Soundproofing For Windows

Do your neighbors keep you up at night or do you live near an airport or any other noisy environment? Before you get ready to move to a quieter place, consider ways to make your own home a more peaceful place to be. If you have a noise problem then soundproofing for windows is your solution. Though most people don’t realize it, the windows are typically the most common way that noise travels in and out of a room.

A soundproofing window is a second window placed behind your existing window that opens and closes just like your current one. There is no need to remove or replace your window to eliminate noise problems.

Soundproof windows insulate, stop drafts, soundproof and more. Sound control windows are another way to soundproof a bedroom. These windows have a frame that blocks sound, and they also are sealed to prevent sound leakage.

Single and Double-Paned Windows

Most homes are equipped with single pane windows installed on a wood frame. These windows offer poor noise reduction capabilities. In a double pane window, the two pieces of glass are coupled within the same frame and vibrate together. The air space does very little to retard the vibrations. The glass is usually rather thin.

Double-pane windows achieve somewhat greater sound damping than single pane windows. The increase in soundproofing with higher energy efficiency windows is primarily due to the better seals on double-pane than single pane windows. Sound proof windows use laminated glass. The inner layer of plastic stops vibrations.

Significant noise reduction can be achieved by installing a second interior window. In this case the exterior window remains in place while a slider or hung window is installed within the same wall opening.

Soundproofing Your Basement

Many basements have small casement windows installed to allow light into the rooms. Unfortunately, they also allow sound to leak outside. Seal all windows with caulk to prevent noise from seeping outside. For additional soundproofing, cover the windows entirely with either a sound mat or with acoustical ceiling tiles.

Window plugs are created out of 1" or 2" soundproofing mats and are inserted around the window frame. They can be custom built or you can fashion one yourself. These plugs form a tight sound barrier around the cracks in the window frame. Window plugs do block all the light off from a window though.

There are several different methods to control sound that may seep from a ground or upper-level window. These methods include installing a double or triple-pane window to replace a single pane window. Not only will noise from the inside of the house be reduced, but also outside noise to the inside of the house will be reduced.

Another method to control noise via windows is to install an acoustical noise-dampening plastic film to window glass. This material prevents sound from transmitting through the glass.

Exterior Noise

The best answer to exterior noise and windows is to find a commercial window designed for sound control. Materials used for sound proofing rooms are all rated for effectiveness. These ratings are known as Sound Transmission Class ratings (STC) and are a measure of how much sound is stopped by a particular material. The higher the STC rate, the better the soundproofing capabilities of a material.

Windows, insulation, and carpeting all have STC ratings. When shopping for windows, don’t simply look for high STC’s, but also consider the weight of each side of the window, and the depth of the air space. All things even, the deeper, heavier window is preferable.

Alternating layers of air and thick glass can make a truck-jammed street seem no louder than a person to person conversation. By sandwiching three-quarters of an inch of air between glass sheets the soundproofing effect is astonishing.

Commercial sound isolating windows are available as complete units. They are typically with laminated glass on at least one side, thicker than normal panes, and well-designed seals and other considerations. In other cases, commercial products are sold as add-ons, to be installed behind your existing window with an air space between the newly installed window and the old. Typically, these add-on windows feature thick laminated glass.

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