Soundproofing windows is a way to reduce noise and save energy in a home. But soundproofing exterior windows does not have to be an expensive project. A number of options are available to provide an additional sound barrier without purchasing dual pane or other type of replacement windows. Most solutions do not block noise out completely but are effective in dampening the sound.
Foam window plugs can be purchased at most hardware stores. This type of plug fits the length and width of the window, blocking out some sound and almost all light coming from the outside. The solution is ideal in an apartment or other rented space because foam window plugs are easily installed and removed without much cost. Be aware that foam plugs do not block out all exterior sound but only partially lessen the noise. The more foam window plugs are removed, the less reliable they become at stopping sound because of the deterioration of the seals.
Soundproofing curtains are a relatively inexpensive and simple way to block out noise. These custom curtains do not block exterior noise but prevent sound reflection by stopping noise from bouncing between the interior walls of a house or apartment. Because soundproofing curtains do not seal noise out, drawbacks exist to the soundproofing tool. The curtains reduce some sound rather than absorbing it because the curtains do not offer a complete seal on the windows. The main purpose for the curtains is to change and lessen sound and noise.
Wooden plugs are harder to make but are more effective at blocking out sound. Measure the window to find the depth of the windowsill. The thickness of the plug is based on the depth of the sill. Nail a box together using plywood that fits the length and width of the window. Line the box with a soundproofing mat so it will absorb sound coming through the window. The thickness of the mat depends on personal preference. Attach the mat using glue, staples or short nails. Attach the box securely to the window frame. When attaching the box, ensure no cracks are visible. Exposed cracks or openings will lessen the effectiveness of the plug. Attach handles to the exterior of the box to make it removable.
Acoustical caulk is available at most hardware and chain stores. The purpose of the caulk is to lessen the sound between rooms and from windows. It also seals cracks in ceilings and walls. Open the caulk container, and place it in a caulking gun. Apply a thin line, about 1/4-inch thick, around the edges of the window, and fill any gaps in the window or cracks along the window frame. The caulk will not block out all noise but will dampen sound.