Thursday, May 2, 2013

How to Reduce Noise from Windows

Windows are a great way to allow natural light and fresh air into your home while enjoying the outdoor scenery. It’s become popular for people to have over-sized windows installed in their home to better connect with the outdoors, sometimes even requesting entire walls of their home be made of glass. And while glass is undoubtedly beautiful, it’s also undoubtedly thinner than a wall with insulation in it.
What does this mean for a home or business with many windows, especially large ones? Noise, and depending on where you’re located, there could be a lot. Whether it’s an apartment located downtown, a home on a street full of kids, or a company in the middle of the business district, windows allow more outside noise to be heard inside your home, even if they’re closed. And by seeping through your windows during work hours or the middle of the night, outside noise can quickly become a disturbance.

Soundproofing your windows is essentially the best option to keep your home nice and quiet without sacrificing your beautiful view. However, ‘interior soundproof glass’ can be very expensive, making it a luxury that not everyone can afford. However, there are a couple of options that are less expensive and will block noise just as well. 

Double Paned Glass

The easiest and least expensive way to cancel out noise from your home is to switch out your single-paned windows for double or triple pane windows. In one of our previous blog posts, Double Pane v. Triple Pane Windows, we discuss the pros and cons of double v. triple pane glass. Either one you choose will block out more noise than single-paned windows without a doubt, but of all the options to soundproof your home, this tactic tends to be less effective than others.

Laminated Windows

If you want a step up from simple double-paned windows, laminated windows are a popular choice to block noise as well. Laminated windows consist of a thin plastic strip sandwiched between two glass panes. The process of placing the laminate in between panes makes the glass sturdier, which in turn, makes it vibrate less. This reduces the amount of noise that your windows will let into your home. Unlike double-paned windows, laminated windows can run on the expensive side, however, you can actually make them yourself, which can greatly reduce the cost.

Thick Glass

Another idea, and it seems obvious, is to replace your windows with a very thick glass. A single-paned window doesn’t always mean flimsy and that it allows noise, especially when you’ve opted for thick ones. Due to the thickness and the fact that these windows use only one pane, the amount of vibrating from noise is GREATLY reduced, perhaps more than any other option. To get the maximum amount of protection from thick glass, make sure you choose windows that are twice the density of regular ones.