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Need to keep the heat in and the cold out!
January 20, 2008 7:10 PM   Subscribe

Does soundproofing material in a window also keep out the cold?

I have the draftiest, cheapest windows on the planet, and per our condo association I can't ever put in storm windows on the outside. (Basement level condo.) My handyman put in additional insulation around the windows; plastic sheeting doesn't really help much; I put my Norwegian duna (sp?) in the window by my head, which is better than nothing but I still literally get woken up almost every night by the draft blowing--blowing!!--in my face.

To say nothing of the energy being wasted here, I also run cold, freezing actually, don't know why being born here in New England, and I would love to not walk around my home wrapped in a blanket with the heat turned to 75 F. I am considering getting insulated curtains, but someone told me that it's better to put soundproofing material in instead. Has anyone had any experience with this? He told me the name of a soundproofing materials company, but now I forget it. Is one cheaper and/or better than the other? Thanks in advance for any answers you may have.
posted by Melismata to Home & Garden (8 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
 
Thermal and sound insulation usually go hand-in-hand. A fiberglass batt will address both, for example. If your windows are drafty, however, that's the problem you need to solve. Can they be weather-stripped to stop the air leaks? If it's in the budget, the best fix is to replace your windows with good quality double- or triple-pane windows. If they look just like the old ones, your condo association can't complain. Another option is to have a second window mounted on the inside. See soundproofwindows.com for examples.
posted by brain at 7:46 PM on January 20, 2008


They make/sell interior storm windows. I actually just made a cheap set on my own as I live in an old building with 40" x 84" single pain windows. These would let in both the cold and traffic noise.

I found a plastics place and had them cut a couple of 3/16" sheets to size. To hold them up I bought some velcro tape. Which works great for me as I wanted to be able to easily take them down if there is a nice day in the middle of winter.

This place sells a kit with magnets for attaching the windows, but I found the velcrotape both looks ok and works great.
posted by travis08 at 8:53 PM on January 20, 2008


air isn't such a great conductor of heat, so most heat loss is by convection: i.e. air moving in mass. sound is the movement of air (transverse vibrations) so anything that stifles sound will work by stopping the movement of the air and therefore also stop the loss of heat by convection.
posted by geos at 9:19 PM on January 20, 2008


Go get some Daptex. It's a latex foam that you can spray along all the cracks where air can get in between the sash and the jamb, and it cleans up in spring with no problem.
posted by dhartung at 9:28 PM on January 20, 2008


Some of that draft might actually not be coming through cracks around the window frames. If it's really cold outside, and you've only got single glazing, a window can generate quite a strong draft indoors simply because the freezing-cold glass cools the indoors air right next to it, which makes it denser than the surrounding air, which makes it sink. If your head is underneath the window, you would definitely feel that as a downward-flowing draft.

Double glazing will fix that.
posted by flabdablet at 5:20 AM on January 21, 2008


Thanks for the answers so far.

Would something like this work? Would it be more effective than plexiglas?

Also: travis08, what kind of establishment, on or off line, would sell plexiglas? Home Depot, as usual, doesn't come through; you say a "plastics" place, what would I search for on Google?

Thanks again.
posted by Melismata at 8:34 AM on January 21, 2008


It depends on your area, of course, but around here we have Tap Plastic, "the fantastic plastic place!" They do sheet, rod, tube, all manner of other plastic oddities, and cut things to size all the time, for a small charge. Take a look in the phone book, it's one of the few things they're still good for.
posted by wzcx at 11:34 AM on January 21, 2008


Would something like this work? Would it be more effective than plexiglas?

Yes, that would give you more insulation than the plexiglass. If your problem is air coming around the window tho, you still need to fix that (don't think the foam is going to do a very good job at stopping drafts).

Also: travis08, what kind of establishment, on or off line, would sell plexiglas? Home Depot, as usual, doesn't come through; you say a "plastics" place, what would I search for on Google?

Both the big home improvement stores (Lowes and Home Depot) in my area carry pelxiglass sheets.
posted by Sirius at 1:53 PM on January 21, 2008


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