Quieting Your Home Windows | Oahu, HI
Photo By monkeybusinessimages at istock
While people who don’t live in Oahu, HI think that Hawaii is always thinking that the sounds of the islands are always perfect and inviting. But sometimes you want to control the sound coming through your home windows. When you replace your windows you want to install windows that are soundproof to their highest extent possible. We’ll go over what soundproof windows are, how noise reduction works for house windows, options for the windows you will purchase, and compare the different pane amounts in your windows work toward the goal of soundproofing.
So What Are Soundproof Windows?
Soundproof windows are not exactly 100% soundproof, able to block every noise from a firework explosion to the rustling ocean waves, but there are a lot of ways that can help make your home much quieter. If you live near a major street you may have some of those unwanted sounds that go by your home. With the possibility of construction noises, loud traffic, and heavy storms soundproof windows will help minimize the amount of unwanted sounds in your home.
There is no home window that is completely soundproof but there are several steps that professionals can do that will improve the sound impedance of the windows in your home. Cities grow louder over time louder leading to more noise pollution because of it with changing traffic patterns due to tourism, businesses, and the natural cycle of cities. This causes homeowners to realize that they can make their homes quieter by replacing their windows with soundproof home windows.
And How Do Soundproof Windows Work?
Soundwaves, and their places of origin, can travel in two main ways, both through the air, and through materials they come into contact with. There are two measures by which sound is measured, Sound Transmission Class (STC), and Outdoor/Indoor Transmission Class (OITC). Right now, the rating of the window market’s standard insulated windows have an STC rating near 26. These are dual pane windows, meaning two pieces of glass, and each pane is about 3 millimeters, or one tenth of an inch, thick. In theory the more panes in the windows there are, the more insulation that is available to quiet noises from outside.
Reducing the noise of home windows happens when you slow the transfer of the sound waves, which make them seem quieter to your ear. Sound waves travel through different materials in different ways and these waves can be absorbed, reflected, or minimized. In windows this can happen in three typical ways you can optimize the air space between the panels, you can mix the thickness of the glass in the windows, or you can add additional panes of glass. The process to select these different features in home windows is crucial to how the final product performs in relation to sound reduction. Generally higher quality materials such as lab-tested weather stripping or by using Xenon between the panes of glass instead of Argon, is a proven way that will increase sound deadening performance.
Unfortunately it is more than just the features of your new home windows that support noise reduction. Another important element is proper installation of the windows. Hiring a licensed expert who knows exactly what to do and how to ensure that your window is installed properly. Make sure when you’re ready to put in windows that you hire a professional that can work with you and can do the job right.
So What Are My Options For Soundproof Glass?
The good news is that there are many directions you can go to get new home windows with glass that can cut the amount of noise coming into your home. The most common option is to replace your single pane or older dual pane windows with modern dual or triple pane design windows. The more glass you have in between you and the outdoors, the more sound you will dampen.
Each brand of home windows that you look at for replacing your windows will have options that can focus on sound reduction. Some of them may even have certifications or tout their ratings of “acoustic performance” as an upgrade. Look beyond the label though and try to find the actual ratings of sound dampening before making a purchase.
Comparing Single, Double, and Triple Panes. Plus Another Option
As mentioned previously the more panes of glass you have built into a window, the less noise will be able to travel through it. Single pane windows obviously will allow the most sound throughout all of the options here. Stepping up to dual pane windows will help reduce some noise while also being able to upgrade the fill gas in the window to reduce the noise that enters your home even more. At the top of the line are triple pane windows, as these will block the most noise in a home. you could try and customize your window builds, depending on who you chose for your contractor to add more panes but the extra weight and engineering required will likely be cost prohibitive and unreliable.
There are other factors that can decrease the sound that comes through your new home windows, and that is mainly insulation. In Wood windows you generally have a solid frame, but those aren’t ideal in tropical climates like ours. Vinyl and fiberglass windows have sealed air gaps to act as insulation but some brands allow you to add foam insulation in those gaps as an upgrade and that could also reduce noise. Finally you can finish with thicker curtains over your new windows, which will block the rest of the noise that is coming through the windows into your home.
When you are ready to call about getting new soundproof home windows, give the experts at Sunburst Windows of Honolulu a call. Sunburst Windows services the Oahu, HI area and sells the most popular replacement window brand in America, Sunburst Windows. Their expert technicians are here for you to get you started with their friendly and knowledgeable representatives.