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November 27th 2020

How to Soundproof Windows

It is no exaggeration that soundproofing windows can change your life, especially if you live in a bustling area that puts your home (or place of business) right at the center of a gamut of noises. There are various sources for unwanted noise, such as construction work or city maintenance, slews of commuter traffic, aircrafts taking off and landing, or simply the collective noise from people as they go about their day. This is not good for anyone. It’s been proven that exposure to prolonged or excessive noise can cause a wide range of health problems including stress, fatigue, lack of sleep, and, in extreme cases, cardiovascular disease.

By soundproofing your windows you’re likely to get better, uninterrupted sleep and therefore, improved productivity. On top of the immediate benefits to your health and wellbeing, soundproof windows can also lower your energy costs and be a critical selling point for your property if it is located in a busy area.

In this article, we will discuss the vital concepts about soundproofing and the options available for you.

Let’s get started!

A woman relaxing and drinking coffee inside her home

Why Should We Focus on Soundproofing the Windows?

Soundproofing is the process of removing or reducing unwanted noise from a house, office, commercial space, and so on. Windows are oftentimes the go-to spot when it comes to soundproofing a structure or part of a structure.
Though many property owners know this intuitively, science can back it up. Due to the density of concrete and brick they do not allow sound waves to pass through easily. When it comes to glass, however, sound waves can travel through much easier – especially for single-pane glass found in older windows. Moreover, some windows are not sealed properly, allowing for even more sound waves to pass through them.

Do I Need to Replace My Old Windows to Soundproof My Home?

Soundproofing windows often involves a multi-pronged approach. In some cases, you might need to replace old windows entirely with more updated soundproofed windows. In other cases, you may only need a window insert or other external solutions. In the rest of this article, we’ll discuss all the options you can consider.

Sealing Windows to Reduce Noise

We mentioned earlier that any gaps around your window(s) can add to the amount of outside noise that gets into your house, office, or commercial space. Even if you have windows that have a high STC (sound transmission class) rating, unsealed gaps will still allow outside noise to get through. Therefore, it’s always important to assess if these gaps could be the problem and to act on it accordingly.

One of the simplest and most effective ways to seal small gaps between a window frame and an interior wall is to use an acoustic caulk, a noise-blocking latex-based sealant that you can easily apply yourself. Just remember to remove old silicone caulk that might be on your window before applying acoustic caulk.

Window Treatments for Noise Reduction

If the outside noise isn’t too bothersome, window treatments designed for noise reduction might do the trick. These curtains and blinds can also be an additional layer of sound reduction on top of other soundproofing methods to give you the results you want.

Sound-dampening curtains are a popular choice. These curtains are made with special materials inside the lining that have soundproofing qualities (e.g. mass-loaded vinyl). These curtains are heavier than average curtains and would require special mounting hardware to be secured in place.

Honeycomb shades are another popular option. Though these aren’t as effective as sound-dampening curtains, the cellular construction of these shades allows them to provide good insulation while also blocking outside noise from getting into the room.

Window Inserts to Reinforce Old Windows

Window inserts are glass inserts that are installed about 5 inches from the interior surface of the window itself. The added air space that’s created then reduces the sound that gets in from the outside. Additionally, most window inserts are made with laminated glass which further decreases the transmission of sound. Window inserts are most beneficial when placed in front of single-pane glass windows that have a lower STC rating.

Man installing window inserts to his windows

Replacement Windows

The sound-stopping ability of every window is measured by the STC scale. The higher the number, the more sound waves the window can reduce.

A single-pane glass window typically has an STC rating of around 27. A dual-pane glass window would typically have an STC rating of 28. Soundproof windows are higher on the scale with STC ratings of at LEAST 45. This is because soundproof windows are usually made with thicker glass, have larger air gaps between the panes, and are made with laminated glass.

When considering window replacement options, look at their STC ratings. The difference in STC ratings between a single-pane and double-pane glass window is not too significant. So, if you’re going to upgrade, you might as well choose soundproof windows. Though these might cost more, they will guarantee noticeable results in sound reduction and dramatically change how you experience your home or office space.

Get Customized High-Quality Window Replacements

Burano Doors is a trusted manufacturer and seller of modern doors and windows that are designed to add aesthetic and practical value to your home. Burano windows are made with top-notch quality and can be customized based on your needs. Our laminated glass soundproof windows have frames that are virtually maintenance-free and provide benefits such as reduced outside noise, energy savings, UV protection, and contemporary curb appeal.

If you want to learn more or have questions for us, we’d love to hear from you. Contact us today for a FREE estimate!

Posted by Raj Kain
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