'Soundproof' windows...good or bad idea?

sjetexasSeptember 17, 2006

Hi all.

Has anyone had any experience with "soundproof" windows? These are windows that mount inside one's current windows. Supposedly, they cut sound by 75%+ (stc in the high 30s/low 40s), help with energy savings, and dust. I am interested in their sound reducing abilities. The idea behind them makes sense to me as I've heard airspace is what's important in stopping sound, and these would create a 2-4 inch barrier between the two windows. I would think this is better than the airspace created with good double panes.

I have a 14 year old house that has what I think are builder grade single pane windows. As far as I can tell, they seem to be fully functional and are in no need of replacement due to being worn or broken. The noise problem is not severe, just basic neighborhood traffic. However, I have an open floorplan, and noise from the front of the home pretty much travels throughout the house. I was curious as to whether installing these windows on my front windows would help my issue. I prefer not to go through the expense of replacing my windows, especially if these would actually do a better job.

For more info on these windows...

I am thinking of ordering from...


More info from similar products at http://www.soundproofwindows.com and http://www.citiquiet.com

I have searched the internet for unbiased reviews, and there is not much out there. Some positive, some not. I think the performance of these windows would depend on other factors (i.e. if one's home is old and has no/poor insulation, no window is going to solve a noise problem). Since my home is relatively modern, fully bricked, and insulated...I am thinking windows are the primary transfer of noise into the home.

Anyway, does anyone have any experiences...personal or hearsay? Is the idea/technology behind this kind of window a sound one (no pun intended)?

I appreciate any advice!

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Hi, we encountered something like these when traveling in Asia about eight years ago. They seemed popular with older hotels and older vacation homes over there.

They did a very good job soundproofing the places where we stayed. Single pane exterior windows were useless agains street noise several floors down especially in Hong Kong. With the interior window closed, street noise becamse barely audible. It was fantastic.

Energey efficiency was not so obvious. The countries we visited were mostly on the equator except for Hong Kong. When the exterior single pane got burning hot in the afernoon sun, the interior soundproofing window would become quite warm. Not hot but noticeably warm. I would say it was warmer than modern low-E type double pane windows. In West-facing area, a setting sun could "cut" right through both windows to heat our skin. We had to use the thin shade curtain and blast the A/C.

We also noticed severe condesation problems in high humidity places. In Singapore, condensation was quite severe especially after a monsoon downpour. The hotel staff used extra towels to line the exterior of the interior windows and the towels were completely soaked soggy wet. We used up 2 large bath towels each day just keeping the area from "flooding". Amazingly, I do not remember seeing mildew at any of these places, they must have special paint or they do constant drying and cleaning each time people check out.

Finally, none of the places that used these windows did anything to beautify the interior windows. They all looked exactly like plain old Aluminum windows mounted on the inside. Everything worked the same as good old Aluminum windows. Could be they are just industrial installation in older hotel so they did not bother.

You may want to check how they will look inside a home, how they handle condensation and whether they can truly provide energy savings on sunny side of your house. Our experience is 8 years old, they may have made significant advances since then.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 3:08AM
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Thanks for that insight! Makes me feel better for this being an option.

I don't really care that much about the energy saving aspect or the aesthetics (although how they work with my blinds could be an issue). Condensation could be an issue, as I live in Houston which can be pretty humid. That will definitely be something I bring up if I have them installed.

    Bookmark   September 18, 2006 at 9:45AM
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I currently live in a 10 year old building in Shanghai, where it is VERY humid all of the time, noisy, smoggy and dusty; and added another layer of windows to my flimsy existing single pane windows, and it made a world of difference. Not only did it help with the sound, but the cool air retention in the summer as well as all of the condensation that used to build up on the windows in the winter is gone. I mounted mine outside of my current windows, so there were no problems with the blinds in the window reveals, etc. I recommend it.

    Bookmark   September 24, 2006 at 4:33AM
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sjetexas - I, too, live in Houston and am considering getting soundproof windows from the company you mentioned (houstonwindowsplus)... Did you decide to get the windows? If so, have they worked and did you like the company that installed them? Any feedback would be appreciated.

    Bookmark   February 3, 2007 at 7:01PM
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I really want to the thank the folks at CitiQuiet for the work they did to my new apartment. I recently got a job in Miami and let me tell you - coming from a homey little suburb in New Jersey, I didn't realize how loud the city could get! My neighbors like to play music all day long when I need to do some work from home; and when the sun goes down, the Miami nightlife noises are incessant! My sleep was lacking, and in turn, I was grouchy and not as productive a worker as I could be.

I spoke with my landlord and apparently the walls were pretty well insulated so my noise dilemma was due to the quality of my windows. My apartment is a loft, so the ceilings are really high with very large windows, allowing plenty of sunlight to shine through. But at that point, I was really starting to reconsider my residence of choice. I googled soundproofing windows and CitiQuiet was one of the first results so I checked them out. The rep on the phone was super friendly and did not make up some bull just to get the sale (I work in sales myself so I can spot insincerity right off the bat). Just like their website, he told me that their soundproofing technique does not eliminate 100% of all outdoor noise - but they sure come close enough for comfort.

What I liked the most about the product (besides finally getting a good night's sleep!) was that they did not have to do any major construction. They were in and out of my place in just a couple hours and all they did was add a special unit on to the windows that were already there. Basically, if I WANT to open myself up to the sounds from the outside, I have that option!

What a HUGE difference!! The first night with my new windows in place I slept like a baby and honestly, felt at home for the first time since I moved down here. I don't have to turn up my TV to overpower the others noise and when I want quiet time - I get it. Definitely a great investment; I would recommend these guys to anyone!

Here is a link that might be useful: CitiQuiet.com

    Bookmark   April 19, 2010 at 11:11PM
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OK let's see. You just registered today and this is your first and only post. The first thing you did was dig up a 3 year old thread and post to it. You say you spoke to your landlord, that means you are a renter and you invested your money into a permanent improvement on a rental property. You never posted on this site when you were looking for windows that would solve your problem but, after the work was done, you somehow found your way here. And now you are spamming this site trying to drum up business for the company that did the installation.

Does that about sum it up?

    Bookmark   April 20, 2010 at 3:41AM
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Woah there buddy. I am sorry to have offended you. I was under the impression that we had freedom of speech in this county, and I could post my thoughts on an open site... but I guess I was wrong. But since you are so interested in me and my intentions, let me tell you about the flowers that I am trying to care for on my balcony. I don't know much about that sort of thing so I looked up some gardening stuff online and found this site. IRONICALLY someone was posting about soundproofing and I JUST had that done so I got a little excited to share my thoughts...give my input. So anyways, thank you for YOUR input - I'm sure your cynical attack has helped alot of people out there find a solution to their noise problem.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 9:39PM
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Post all the thoughts you want. Just don't expect them to go unchallenged. Freedom of speech is a 2 way street.

I'm sure I have helped hundreds of people with my postings about soundproofing windows in the many years and hundreds of posting I have made here over the years. But, thanks for your anecdotal input. I'm sure many people learned something from it. Mainly who they should call.

Sorry if I had you wrong but, you fit the pattern of spammers who try and use this site to drum up business. Again, my apologies.

    Bookmark   April 28, 2010 at 10:55PM
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