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Every day, millions of people experience noise pollution, especially in urban areas. In the recent past, more and more people have been moving to urban areas. Unfortunately, the exodus comes with its challenges, one of them being noise pollution. Besides causing stress and sleepless nights, excessive noise can lead to hypertension, or in the worst-case scenario, noise-induced hearing impairment. Noise can also reduce your productivity at work and general concentration.
Noise pollution comes from different places, such as machines, aircraft, and trains. Kids playing outside might also cause noise. Unfortunately, poor urban planning in our cities makes it worse.
If you leave close to a flight path, you may find the noise quite invasive. To avoid constant disturbance, it would be best to invest in soundproof solutions.
Who wouldn’t want to live in a good neighborhood with good neighbors? We all would. However, you might find yourself stuck with inconsiderate neighbors, or your neighbor could be learning how to play electric guitar. You might also get an apartment close to clubs, making the neighborhood inevitably noisy.
Road Traffic Noise
While choosing an apartment, proximity to work is usually a significant factor. While it’s convenient, you might find yourself adjacent to a busy highway, putting you on the receiving end of the constant roaring of engines. Is relocating the only way out? There must be another way.
The good news is, there is a way to fix it. You can install soundproof windows and enjoy your home’s quiet after a hectic day in the city. Although the windows won’t entirely block all the noise, they will lead to significant noise reduction. Some can block as much as 95% of the noise.
What are your Options?
Thanks to technology, you are spoilt for choice. You can mask outside noise by running white noise such as ceiling fans. However, that might not be enough if the outside noise is significantly loud. You might consider blocking the noise by investing in soundproof windows. We have outlined ten best soundproof windows you can choose from.
1. Acoustic Sealants
An acoustic sealant works by absorbing sound. Since the sealant adheres to surfaces such as wood, metal, and concrete, you can enhance your windows with the sealant, preventing sound from seeping into your house or desired room. Why is it a good option? It is non-flammable and non-toxic. Besides, it water-based and has no irritating odor. Better still, an acoustic sealant can withstand seasonal expansion and contraction.
Notably, an acoustic sealant has some unique features from any regular sealant. For instance, an acoustic sealant is capable of stopping sound vibration and offers a long-term noise solution. It is also quite durable.
2. Magnetic Acrylic Glass
The reason why windows pose a real challenge when it comes to noise is that they are thinner than other parts of the house, such as walls. They also have air spaces, allowing noise to find a way into your house. However, you can keep the noise out by using magnetic acrylic glass material.
The material, at least 3mm thick, is held in place by PVC frames, as well as a magnetic strip. It works by creating an air space, hence blocking noise. On top of soundproofing your windows, they have other benefits. These include better insulation and allowing more light to pass through.
To add icing on the cake, they are pretty easy to install. You can simply do it yourself by following the manufacturer’s instructions after buying the glass.
3. Laminated Glass
Initially, laminated glass was used to protect glass from shattering. However, as technicians would later realize, laminated glass also significantly dampens noise passing through it. Two birds, one stone.
A typical laminated glass has three layers: two layers of ordinary glass panes, and an additional layer between them. It is the inner layer that provides soundproofing effects.
How effective the laminated glass will depend on how thick the glass panes are, as well as the quality of the middle layer. Choose suitable thickness depending on the nature or intensity of the noise you want to block out.
4. Soundproof Curtains
If you live on a rented property, you might not be in a position to tamper with the already installed windows. However, worry not because you can still keep the noise at bay without touching the windows. How’s that possible? You might wonder. Well, soundproof curtains will do the magic.
Remember that there are more cumbersome than ordinary curtains, but that’s nothing compared to the trouble they save you. They will also block natural light. On the brighter side, they come with extra insulating layers and give you the much-coveted blackout effect. It is their porous surfaces that absorb the sound wave, making the room significantly quieter. To get the best service from your curtains, cover the entire window area. Also, consider reputable brands such as Nicetown soundproof curtains.
5. Noise Reducing Blinds
Most window blinds are made to protect you from light and offer you privacy. However, some blinds do more than that by blocking noise. These are blinds you should consider investing in if you live in a loud neighborhood.
Remember that they don’t have to be boring. You can still choose elegant noise-blocking blinds such as roman shades, or just laid back drapes. Blinds are also a good choice since they can go well with your existing décor, and are easy to install.
6. Barrier Panels
Barrier panels are made of acoustic foam, and they absorb noise from outside, as well as other sound reflections. If all other options don’t seem to work, you can buy a barrier panel. They are easily customizable, so you can get one to fit your windows without much struggle.
However, be sure to buy one that goes beyond the window to have a good air grip. If the noise is extreme, you can even install double panels.
7. Soundproof Plugs
Sometimes you just want to feel some noise as a reminder that life is still going on. However, at other times, you want to enjoy solitude in utter silence. How do you balance the two?
Well, soundproof window inserts give you the flexibility you need. As the name suggests, you can plug them in and plug them out when the noise is gone.
Typically, soundproof plugs are made of sponge or foam. For best results, ensure that the foam is at least an inch bigger than the window so that it’s a snug fit. However, if you want a large window plug, it would be best if you first constructed a frame for the plug to sit on.
8. Insulated Vinyl Window Frames
Most people install vinyl window frames to protect the windows against ultraviolet light. Besides, vinyl frames are quite popular since they require no painting and are moisture resistant.
But there is more to vinyl window frames than meets the eye. Since they have hollow cavities, these cavities can be filled with insulation to block out the unwanted noise. The insulation also makes them thermally superior compared to wooden frames.
9. Fiberglass Frames
Just like vinyl frames, fiberglass window frames have air cavities that can be filled with insulation. You have nothing to worry about since they are quite stable and offer incredible thermal performance compared to wood. The insulation does a great job in noise reduction.
10. Double Pane Windows
A double-pane window comes with two panes of glass, as opposed to the conventional single pane. Between the two glass panes is an air pocket. The air pocket comes in handy since it helps to keep your room cooler during summer and warmer during winter.
Besides regulating the heat, the extra pane protects you from noise pollution. It also keeps any noise from your house inside. Wouldn’t you love to be the considerate neighbor everyone prays for?
How Much Does It Cost?
As much as you want the serenity that comes with soundproof windows, you don’t want to hurt your bank account. The good thing is, there is something for everyone. These ten options vary in prices. Therefore, you can choose one within your budget without compromising your preferences.
How to Choose the Best
The various choices can be quite overwhelming. However, take your time to narrow down your options, depending on your specific needs. For instance, you need to consider factors such as the nature and intensity of noise and the durability of your chosen option.
Understanding the Science of Sound
Even as you shop around, it would be fascinating to have a gist of sound science. You might not bother with the intricacies, but general knowledge wouldn’t hurt.
For starters, the sound is caused by vibrations and travels through mediums such as air, water, and solid objects. It, however, cannot travel through a vacuum. The intensity or loudness of sound is measured using a logarithmic function, referred to as Decibels. However, you don’t need to master the technical details. A professional would be in a position to advise you on the best soundproof windows for your home.
Last update on 2020-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API