How to reduce outside noise with blinds

5 min readIt’s safe to say that no one enjoys the sound of barking dogs, construction, noisy neighbours or heavy traffic on their street. But before you start sending passive-aggressive notes or searching for somewhere else to live, it might be worth considering new window treatments and other sound-reducing measures.

Sound can travel easily through glass, so it’s no surprise that your windows and doors can leave you exposed to the noise coming from outside your home. Sure, double-glazed windows can help to reduce said noise significantly, but this option can also be quite expensive, unlike window treatments which are a more cost-effective way to reduce outside noise.

reduce noise curtains
37 Page Street, Albert Park, VIC

The main reason window treatments are effective at reducing noise in your home is they act as sound absorbers. By absorbing the sound that passes through the windows, less sound can enter your home, which is excellent for rooms that require a little extra peace and quiet. While no window treatment can completely soundproof a room, the following three styles can significantly reduce outside noise. Plus, we’ve also included some extra tips below to ensure your home is quieter than ever before.

The best window treatments to reduce noise at home

Roman blinds

Far from being just a stylish window treatment, these classic shades are great for maintaining calm and quiet inside your home. Roman blinds can be custom-made with thick, block out fabric, which works to trap noise between the window and the blind. Other materials such as sunscreen or translucent will offer some noise reduction relief; however, for the best results, it’s wise to choose the thickest fabric available.

reduce noise roman blinds
Image: ABC Blinds

Curtains

Curtains function similarly to roman blinds when it comes to blocking out noise. These fabric window treatments can absorb a surprising amount of street noise, providing they are custom made from a thick material and hang from floor to ceiling. With thick curtains that cover both the wall and the window, the noise-blocking benefits will be significantly better. If your street is particularly loud, you can also enhance the effects by pairing the curtains with another window treatment, like shutters, to create a double barrier to external noise.

In addition to blocking out street noise, the other main benefit of fabric blinds like romans and curtains is that they can be made in almost any colour you desire, from a variety of plain or textured fabrics to suit your style.

Shutters

Shutters can be installed on the outside or inside of any window to protect from strong winds and harsh sunlight. These window treatments can be beneficial for blocking out noise due to their thick construction and durable nature. Commonly there are two different types of shutter materials used: timber and aluminium. Both of these have insulating properties. However, a softer material like timber is preferable to aluminium when it comes to blocking noise. This is because more delicate materials absorb the echo inside the room, instead of letting it bounce off as it typically would in the case of a hard, reflective surface such as aluminium.

reduce noise plantation shutters
Image: ABC Blinds

Extra noise-reducing tips

To complement the above window treatments, there are a few other things you can do to minimise outside noise inside your home. So, whether you’ve installed curtains, roman blinds or shutters, you can try some of these simple, yet effective tips and enjoy the peaceful results.

Check caulking

It’s worth keeping in mind that even with noise reducing window treatments installed, outside noise will remain an issue if your windows or doors aren’t properly sealed. If you’ve noticed a few phantom drafts or noises in your home, it may be a result of poor or damaged caulking. Take 10 minutes to walk around the inside and outside areas of your home to check the caulking (which refers to the sealant used for gaps, joints and seams in a building).

Should you find any caulking that needs to be repaired, look for acoustical sealant. Conventional caulk will harden and eventually crack, where acoustical caulk is made to remain flexible for many years to come.

Insulate your home

Proper insulation inside your walls and ceiling can make a massive difference in so many ways. In addition to regulating the inside temperature throughout the year, insulation can also help to control the sound that permeates through walls, windows and doors. Consider installing insulation products such as ceiling panels, mass-loaded vinyl, neoprene rubber, foam, and fibreglass behind walls and ceiling panels to reduce the amount of noise coming into your home from every direction.

Add rugs & wall hangings

Do you have floorboards or concrete floors in your home? The addition of a rug or two can help to make all the difference. Not only are rugs a stylish addition to any interior, but they do a great job at absorbing sound. Plus, by adding foam rubber backing to your rugs, you can make them even more effective at minimising sound.

Wall hangings are another simple yet effective addition to the home. Once mounted in place, the fabric will soften noise that enters the room through the walls, making them perfect for bedrooms, living rooms or other areas where quiet is desired.

Reduce noise rugs curtains richmond
137-139 Kent Street, Richmond, VIC

Rearrange furniture

This next tip can be particularly effective when you have lots of loud noises coming directly from the next-door neighbours. By merely practising some feng shui around the house and rearranging the furniture, you can muffle outside noise. With larger furniture like couches or bookcases placed against the walls, they’ll act as noise-cancelling barriers that can absorb the annoying sounds of shouting, music, babies crying or dogs barking.

New window treatments plus simple modifications you can do yourself make all the difference when you need to reduce outside noise. We hope these tips come in handy to minimise the amount of external noise that can make its way into your home.

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Mel Brice
Mel Brice is the Managing Director at Half Price Blinds, an online retailer that delivers quality window coverings Australia-wide for the lowest prices.

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