After a long day at work, the first thing on your mind is to come back home to a serene living space.
However, if you live in an apartment with poorly installed noise-insulated windows, it can be hard for you to achieve that peace of mind.
If you’ve been in that situation when you hear a constant barrage of blaring horns from the traffic outside, read on to find out how to solve your problem by soundproofing your windows.
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Contents: Skip to section
- Noise Blocking Window Film: How do they work?
- Why should you soundproof your windows?
- What are Noise Blocking Window Films?
- Types of Noise Blocking Window Film
- Recommended Alternatives
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Noise Blocking Window Film: Verdict
Why should you soundproof your windows?
Soundproofing windows as a home improvement project is more common than you think, with many homeowners looking to achieve a soundproofing effect and a peace of mind in their homes.
When we think of soundproofing, the first things that spring to mind are walls or doors.
However, an often overlooked feature is the windows in your home.
Many homeowners are worried that soundproofing windows will come at the expense of the overall aesthetic design or even blocking out the natural light in your room.
As a result, one of the trickiest areas to soundproof is your windows.
What are the different ways that outside noise can travel through your windows?
First, vibrations from outside can conduct noise through the glass and frames, leading to increased internal noise.
Second the air infiltration between window joints and poorly-sealed gaps can allow noise to seep into your home.
If you are seriously considering soundproofing your windows, you need to be aware of the types of windows and the different ways you can do it on your own.
Related: How to soundproof your bathroom
Hey, quick one. If you intend to start a soundproofing project soon, check out our Best Materials for Soundproofing post to get a headstart. Most projects require similar materials, so this post will save you a ton of time researching.
What are Noise Blocking Window Films?
To begin, what is a noise blocking window film?
A soundproof window film works by adding another layer to your window to create an extra barrier to block any noise from entering your home.
As the film absorbs any sound as it enters, using noise blocking window film is a great choice if you are looking to soundproof your windows.
They significantly reduce noise, are thermally efficient, and can even be used on different types of glass. It has been shown that a noise blocking window film can reduce the noise up to five decibels.
If you have windows made of very thin glass or only have one layer, this kind of window soundproofing film could be the solution for you.
It has been shown that the best soundproof window film is made from specially-made polymers and feature lamination.
It is also transparent, so you do not have to worry about disrupting the overall aesthetic design of your home.
Most noise cancelling window films can be attached directly to your window panes, blocking a significant deal of sound and UV light.
Did you know? A team of scientists in Singapore came up with an amazing invention, a window film that can effectively block out noise and even more amazing is the fact that the noise reduction window film can play music!
Related: How to soundproof an apartment door
Types of Noise Blocking Window Film
Unsurprisingly, there are a wide range of noise blocking window film available in the market that you can use for DIY projects. Since the cost to hire a professional can be prohibitively high, I reckon you might want to get your hands dirty.
In this case, you can check out the following few products. They are energy saving and help block out harmful UV rays, works well to drown out noise, and even comes in fancy colors if you so desire.
Despite the benefits of installing noise blocking window film, the downside is that it can be pricey.
If you are considering to soundproof your windows while on a tight budget here are some convenient alternatives that can be found on Amazon without the help of a professional.
You can slip in noise absorbing window plugs around your window frame to create an even tighter seal.
Simply measure the frame around you window and slip this material into place.
It is important to make sure that there are no gaps or opening for sound to enter your home.
If you just want to seal up the gaps that allow outside noise to travel into your home, you can consider getting a sealant.
You can use this product for both your windows and doors.
Not only does this sealant adhere well, it will also stretch over time rather than tear.
Hence, you do not need to worry that it will cause any cracking in your windows or walls.
When looking to invest in sealants, make sure that you get an acoustic sealant.
What distinguishes an acoustic sealant from a regular caulk sealant is that it is made up of a rubber-like material that doesn’t harden when it dries.
As it is latex-based, it is non-flammable and will adhere firmly to any building material. If that’s not enough to convince you, it is also explicitly designed to reduce sound transmission.
Noise Reduction Curtains
If you don’t mind installing curtains to block out noise, you can opt for noise reduction curtains.
The thick and dense material that these curtains are made of will create the peaceful atmosphere you are looking for in your home.
This is a low cost way to soundproof your windows.
Although it cannot be 100% effective in soundproofing your windows, the thick fabric will help deaden any noise by absorbing the echoes in your room.
The most popular fabrics used to make these curtains are polyester, velvet and satin.
All you need is a regular curtain rod to install them, saving you them and sparing you from a potential headache when starting your DIY project to soundproof the windows in your home.
The model that we’ve recommended comes in a 2 panel package, with the inner layer to absorb twice as much sound as regular curtains.
It comes in 8 neutral colours, so you’re sure to find a shade that blends in with your existing home décor.
Related: Best Quiet Blenders
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What are the most effective and inexpensive sound deadening material?
The most commonly used type of noise control materials for industrial purposes is mass loaded vinyl (MLV). This material has become one of the top rated and most purchased items for industrial sound proofing worldwide. As mentioned above, foam is another cost effective yet highly efficient material for absorbing sound waves. Finally natural cotton fiber is another great sound absorption material.
Do noise blocking curtains really work?
If you opt for noise blocking curtains instead, note that they are very effective for sound deadening applications but are not very useful sound blockers. Practically speaking, these curtains are good for reducing echo in a room but will not reduce the decibel level of sounds entering a room. For example, if road noises are an issue for you, soundproof curtains will not be as effective as a true soundproof window. Curtains will help you deaden the sound in your room and keep it from echoing. You will also need to consider the light blocking properties of the thick and dense material used to make noise blocking curtains if you wish to conserve the natural light in your room, you may want to consider a different option.
Is laminated glass for my windows a better soundproof solution?
Yes, laminated glass has much better noise reduction properties compared to the standard glass used for most windows. How does laminated glass work? It consists of two glass panes with an interlayer sandwiched in between. This creates a more complex obstacle to block sound transmission. The interlayer also has a distinctive noise reduction advantage. Usually made from polyvinyl butyral, or PVB, its vibration dampening properties will help you achieve the soundproofing effect you want. However, it costs more than what you would pay for standard glass, depending on which thickness you use. Laminated glass is typically considered a high-end window feature. It can cost up to $950 if you replace a laminated insert on a standard double pane window.
What is the sound transmission class (STC) scale?
The sound transmission class scale, or STC, measures how successfully an object blocks noise. Let’s get into the details. To be considered “soundproof,” a window should block somewhere between 90 to 95 percent of outside noise. This translates to approximately 45 or 50 on the STC scale. An average single-pane window has an STC of around 21 while a double pane window is at a 26. Given these numbers, it is no wonder why many homeowners are looking to soundproof their windows.
What is window glazing?
Window glazing consists of double-glazing your windows. This process creates two layers of glass with a layer of inert gas sealed between them. One major advantage of installing these windows is its sound insulating properties. By creating a barrier between your home and the environment outside, you can significantly improve the sound insulation. In general, standard windows only have a single pane of glass so noise and light can pass through it easily. If you are willing to spend more on replacing your existing windows, double glazing is one of the most effective ways to solve your noise problems. Top quality double glazed windows even come with a good sealant that surrounds the glass and rubber flanges near the window frames to ensure that no gap will allow noise to pass through it.
Noise Blocking Window Film: Verdict
When soundproofing your home, it is important not to overlook the windows as they are one of the weaker links to allowing noise into the house.
Although we tend to target spots such as the door or walls, windows are an essential feature when investing in noise reducing material or accessories.
Be sure to check out some of the products mentioned in this article as they worked well for me and many others.
Once you target all these spots, you can ensure a peaceful living space for you and your loved ones.