Whether you want to block out traffic noise within the home or avoid bothering the neighbors with your weekly band practice, soundproofing the windows is the answer. Noise transmits more readily through windows compared to the solid walls of your home, so focusing on these is an effective strategy.
1. Frame Sealants
Gaps in the window framing aren't just bad for energy efficiency, they also allow more noise to pass through. The solution is to seal up the gaps with foam insulation or caulking. Certain types of frames are also noisier. For example, uninsulated vinyl or metal frames let a lot of noise through, so consider upgrading to insulated frames if you are replacing your windows in the near future.
2. Window Plugs
A window plug is made of wood or sound-deadening foam board. Wood plugs are backed with fiberglass or sound deadening foam. Each plug is made to fit snugly over a window and features a handle for easy placement and removal. Plugs are most suitable for temporary use, such as placing in a bedroom window in order to block outside noise while sleeping. As an additional benefit, they also block all light.
3. Soundproof Glazing
If new windows are an option, then consider sound deadening double or triple glazing. These windows feature multiple layers of glass panes with insulating glass between them to help deaden sound. Some have a special clear acrylic core and insulated sashes that further work to deaden sound. Although glazing can't completely soundproof a window, it can greatly reduce noise.
4. Storm Windows
Sound deadening storm windows are another possibility, particularly if you don't want to block the view with a plug but aren't ready to replace the windows. Storm windows can be glazed with multiple panes, including acrylic cores, so that they work similarly to new windows. There are seasonal storm windows that must be removed for summer, as well as those that are placed into a frame so you can open and close them at will.
5. Upgraded Curtains
Soundproof curtains are an excellent option. You can use them alone for sound deadening or in combination with the above techniques if you want the best soundproofing possible. These curtains are made from insulated fabric layers that are designed to absorb sound so that it doesn't enter or exit through the windows.
Contact a dealer of soundproof window treatments to learn more about each option.