Why Do Windows Whistle? Here’s Why & What You Can Do

windows whistle

Why Windows Whistle

At some point, you may have noticed your windows whistle? Other noises windows commonly make are popping or cracking that is the direct result of the double glazed unit glass expanding and contracting at different rates to the surrounding window frame. Whistling windows may be cause for concern when you hear them, so let’s look at the reasons windows whistle.

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Do your windows whistle especially when it’s windy? Double glazed windows making strange noises? When windows whistle it can be particularly annoying – especially if you have just settled down to relax on the sofa, or maybe it’s a bedroom window that whistles, this can be really annoying if you are trying to get to sleep. When the wind gets picks up outside, the windows whistle can be shrill and high-pitched and feel as if it’s cutting right through you. If you have experienced a window whistling then you will have asked yourself what causes it? And, more importantly, what can be done to stop the windows whistle? Let’s look at ways to stop whistling windows.

Residence modern windows do not whistle

What makes my windows whistle?

In order to stop a windows whistle, we will need to find out what’s causing the annoying noise in the first place. The principle is the same as blowing across the top of an empty bottle with no lid. If you blow across the top of an empty bottle it will produce a whistling noise. You can alter the pitch of the whistle by blowing harder, blowing harder creates a higher pitch sound because the air travels faster, bouncing around inside the bottle more frequently, this faster frequency creates a higher pitch noise.

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Why do my windows whistle when its windy outside?

Do you find that your windows whistle when it’s windy? Maybe your windows might be making a buzzing noise when the wind is blowing in a certain direction, or it may be that it occurs whenever it is windier than usual.

So why exactly do your windows whistle in the wind? The wind passes through a small space, as it does it bounces around from side to side, the small gap becomes a resonating chamber for the wind to bounce back and forth across. This is the exact same principle described above, the same thing happens when the wind blows across your windows. There are ways to stop a windows whistle, which we will look at in more detail.

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How To Stop my windows from whistling

If your windows whistle and you would like to stop them, there are a few things we will need to look at to identify what is causing the noise. The first thing we need to do is to look for and find any draughts that there may be around the window. Over time the silicone sealant that is used to seal windows during installation can shrink or crack.

If the silicone sealant has indeed shrunk or deteriorated over time, there will be gaps around the windows, this can make windows whistle as the wind will force through the small gaps and create noise. Broken down sealant can also cause a buzzing sound if it is loose and the wind blows past it.

If you find significant draughts, then you will need to replace the sealant around the edges of the windows, this will most likely be the cause of your windows whistle whilst it is windy.  If after sealing the window up and ensuring there are no gaps around the frame you find that the windows are still noisy, you may want to consider replacing the whole window.  

New Double-glazed windows offer superior soundproofing to that of single-glazed windows & Triple Glazing is even better again. Double and triple-glazed windows feature a spacer bar (warm edge), a quality window frame with air chambers to prevent cold bridges and an inert gas filling such as argon or krypton– together all of these features prevent the vibrations of one being transferred to the other.

Vertical Slider sash windows whistle

Sliding sash windows are renowned for whistling sounds and draughts especially the older windows. Vertical sliding sashes with wooden frames tend to warp and shrink over time, gaps then begin to form.  These gaps obviously allow air to pass through, will cause that famous, horrible whistling sound as well as being awfully heat-inefficient.

This isn’t the case with modern uPVC sash windows, due to the design of modern sliding sash windows along with advanced manufacturing techniques and better installation methods with better insulating materials to fill the gaps between the wall and the frames, such as gap-filling foam.

uPVC Windows Whistle

Timber Sash windows aren’t the only windows to suffer from the dreaded whistle, of course even newer, modern uPVC windows can develop issues that can cause them to whistle. Windows and doors that are properly adjusted can cause gaps that in turn can create whistles.

Windows can expand and contract which prevents them from entirely closing.  Your windows should form a tight seal when they’re shut, the locking mechanism should pull the window shut against the seals and prevent any gaps from forming.  If you have closed the window or door and you have a gap then you will need to either replace the gaskets around the edges of the window or potentially need a whole new window.

Common fixes for window whistles

There are two main factors that cause windows to whistle or buzz, there will be either gaps on the outside or on the inside of the window which allow air to pass through. Depending on what is causing the problem, here are the best ways to fix the problems with noisy windows.

Gaps Outside of the windows

Gaps on the outside of the windows might develop over time if the silicone seal breaks down, is incomplete or damaged, any gaps outside allows wind to blow through the gaps and around the frame. As well as silicone failing, you should also check to see if any of the external window reveal has cracked or come away creating gaps between the walls and the frames.

Gaps inside the windows

The cavity space between the window frame and the window aperture could also create an awful buzzing noise when it’s windy.  As we know, any voids or empty cavities can resonate acting as amplifiers, this makes even the smallest of sounds get louder.  When older windows were fitted years ago cavities were often left open, however nowadays when a window is installed any gaps are filled with expanding foam insulation to prevent noise and draughts from occurring.

Any annoying noises coming from your windows are almost certainly because of air leakage which causes the window components to vibrate. To windows making unwanted noise when the wind blows, the first thing to do is establish exactly what’s causing the problem.  In almost all cases, whistling is created by wind passing through a gap in the window – anything that you can do to close that gap will eliminate the whistling noise.

Where possible fill all hollow spaces around the window, remove the internal trims, and inspect the cavities. Make sure things such as trickle vents are secured into position as this will help reduce the noise – so be sure to check everything is nice and tight. The same advice is true for doors, entrance doors should be set up properly so that the mechanism pulls the door slab onto the weather seal properly.

With a bit of investigation and some elbow grease, you should be able to sort out all of your windows and have a set of windows and doors that function as they should – without generating an annoying noise when you’re trying to relax or get to sleep!

Need New Windows?

If your windows are past it and you need some new ones, get in contact today to see how we can help you.

Why Do Windows Whistle?

Windows whistle because gaps around the window or on the window allow the wind to be forced through small gaps causing an annoying whistle. Poorly shutting windows, poor sealant or poorly located trickle vents can all cause window whistles.

Why Do Doors Whistle?

Doors whistle because gaps around the door or the door slab allow the wind to be forced through small gaps causing an annoying whistle. Poor functioning doors can allow wind to push past the slab causing whistles.

How Can I fix A whistling Window?

You can fix a whistling window by making sure that the sealant is intact and not cracked outside the window. If in any doubt you should remove the old sealant and reseal.
Fill any voids or holes on the inside of the window to prevent wind resonating in the cavity.
Secure anything on the window that could of come loose such as trickle vents.
Make sure the window closes correctly against the weather seals.

How Can I Fix A Whistling Door

Ensure that the silicone outside is intact, there are no visible holes or gaps around the frame.
Check the inside of the frame, make sure any voids are filled.
Check that the door slab pulls tight against the frame when the door is shut with keeps engaged.
Adjust door as needed to ensure a tight seal.

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How To Fix A whistling Window Easily in 5 minutes

20 minutes 20 hours

  1. Find The Source Of The Air Leak

    poor silicone sealing

    The first step towards fixing a whistling window is to find the source of the air leak. Check everywhere to see where wind could be entering the home.

  2. Check Silicone For Cracks Or Holes

    Bad siliconing example

    Check the sealant around the outside of the window and make sure there are no cracks or holes. It is best practice to remove all old silicone and reseal if there is any sign of cracking or failing. This is an example of a job we visited for a customer, this silicone was allowing wind into the room ansd causing draughts and noises.

  3. Reseal Using Low Modulus Silicone

    Low modulus silicone

    Re seal the window outside using low modulus silicone, make sure there are no holes and no gaps.

  4. Check Trickle Vent Is Secure Outside

    trickle vents

    Whilst you are outside sealing up the window, check that the trickle vent (if fitted) is secure as this can cause a whistle or a buzz if it’s loose. Most trickle vents are held in place with a couple of Phillips head screws.

  5. Check The Inside Of The Window Is Properly Sealed

    sealing inside of windows

    As with the outside, you should check that the inside of the window is also sealed properly and that there are no draughts coming in. If the trims are lifting away from the wall, seal the trim to the wall with decorators caulk.

  6. Check The Window Closes Properly

    Residence windows cornwall

    Finally check that the window closes properly and forms a good seal against the frame. If there are any gaps these will need to be addressed either by adjusting the window mechanism or renewing the seals if they have perished.

Estimated Cost: 10.00 GBP

Tools:

  • Silicone Gun
  • Scraper
  • Phillips screwdriver

Materials: Silicone Masking tape

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