If there’s one place you don’t want to be polluted with noise, it’s your house. With the alarming increase in noise pollution in Canada today, not being able to keep the unwanted sound outside could be detrimental to your health. The headaches, restlessness, and inability to focus could drive you crazy.
However, there’s one solution to controlling the noise outside – Soundproof Windows. But how to choose the right ones? We have contacted Ecoline windows and doors experts so they clarify some key things our readers need to know before making a final decision.
If you live in a high noise level area and are willing to shut the noise out, we’ll be showing you all you need to know about soundproof windows.
What are Soundproof Windows?
Soundproof windows are acoustically engineered windows that block the noise out of buildings where they have been installed. These windows help reduce the amount of noise that gets into your house, thereby enhancing the serenity in your home.
You must know that these windows do not completely eliminate the noise, but they reduce it drastically and make them barely noticeable.
How do they work?
Soundproof windows create an almost impenetrable barrier between the noise outdoors and your ears when they are installed. These windows capture and slow down the mechanical wave of sound energy; hence, reducing how much sound you can hear in your space. Soundproof windows only capture 90-95% of this sound energy. So low-ranged frequencies might be difficult to block out.
How to Choose the Right Soundproof Windows
When window manufacturers are producing soundproof windows, they focus more on improving the Sound and Transmission Class (STC) Rating. Windows with a higher STC rating blocks out more sound. To improve the STC rating, window manufacturers do the following;
- Keep an Eye Out for Thicker Glasses
Soundproof windows have thicker glasses, as an increase in mass reduces the penetration of sound waves. Thicker glasses have extra layers that make it impossible for vibration to occur on both sides of the window.
- Mixed millimeter glass design
Windows with mixed glass designs tend to absorb sound waves quickly. When your soundproof windows have mixed glasses, they can dampen different types of sounds even at different frequencies.
- Added air space
Separate window panes from each other and leave room for air. The dead space between materials reduces the resonance by reducing vibrations from sound waves. When there are no materials in between to pass through sound waves will disperse more quickly.
- Laminated glass
Glasses are laminated with a plastic-like material that minimizes sound transmission. A layer of a material known as Polyvinyl Butyral (PVB) is placed between the glass panes to control the sound waves coming in.
- Spring-loaded seals
Seals with spring-loads squeeze the windowpane tight enough to prevent vibrations when hit by sound waves. The tight squeeze from spring-loaded seals holds the glass panels firmly and prevents sound leakage.
How to Measure the Level of Soundproofing
To measure the effectiveness of your soundproofing window, you’d need to understand the STC rating of that window. The STC rating indicates how much sound waves can travel through your window and disturb your peace.
Most soundproof windows have an STC rating ranging from 20 to 38. However, 26 is a standard STC rating for dissipating sound to a large extent. When the STC rating of your window falls below 26, you can easily hear two people conversing outside.
Here’s the STC rating for your different window panes for reference;
- Single-pane windows have an STC rating of about 27.
- Dual pane windows have an STC rating of about 26.
- The STC rating of soundproof windows ranges from 48-54.
If you want to block out about 95% of external sound, consider higher-end soundproof windows. These windows have a 50+ STC rating, so hearing any sound from outside will be extremely difficult.
Other Sound Control Solutions
Not sure whether you need to go all out and replace your old windows with a new soundproof solution? That is fine. Getting new windows is expensive and needs some time to research the market. Meanwhile, there are some other ways through which you can apply to reduce the noise coming into your house. Some of these methods include;
- Curtains and Rugs
Hanging curtains over windows and doors can help dampen the noise coming into your apartment. The good thing about this method is that you also get to add to the interior design of your apartment. Spreading rugs on your floor also reduces the noise that comes from stamping your feet and outdoor vibrations.
- Window inserts
Window inserts are multi-functional instruments. When you install one to your window it acts as an insulator and noise absorber. Window inserts create that air space that dissipates sound waves when coming in.
- Seal up gaps
Sound can penetrate through cracks and gaps in your door. To seal these gaps, use an acoustic door sealing kit or replace your door with a thicker one. For more precaution, caulk around light fixtures and receptacle boxes from which sound may penetrate.
Are soundproof windows worth it?
Soundproof windows are quite costly and may vary depending on the window style, number of windows, window and frame size, glass type, and cost of installation. Installing soundproof windows is only an ideal option if you live in an area with a high level of noise. Otherwise, try alternative means to soundproofing your residence.
Make Sure to Hire the Right People to Do the Jon
Keeping the noise out of your house is soothing relief. You can sleep better and stay a lot more focused, especially if you work from home.
So, if you’ve decided to replace your old windows and get new soundproof units for your house, be sure to contact a professional from a reputable company before proceeding to install soundproof windows. This way, you get your windows installed adequately at the right price. A quick checklist to ensure you deal with the right window company:
- Your installers follow CSA guidelines and local building codes
- You are offered with a decent warranty to cover any potential issues
- Your window company is reputable and deal only with in-house installers
- Online reviews are great
- All products are Energy Star rated and NAFS-11 tested.