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Top 5 Considerations for Noise Reduction in Windows


Recently on our LinkedIn initiative, #TwoCentsTuesday, we asked... what window features achieve the BEST acoustic reading? If you guessed offsetting glass thickness and a 1” air space in double pane windows (Options A & C on our poll), then you are correct!

Is an Acoustics Report Necessary?

Over the years we’ve seen a variety of options when it comes to a widow’s ability to reduce outdoor noise entering a home. As we see more and more densification in our society, jurisdictions will place demands on windows to reduce outdoor noise and maintain a level of peace and quiet for homeowners. It makes sense for people to want windows that are good at keeping out the noise regardless, especially if you live on a busy street. It is a regular gripe of people who decide to replace their old windows or those looking for windows for their new build, but not having an acoustic report is like prescribing medicine without knowing the illness.

“Using different thicknesses of glass, for example a 6mm 4mm combination, often provides better acoustic performance than 6mm 6mm because different glass thicknesses absorb soundwaves at different frequencies. This helps with your acoustic concerns without adding a ton of weight. However, without an acoustics report, you won’t know for sure if the pairing 6mm 4mm is the most effective for your particular project”.

The Window Geeks’ Acoustic Considerations

If noise reduction is the main priority for you, it’s important to get an acoustics report. There are a number of points that will likely come up, and things to keep in mind:

  1. Offset glass thickness between panes for both double and triple pane windows.
  2. The Window Geeks are currently in the process of testing, and everything we’ve seen so far indicates a 1” air gap impacts acoustic performance.
  3. Sliders are just as good as casement based on modern window design.
  4. Thicker glass can be used, but balance this with the extra weight on operable sashes and be careful when specifying 6mm triple pane windows.
  5. In existing homes, air leakage through walls and other transitions unrelated to the window may result in the whole-home performance failing to meet expectations when upgrading windows. An acoustically upgraded window in an old leaky building may fall short of expectations, if the window was not the main problem in the first place.

 We Are Your Certified Window Geeks!

We love to talk windows! We’re here to help, so if you have a question about your window project all you have to do is reach out. Contact us early in the process so that our experts can make sure everything is correct from the get-go.

For more information on this topic (and many more!) contact our local Employee Owners at 1-888-534-3333 or drop us an email at Join the club and become a Window Geek yourself by signing up for our biweekly newsletter, which provides news, advice, and tips about the window industry and upcoming events, and test your window knowledge by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Written by: Les Ferris , October 20, 2022
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