Blinds or Fabric Shades to Reduce Outside Noise

Written by amanda gaddis
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Blinds or Fabric Shades to Reduce Outside Noise
Both window blinds and fabric shades can help reduce noise. (Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images)

When it comes to soundproofing a house, there are many ways to reduce noise that travels through walls, but windows can present more of a problem. Glass transmits sound more easily than walls with insulation, but you can soundproof your windows by using both shades and window blinds. The key to any kind of noise reduction on windows is to leave a space to trap sound waves. This can be accomplished by using two barriers to sound.

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Choosing Blinds

When choosing blinds to reduce noise through windows, you want to imagine how the blinds will block sound. Thin plastic window blinds will vibrate and allow sound to pass through. Window blinds called "acoustic blinds" are reinforced with foam or fibreglass to reduce noise. If you can't purchase these kinds of window shades, look for thick plastic or wooden shades because these will reduce more noise than cheap plastic window blinds.

Choosing Shades

Shades can also help reduce noise if they are thick enough. As well as acoustic blinds, some window shades are made thicker by applying a thin coating of foam to the back side of the fabric. Many window shades are also sold as light-blocking and noise-reducing shades. These shades are made of thick fabric that is sprayed on the back side with flexible white plastic to reflect light and reduce sound waves. If you can't find these kinds of shades in your area, any window shades made with thick fabric will reduce noise better than thin shades.

Using Both

Soundproofing experts also recommend providing a double barrier to sound waves in windows. Install thick wooden blinds inside the window frame and a noise reducing window shade just outside of the frame, leaving 1 inch of open air space between them. Leaving space will trap sound waves and provide a double layer of soundproofing.

Other Ways to Reduce Noise

There are other ways to reduce noise through windows. You can plant thick shrubs outside of windows to reduce outside noise. Sound also travels through tiny cracks in the window frame, so installing weather stripping will cut down on noise. Thick curtains in addition to blinds or shades will provide yet another layer of sound installation. When installing curtains to block sound coming through windows, install curtain rods that are farther away from the wall so that there is a space between the blinds or shade and the curtains to provide that insulating layer of air.

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