window noise reduction

How sound infiltrates windows.

To many people, their homes are a place of safety and comfort. Unfortunately, outside factors can impact the interior comfort level. Noise from vehicles, sirens, neighbors, and other sources are a significant cause of reduced comfort inside one’s home.  In essence, noise is a pressure wave that travels through the air.  If left uninterrupted, the sound wave will reach the pressure-sensitive membranes in your ear drums. Noise/sound can infiltrate a home from a number of places, but windows are typically the weakest point.  This is because some substances are more effective communicators of sound than others. Standard glass used in most windows, for example, conveys sound quite readily. A house can be built with thick walls and sound-deadening insulation, but outside sounds will still be readily heard through closed windows. The secret to window noise reduction is to create an insulating layer of air that acts as a muffler, dampening exterior sounds. A number of sound reduction products are available for this purpose, including the award-winning Indow acoustic window inserts.


Noise Cancelling Options for Windows

Homeowners who do not want to purchase and install window inserts have a few other options. Those options will not be as effective as window inserts, but they can reduce noise around windows.


Heavy Window Curtains

Heavy, dual-layer curtains are an easy and possibly decorative option. These curtains create multiple layers of still air between the curtains and the window that capture and reduce any sounds that leach through the windows. Sheer, cotton, or linen curtains may be more decorative, but they will not serve any sound-deadening function. A homeowner who is committed to using curtains to reduce noise around windows will need to use thick and heavy drapery.   



Homeowners can also try installing heavy weather-stripping and window locks to better close a window against exterior sounds. Weather-stripping and window locks will create a better, tighter seal between windows and sashes that can act as a barrier to exterior sounds.


Noise Cancelling Window Inserts

Window inserts are the most effective sound dampening measure a homeowner can take to reduce noise pollution in the home. Inserts can reduce more than 50% of exterior ambient sounds, and in some circumstances, more than 70% of those sounds.  Inserts achieve these results with no loss of light or visibility through a window. Indow window inserts fit inside of an interior window frame and create a dead air zone between the window and the insert. Homeowners that are on a tighter budget can still achieve good sound reduction by installing inserts only on windows that are parallel or perpendicular to the noisiest areas outside of their homes, such as busy streets or parking lots.  However, to achieve the quietest interior environment possible, it is recommended that all windows in a desired room be protected with inserts.


Noise Cancelling Replacement Windows

indow noise reduction windows

Indow Acoustic Window Inserts can significantly reduce noise and increase comfort.

Another option to block exterior noise through windows is to replace entire windows with new acoustic grade units that are specifically engineered to dampen sound. Although special windows can be very effective, this is also the most expensive option that a homeowner can pursue to reduce window noise.  Special acoustic windows can cost more than 50% than traditional replacement windows that are not effective at sound dampening.  Window inserts are less costly than traditional replacement windows, which makes them far more economical than acoustic replacement windows.  Indow window inserts have been proven to be the more economic and efficient option to provide sufficient noise reduction for almost every situation.

Additional Benefits to Noise Cancelling Window Inserts

In addition to sound reduction, window inserts provide improved thermal insulation for the windows they are applied to.  This improved insulation helps improve comfort while also reducing a homeowner’s energy usage and utility bills. Some inserts are also rated for filtration of ultraviolet (UV) rays. UV protection reduces color fading and damage of furniture, flooring, clothing, and fixtures that get excessive exposure to sunlight through windows.  Indow window inserts are available with:

  • UV protection,
  • smoked effect for privacy,
  • Low-E protection to reduce heat transfer from radiant energy,
  • Sleep grade to block 100% of the incoming light, which creates a dark, quiet environment.
noise reduction windows

Indow Window Inserts can be installed in 60 seconds with no additional hardware needed.

As with all Indow window inserts, these variants also eliminate drafts so your room becomes instantly more comfortable and energy efficient

Overall, window inserts are easier to install than heavy curtains. Indow window inserts are very lightweight and, in most cases, can be installed in about 60 seconds by one person. No special tools or hardware are required to install Indow’s window insert. Other makes of window inserts may require drilling or adhesive for metal tracks, but these are still easier than installing heavy duty curtain rods and curtains.  Indow inserts feature a patented Compression Tube insertion system that creates a very tight seal between the insert and window frame, thus further adding to the insert’s noise reduction capabilities.


Green Home Ohio is a premier distributor and installer of the Indow Window Insert System, the Solatube Daylighting System, and other renewable energy products for residential and commercial applications. Our installation technicians are factory trained and certified to assess a customer’s needs and to provide recommendations for the best products and techniques to address window issues.

Please call Green Home Ohio at 614-561-6432 to
schedule an in-home consultation or for answers to your questions.