What is the best window replacement option for a quieter home?
Noise pollution is a huge concern when you live in an urban sprawl like Southern California. A lot of noise is known to enter the home through thin, single-pane glass windows. If the outside noise is driving you crazy, sound reducing windows might be just what your next home upgrade should be.
Do “soundproof” windows actually work?
That depends on your expectations. The first thing Sivan Windows and Doors advises customers is that there isn’t really any such thing as fully “soundproof” windows. A more accurate name would be sound resistant or sound reducing windows – although most contractors will simply refer to them as “soundproof” windows.
There are a few different things a window manufacturer can do to make a window more resistant to sound. Each option will affect the rating of the window, specifically the STC Rating. Jeld-Wen explains, “Each pane in a dissimilar glass unit blocks different sound frequencies. One pane targets lower frequency sounds like a neighbor’s stereo or airplane noise. The other pane targets higher frequency sounds like screaming. The result is sound control over a greater range of frequencies and a significantly higher Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating than a window with standard dual-pane glass.”
Options for Sound Reducing Replacement Windows
There are several different ways a window can become a sound reducing or sound resistant window. Obviously, double pane windows will be more sound resistant than a single pane window, but while a dual pane window will cut out a lot of sounds, it won’t be enough if you have serious noise issues. Here are some options for the truly noisy home.
Laminated Replacement 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 similar to 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.
It also creates two layers of thickness, which counteracts something known as sympathetic resonance. Sympathetic resonance occurs when the inner panel of a window vibrates sympathetically to the vibrations of the outer panel, causing an outside 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 thickness.
Dissimilar Replacement Glass Packs
Another option that some manufacturers offer for “soundproofing” windows is a dissimilar glass pack. This has a similar effect as laminated glass except they use a thicker pane of glass on the inside panel instead of laminating one of them.
Triple Pane Replacement Windows
Triple pane replacement windows would be the next jump up from a laminated or dissimilar glass. Just as the name implies, we add a third pane to the glass pack. This not only helps with sound reduction but also increases the energy efficiency of the windows.
Dual Sash Replacement Windows
If you really want to get the most sound resistance available, consider specialty replacement 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 really nice job with it is Milgard. Their “soundproof” replacement windows, called the Quiet Line™ Series does a fantastic job in the most extreme conditions!
Do you Really Need “Soundproof” Replacement Windows?
Unless you live in an area that has an unusually loud environment, you are probably going to be fine with standard dual pane replacement windows. These windows 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 a free in-home estimate!
Milgard Quiet Line™ Series Windows are designed with premium vinyl and glass for superior sound control. These windows are perfect for replacement windows if you live near a busy downtown area or airport. Each window is triple glazed with airspace optimized to provide optimum sound reduction. Laminated glass and heavier glazing options are available.
Choosing the right windows can add flair and added value to your home. In a few years, you can save money and gradually add more resell value to your newly remodeled home by simply replacing your windows and doors. Consider choosing energy efficient windows and doors that are Energy Star certified. Energy efficient windows are quickly becoming the new industry standard when choosing to replace windows and doors because of their benefits.