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What are some noise issues homeowners might face?
This is a major pain point we come across for homeowners in both single family homes and stratas. It doesn’t matter where you live, you deserve to have peace of mind. Our cities are getting denser and there’s more development everywhere, and we’re seeing a lot more neighbourhood noise. It could be busy roads, or maybe you live next to a gathering place or where people play sports, or a dog park. You’ll also see a lot of homeowners living next to airports or under flightpaths or near train lines who have noise issues and find it hard to deal with.
Is there anything homeowners can do about this?
There are a few things, and new, modern windows are especially helpful. Old single pane windows are close to useless at preventing noise. Sometimes you might as well have a hole in the wall. With new windows, a lot of the elements that make them good for thermal performance also help with noise reduction. You have two or three panes as well as inert gas fillings and laminate glass that create a much more effective sound barrier. You should also look at other elements of the structure like the walls. You might have good windows already, and there may be unrelated issues that are letting in the noise. You may want to look at insulating the home or repairing exterior damage in that case.
Can you tell us a bit more about why windows are good for noise reduction?
One of the biggest factors is the glass panes. With double or triple pane glass it’s not just about having those extra barriers, we also want to offset the thickness. For example, if you use a 6mm glass and a 4mm glass combination, you have panes that are absorbing soundwaves at different frequencies which reduces the noise from outside. Laminated glass can also help, as you’re getting multiple panes sandwiched together which creates a better barrier.
So it’s more complex than most people would expect. Are windows the best solution for noise problems?
They can be, but not always. It depends on the home and what state it’s in overall. You might already have good windows, but still be noticing a lot of noise. Windows are a good solution, so in this case, you’ll want to look at where else you could be having issues. Are the walls OK? Do your exterior doors have gaps? That sort of thing won’t just have an impact on noise levels, but on overall comfort levels too, so it’s definitely worth checking out.
How does a homeowner with noise issues choose the right windows?
You want to look at your options and do your research, whether it’s noise or anything else. Ask questions and look at reviews and testimonials. Find a company with experts in the field, and who can approach your project with a custom solution instead of just offering you off the shelf products that may not be right for your specific home.
And will going for noise-reducing windows be more costly?
The vast majority of modern windows are going to be better than old single pane windows if that’s what you’re replacing, but if noise is a particular problem for you and you want something that’s really going to help then it will cost more. The best option is often a custom solution. If triple pane windows are going to help reduce noise in your particular case, that doesn’t mean you need an entire package of triple pane windows. You may want them on the side of your house that faces onto a busy road, but what little benefit you get on the other side of the house won’t justify that extra cost, so just go for double. Triple pane may not even be necessary, given how good a ‘smart double pane’ window can be. You’re still cutting down the noise in a big way. Triple pane windows are more expensive, and you may not get what you want for the price. Again, it all depends on your specific circumstances. Make sure you’re properly educated about the options, speak to a few companies, and don’t let someone upsell you for the sake of it.
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