When you think of your windows, you probably don’t think of them as an investment in sound quality for your home. However, windows play an important role in protecting your home from unwanted noise by acting as a barrier to sound. Even so, some windows are better at this job than others: For example, certain double-hung windows that are commonly found in homes across the country can actually amplify sounds when the two panes of glass rattle in their frames, which creates noise of its own and allows more foreign sounds to enter your home.
For anyone who just wants peace and quiet within the comfort of their own home, these noisy windows can be a real problem. Thankfully, there are certain windows that do a better job of blocking noise than others, so take a look at this list of “acoustic” window features!
The main factors that affect a window’s ability to muffle foreign sounds are proportional to the mass of the window, its area, the stiffness of the glass–also called the limpness–as well as the degree of airtightness. As the thickness of the glass and number of panes in a window increase, then the window’s noise reduction potential typically increases as well. Additionally, the greater distance between panes of glass within your windows, the less sound they will allow through.
Laminated glass–a type of safety glass that holds together even when shattered–is one of the more effective types of glass for noise reduction, and in fact, a thin pane of laminated glass can reduce as much or more sound than a larger, thicker, non-laminated pane.
Even if the panes of glass in your window are thick and heavy, if the frames are light, then they will rattle and allow for sound leakage. Because of this, frames should have the same surface weight as the glass. You should also check to make sure that your windows have been installed securely, glazed properly, and are free of leaks in order for them to achieve optimal sound reduction.
Also, be sure to ask for more details about a window’s noise reduction abilities from vendors before you purchase. And for more information about windows, visit our website!