The Basics to Sound Insulating Your Windows

Everyone has heard that quiet noise from outside that only becomes louder as a high-powered vehicle races past your house, driving as if they're playing a racing game. The truth is that after air pollution, traffic noise is one of the biggest environmental problems in Europe. It causes around 60,000 premature deaths each year as it leads to an increase in heart problems, high blood pressure and risk of stroke.

How Do You Soundproof Your Home?

To reduce the noise pollution in your home, you need to start with insulating the weakest point of your home. You can look at building thicker walls or adding insulation to your walls. Investing in sound insulating windows is another option, but they will not provide you with the results you want if you only choose one. Adding windows with built in blinds can also help but everything has to work in tandem for you to get the results that you actually want.

How Does Sound Insulation Work?

There are 3 ways that soundproofing works and you need a combination of them. The first will be to stop the noise by adding mass to structures in order to reflect the sound. When you do this, you are creating an acoustically dead surface that is unable to vibrate or does so at a reduced rate when compared to other structures. This process is sound dampening.

The second is through absorption where the sound will be absorbed by the material. This will prevent it from travelling to the other side and creating noise in your home. An example of this will be wall insulation.

The last is to create a barrier between two structures which will stop the sound from travelling between the two structures. The gap will be an area that the sound waves are not able to jump. This process is known as decoupling.

How Do Acoustic Glass and Soundproof Windows Work?

Acoustic glass will limit the noise in your home using deflection and will dissipate the sound waves. This is done through a combination of glass thickness, space between the panes and acoustic inter-layers. All of these components will disrupt a sound wave. It is important to note that the denser the material the better it is at doing this, but the thickness will need to be adjusted as well.

This is why adding a third pane of glass to your windows will have a limited impact in noise cancellation. Unfortunately, this is something that window salespeople do not always know or communicate very well when you talk to them. Sound travels in a linear direction and when you use different thickness of glass along with other measures, the windows will be more effective in dissipating and disrupting noise.

Acoustic glazing will maximise the effectiveness of your windows as it varies the glass thickness while also providing the PVB inter-layer you need. This will need to be applied to the glass when it is made. This provides another layer of thickness and will absorb and dampen the sound which stops it from travelling through your window panes. There are a lot of other variables that make up soundproof window designs with layers and glass thickness being the basis.

Soundproofing Secondary Glazing

If you do not want to replace all of your windows because of the cost or the fact that your building is listed, you do have some other options. You could improve your soundproofing as well as energy efficiency by installing a secondary glaze to the existing windows.

The same principles will apply when you do this. A secondary glazing will not improve your soundproofing by default and will need to be combined with other factors. This will include better sealing which can help to reduce noise. However, it is important to note that secondary glazing can help to reduce the noise pollution in your home by up to 70%.

This is achieved through dampening and absorption in the same way that triple and acoustic glazed windows do. However, there is the addition of decoupling with this method. This is due to the fact that the secondary glazing is separated from the external facing window. Of course, having the right gap between the primary and secondary glazing is important if you want the best results.