Sound Proofing Your Home With New Replacement Windows

Sound Proofing Your Home With New Replacement Windows

Sound Proofing Your Home With New Replacement Windows

Outside noise driving you crazy?

Non-stop traffic, planes flying over, neighbors’ dog won’t stop barking?

Almost too often there are sounds intruding from outside which we simply cannot ignore, and unfortunately noise pollution is a part of modern society. With advanced design, however, you are now finally able to create a barrier that stops the sound from invading your privacy.

How Soundproof Windows Work

“Soundproof” windows actually mean “noise reduction” windows.

This is done by creating a window barrier that captures the sound. In order to achieve this, three things need to be considered.

Mass, stiffness, and damping.

Glass by itself has very little damping ability, and increasing the stiffness isn’t possible for soundproofing purposes. Increasing the mass of a window by making it thicker does have an affect on the sound attenuation ( opposite of amplify ), and this does then cover only one aspect of the noise reduction. Manufacturers produce glass lites of different thickness. They also increase the airspace between the lites to further reduce incoming noise. Laminating the glass is another technology manufacturers use to further enhance noise reduction capabilities.

You may even opt for all of the above to achieve maximum results. The industry-leading designs are able to reduce anywhere from 90% – 95% of incoming noise, depending on the materials used and the quality of the installation.

How Noise Levels Are Measured

The ability of replacement windows to reduce noise is measured in 2 ways.

  • STC – Sound Transmission Class
  • OITC – Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class

Soundproof windows carry an STC ratings of at least 45, and some even go over the mid-50 mark. It is important to remember that low-frequency noises, such as lawnmowers, are harder to block than high-frequency noises like birds chirping. OITC has been around since 1990, and it is primarily based on low-frequency sounds like vehicles, construction, and low-flying planes. Because it is still in its infancy, OITC has yet to spread across the window industry. This often makes it harder to get an OITC rating from manufacturers..

STC, on the other hand, only measures noise reduction for high-frequency sounds, like birds chirping. What STC does offer, however, is an industry agreed-upon benchmark, which makes it easy for consumers to understand how the noise impact will affect them.

STC Explained

So what difference does one rating differ from another?

STC has been the standard for the window industry since 1961. A basic terms, a single-pane window has an average STC rating of 27, while a double-paned window’s average STC rating is 28. A standard insulated window with one layer of laminated glass has an STC of around 32 – 35. A single – or double-paned window that has been soundproofed averages an STC rating of 50.

The changes in sound can be described as follows in terms of STC ratings:

* +/- 1 STC points – Almost imperceptible
* +/- 3 STC points – Just perceptible
* +/- 5 STC points – Clearly noticeable
* +/- 10 STC points – Twice (or half) as loud

To put this into perspective, the following ratings could be considered:

* 25 – Normal speech can be easily heard and understood
* 30 – Loud speech can be easily heard and understood
* 35 – Loud speech heard, but not understood
* 40 – Loud speech now only a murmur
* 45 – Loud speech not heard, but music systems and heavy traffic can still be a problem
* 50 – Very loud sounds such as musical instruments or a stereo can be faintly heard
* 60+ Excellent soundproofing

If noise reduction is your desire, remember that, while you cannot completely eliminate 100% of the noise coming from outside, you are in a position to reduce loud sounds significantly. This can be done to the point where noise pollution is no more, and you may once again be able to enjoy peace and tranquillity in your own home.