The decision to install replacement windows comes with many factors. Energy efficiency is definitely important, it helps to ensure that you aren’t paying through the nose when the utility bills arrive. Your windows should also keep the outdoors from getting in. We’re talking about more than just the weather and small pests.
Noise pollution is a big problem in many areas, both rural and urban. Choosing windows for the home must also work towards reducing this kind of nuisance. Perhaps your home is situated close to your loud neighbors or your property is located right next to a busy intersection. These things may seem like minor annoyances but they can soon turn into serious disturbances.
The solution is soundproof windows. But which are the best ones for dealing with this problem and what exactly are you looking for in your search for the ideal product at the right price? Let’s examine the crucial facets that go into choosing the best windows for blocking sound:
The STC Scale
There is a rating scale that can tell you how effective your window can be are blocking outside noise. STC stands for “sound transmission class” and the rating a window receives on that scale is all you need to know about its efficacy and impact in keeping outdoor noises from getting in and bothering you and your family.
In order for any window to be deemed “soundproof” by the standards of the STC scale, it must block somewhere between 90 to 95% of outdoor noise. As it relates to the STC scale, that window would receive a rating between 45 to 50. To get a better sense of the rating and how it applies to many popular types of windows that homeowners install every day, a typical single-pane usually receives an STC rating in the low 20’s, a double-pane alternative is closer to 27, and a triple-pane option will get about a 32 STC.
One of the best ways to improve the soundproofing qualities of any window glass is through lamination. Laminated glass comes with a transparent layer of plastic that is inserted between two outer layers of panes. As a result, soundwaves become blocked and it is much tougher for the noise to permeate through the window.
As you may have guessed, windows with laminated glass can get costly. But the feature also comes with an additional level of security from outside intruders or thieves. That extra layer of plastic makes the window much harder to break than a normal window with standard glazing.
Another option that homeowners will choose is to install double or triple pane windows. One of the reasons is due to the notion that double or triple will bring the same noise dampening effect at a much lower cost. That may or may not be true, it all depends on the noise levels surrounding your property. You may be able to install double pane, which costs less than triple.
If double is insufficient, triple will have a similar effect as laminated glass and should be effective.