Noise pollution is a huge concern when you live in an urban sprawl like Southern California. And a lot of noise will enter the home through the thin glass in your windows.
If noise in the home is driving you nuts, soundproof windows might be just what the psychiatrist ordered!
Well, that depends on your expectations. The first thing I like to tell people who are looking into soundproof windows is that there isn’t really any such thing as fully soundproof windows. Really, a more accurate name would be sound-resistant. But in the window industry, most people will refer to them as soundproof windows.
There are a few different things a window manufacturer can do to make soundproof windows. Each option a manufacturer provides will affect the rating of the window, specifically the STC Rating.
Options for Soundproof Windows
There are several different ways a window can become a soundproof window. Obviously, a double pane window will be more soundproof than a single pane window. But while a dual pane window will cut out a lot of sound, it won’t be enough if you have serious noise issues. Here are some options for the truly noisy home:
Laminated Soundproof Windows
Laminating is the process of adhering a plastic layer in a pane of glass while it is being manufactured. This helps in two ways. First, it becomes like the windshield of a car. It is hard to break, and stays in place even when broken due to the plastic layer. This is great as an anti-burglary measure.
But it also creates two panels of different thickness, which counteracts a phenomenon known as sympathetic resonance. Sympathetic Resonance occurs when the inner panel of a window vibrates sympathetically to the vibrations of the outer panel, causing sound to come into a home more easily. When the two panels are different thicknesses, they don’t vibrate sympathetically as easily as they do when they are the same size.
Dissimilar Glass Packs
Another option that some manufacturers offer for soundproof windows is a dissimilar glass pack. This has a similar effect as laminated glass, except they just use a thicker pane of glass on the inside panel instead of laminating one of them.
Triple Pane Windows
Triple pane soundproof windows would be the next jump up from laminated or dissimilar glass. Just as the name implies, we add a third pane to the glass pack. This not only helps with sound, but also increases the energy efficiency of the windows.
Dual Sash Windows
If you really want to get the most sound resistance available, consider specialty soundproof windows that have an extra sash. This design is expensive, but can get you up to an STC 45 – 48! One company that does a real nice job with it is Milgard. Their soundproof windows, called the Quiet LineTM series does a fantastic job in the most extreme conditions!
Do you Really Need Soundproof Windows?
Unless you live in an area that has an unusually loud environment, you are probably going to be just fine with standard dual pane windows. They do a great job at cutting out a great deal of the sound. But if you’re unsure, it is best to have a consultation with us call today for free in home estimate 818.330.6664