How much can windows reduce noise pollution?
Depending on the type of window and the quality of the installation windows can have a huge part in soundproofing your home. More details in the article.
Which windows are best for noise reduction?
Many manufacturers offer windows designed specifically for soundproofing, but these come at a cost. Generally speaking, good quality double-glazed windows are a suitable solution for most homes.
Is outside noise coming into your home? Perhaps the neighbours are DIYers or their child’s learning drums? Maybe you live close to the road and have to endure the traffic noise?
Whatever the noise disturbance, don’t worry, the good news is having the right windows can help reduce it. Window manufacturers take noise very seriously, offering a good choice of windows with noise-reduction features. Plenty of windows for noise reduction provide soundproofing qualities but beware, as not all of them are worth the extra cost.
How Can Windows Reduce Noise Pollution?
There are a few ways windows can reduce noise pollution:
- The number of glass layers between the inside of the house and the outside world
– opting for two layers is a pretty good choice.
- The space between each of these layers
– generally, a bigger gap is better the noise reduction (within reason).
- The density of each layer
– two or more dissimilar panes promote good noise reduction properties.
- The quality of the installation
– having a snug fit that’s properly sealed with no gaps
Now let’s cut to the chase and find out which windows are best for noise reduction.
Which Windows Are Best for Noise Reduction?
The majority of noise pollution enters the home through the windows (assuming windows and external doors are closed). No window will completely solve this problem, but which type gets closest to soundproofing your house?
We’re going to consider the noise reduction impact of 4 types of window glazing types:
This type of window is very poor at preventing noise pollution from entering the house. If your home has single-paned glazing we strongly recommend you read on as your home’s sound-proofing can definitely be improved – plus you’ll benefit from the energy efficiency gains and save on energy costs.
Secondary glazing is not to be confused with double glazing. It’s typically a retrofit second window fitted on the room side of the opening to form an air pocket between the original window pane and the room.
This type of window will definitely help to some degree with noise pollution from outside. There are several factors to consider with this approach, including:
- The thickness of both the secondary pane of glass and the original outside one
- The size of the gap between the internal and external panes
- The quality of the installation – are they any gaps? is the unit properly sealed?
- The condition and age of the original windows
It is highly unlikely that secondary glazing will perform as well as good-quality sealed units, such as manufactured double- and triple-glazed ones, but they will have a very positive impact if you only have single-glazed windows.
Windows with double-paned, sealed units are very good at reducing noise pollution and there are some great ones on the market. Note, however, that not all double-glazed windows are the same – the following factor all need to be taken into account:
- The thickness of the glass
- The gap between the two panes of glass
- The age and quality of the window until
- The main materials of the window unit
- The quality of the installation
When it comes to double-glazed windows that are many variables, so make sure you do your homework. The good news is that we can help, as our team of experts will be able to assess and advise on the best product for your home (and budget).
It’s a fair assumption that having three panes of glass automatically means a greater degree of soundproofing. This is not strictly going to be the case and we would strongly advise you to speak to a glazing professional before coming to this conclusion. One feature that factors into the sound
Homeowners often ask about triple-pane windows as a noise solution, but the cost of triple-glazed windows, compared to double-glazed ones, often steers them towards the more cost-efficient latter option. That said, we offer a great range of triple-glazed windows, so if you would like to find out if they’re a suitable choice for your home then please get in touch and discuss the options with one of our glazing experts.
Are there any windows available that specifically tackle noise reduction?
Yes. There are certain environments where noise pollution is particularly high. So, for people with homes near busy roads and airports, for example, there are windows designed with a focus on soundproofing. Understandably, these types of windows will be more expensive, but will be better at reducing noise pollution, too. If you think you’re home would benefit from these windows, please contact us to find out more.
Are There Other Ways To Reduce Noise From Outside?
Yes. There are various ways you can reduce outdoor pollution noise coming into your home, from improving the insulation to addressing holes and gaps. Here are some to consider:
- Improve insulation in the walls and loft
- Seal up any gaps around any openings, such as doors and windows
- Put a cap on any chimneys (or block the chimney off if it’s not in use)
- Consider additional internal drywalls as another layer
- Use soundproofing paint or wall cladding to dampen the sound
For the easier ones of these, it’s good home maintenance to address them anyway. For the more involved or costly ones, it’s probably only necessary where outdoor noise is a serious issue.
What’s the verdict?
Windows are never going to completely eradicate noise pollution, but they definitely play a big part in reducing it. The noise can be further addressed by applying as many as possible of the other remedies suggested above, such as making sure there are no gaps and cracks around the windows and doors.
Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas on how to reduce the noise coming into your home. Please contact us if you’d like to discuss this topic in more detail.
Talk to one of our glazing experts to find out which windows would be a good option to help with noise reduction in your home.