Our homes need windows to let natural light and fresh air pass through and fill the room, but despite such benefits, we find the part of the problem when we get disturbed by all kinds of airborne noise.
If doors serve as entryways for people, windows are indispensable house components that serve as a barrier to many unpleasant things, including noise. However, sometimes they can’t offer a quiet room unless they are soundproof.
Hence, we use soundproof window plugs. What are these soundproofing implements?
Also called acoustic window plugs or window plug foam, soundproof window plugs are soundproofing materials made of foam or viscoelastic material that prevent sound transmission.
As most windows are made of glass, they are weak when it comes to attenuating sound. Attenuation is the process of reducing the force or impact of a source, sound, and noise, for this purpose. And glass is not soundproof.
Mext Read: Why Your Window Soundproofing Film Fails to Kill Noise?
Thus, a soundproof window plug is a material placed inside a window frame. It can be a whole foam panel, acoustic curtain, soundproof curtain, soundproof blanket, or a vinyl and foam weatherstripping material plugged along the rim to seal the noise coming from the outside.
How is This Effective at Soundproofing Window
Soundproof window plugs prevent unwanted noise transmission because they help block the sound waves from entering your room.
Window plugs for noise are inexpensive tools in soundproofing, and there’s no need to replace your window.
Window inserts work in two ways:
- As a thermal insulator and.
- As sound-dampening material.
Window inserts seal the gaps for air, wind, and heat to pass through and for sound as well.
Window plugs have a specific density to thwart sound waves. They should fill all the dead space along with the window correctly and deaden the impact of noise.
But if you are using acoustic foam panels as your window insert, expect to get no view and light coming from the window. However, window inserts can be temporary or permanent, depending on your need. That’s why they are a great tool for soundproofing!
PRO TIP: A material is viscoelastic when flexible but has high resistance to flow, thus, the flow of sound waves. Windows with viscoelastic plugs, sound transmission is reduced than letting the sound directly hits the glass.
Unwanted sounds come from everywhere, but mostly they come from the outside of your home.
A window with an airtight window plug offers the most effective relief from all kinds of noise. These noises can be any of the following:
- Neighbor shouting
- Nightly parties
- Road or traffic noise
- Machinery from ongoing construction
- Loud music
You will get the worst experience when your notorious neighbor blasts his speakers on occasion, but your existing window isn’t soundproof. With that, make your DIY window inserts to deaden the sound!
Next Read: Weather Stripping for Soundproofing: (Everything You Need to Know)
For practical reasons, you can keep a quiet home by using window plugs. Though they aren’t as effective when the other parts of the house are not soundproof, at least they come as a relief.
And when you place them correctly, they serve their purpose of blocking the noise.
PRO TIP: When installing an acoustic barrier panel covering the whole window, ensure that it doesn’t touch the glass window. Doing so will allow for air to flow.
Have you ever thought about how movie theaters are built? They have no windows, yes?
Depending on your soundproofing purpose, any structure with a window is a passageway for sound to travel, just like the heat. If you want to get rid of air pollution, you should consider working out for noise pollution.
Even if you have assumed that your walls are soundproof, along with the ceiling, door, and floor, you could still hear a few things from the outdoors. The tiny passage along the lines of the window frame is not tightly sealed, and sound waves can penetrate anytime.
9 Effective Ways to Block Out Low Frequency Noise – (Read This First)
This is what will happen because your room has windows, and these should also be soundproof. Unlike the theater, your space with a window will never be utterly soundproof unless you install window plugs.
So, why should you soundproof your windows?
- Are you transforming your room into a recording booth?
- Live in a shared apartment with noisy neighbors.
- I can’t sleep with a crying baby next room.
- Are you converting your space into a mini-theater?
- Make your room into a library.
- And many endless reasons to avoid external noise.
You can actually make your soundproof window plug. And this doesn’t have to be costly.
Making a DIY soundproof window insert is a practical way to soundproof your roof. The other take is that you learn simple life hacks yet protect your mental health by avoiding unwanted noise.
Here are the steps you can do on your own:
- Check the window sill and measure how much insulation weatherstripping tape can fit there. Foam weatherstrips are available in the market. You can choose from any grade depending on how much noise you’re blocking.
- Use acoustic caulk to seal the soundproof foam or tape insulation.
- If you want a complete covering aside from the weatherstripping, you can make a DIY soundproof panel.
- Place a fiberboard that isn’t too thick or thin to leave enough space for acoustic foam or a soundproofing mat.
- Choose the soundproof mat’s thickness according to the size of the window frame and the amount of space on the window sill.
- If you are building a voice booth or a recording studio, acoustic foam is an excellent material for enhancing the sound in the room, as it will absorb the sound waves and remove the reverb effect.
- Use soundproof glue-like Green Glue, to stick the panel onto the plyboard. This strengthens the soundproofing ability of the acoustic panel.
- Add cupboard handles to the window plug so you can conveniently remove them whenever you need to.
- Now that you’re done with your DIY ensure that the sizing of the board and mat don’t exceed or fall short of the size of the window. The exact fitting of the window plug is effective in noise reduction as it will allow the acoustic foam to absorb the sound.
PRO TIP: Using acoustical caulk on window gaps works in two ways: sealing the air gap and deadening the sound.
Limiting your solution to windows is only half of the story because there’s more to that. However, knowing that you can make window plugs means you have more options on hand.
Soundproofing your window is not a challenge at all. Your window is only a fraction of the home’s component.
If your goal is to achieve more effective soundproofing, you need to consider the doors, walls, floors, and ceilings.
Combining all these options is a sound idea. But a proper assessment of what you need and how capable you are in implementing the plan is part of the challenge.
After all, it is you who will benefit in the end.
Robert is an electronic engineer with more than five years of experience with a solid affinity for helping people reduce noise. He writes about these silent home appliances and easy soundproofing measures to help everyone avoid the negative effect of extended exposure to high noise levels.