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Can Windows Reduce Noise in the Home?


A noisy neighbourhood can be hell for homeowners. As time goes on we’re seeing an increase in density with developments, increased traffic and public transit, as well as more planes in the sky. While there are positives and negatives to the changes going on around us, no one likes it when their peace is interrupted by irritating noise. Here the Window Geeks will take a look at just how much of a difference good windows can make.

Noise doesn’t need to be a problem

Do good windows really help when it comes to noise? The answer is a resounding yes. To see the kind of difference they can make, let’s take a look at how noise is usually measured:

“The most common measurement for the reduction of sound through a wall or window is called STC or Sound Transmission Class, sometimes referred to as Sound Transmission Coefficient. The STC is the amount, in decibels (dB), that sound is reduced through a wall. For example, if the street noise outside is 70dB and the noise inside is 40dB, the wall has an STC of 30.” – Centra Estimator Brad Dalzell

The higher the STC, the better the window is at reducing sound and the bigger the gap between the noise outside and what you hear while inside your property. Vinyl windows with laminated glass are the way for BC homeowners to achieve this. Laminated glass consists of two panes of glass with only a layer of plastic between them. This means the glass won’t shatter into small pieces if it breaks, but it also has the added benefit of reducing noise.

How does laminate glass reduce sound?

“Adding one or two layers of laminate glass, provided that the window frame is newer and energy-efficient, is a better way to reduce the transmission of sound. A single pane of regular glass will have an STC of approx 26-28. A single layer of ¼” laminate glass achieves an STC of 35. With today’s double-pane, energy-efficient windows, making one side of a double-paned unit laminate glass, with a standard ½” space, will achieve an STC of 39. Making both panes of the windows laminated is the best way to reduce the sound transmission through a window and can increase the STC to 42, but the additional cost may not be worth it to the average homeowner.” – Centra Estimator Brad Dalzell

For the best results when it comes to securing peace and quiet in your home, you should also make sure the walls are properly insulated. If the windows perform well but the wall insulation does not, or vice versa, then unfortunately the homeowner will not experience the full benefits of their upgrade. Thankfully, government rebates are currently available to help with both of these aspects of the home.

“Most builders will insulate the outside walls making the house more energy efficient but will leave the interior walls without insulation. Simply adding standard fiberglass baton insulation will increase the STC of your walls at a relatively low cost.” – Centra Estimator Brad Dalzell

We are your certified Window Geeks!

We love to talk windows! At Centra, we don’t just manufacture our products, we install them too. This allows us to offer you a full lifetime warranty, eliminating confusion between product performance and installation. We view the house as a system and understand how each element must work correctly to maximize the comfort and energy efficiency you experience. 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 You can also sign up for our biweekly newsletter, which provides all the tips and tricks about the window industry.

Written by: Les Ferris , February 8, 2022
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