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Can You Soundproof a Window? [You’ll Want to Hear The Answer]

Graeme Clarke September 05, 2017 Soundproofing

Busy streets, noisy neighbours, waking up to the delivery truck making its Monday morning rounds or the bone-shaking sound of flight 352 coming in from Bali?


Whether you live near an airport, your neighbour’s son has a passion for playing the drums or you suffer from the typical, never-ending hum of modern life outside your window, noise pollution can get in the way of a peaceful home.


You, like most property owners, probably have two very important questions.


One, can you soundproof a window?


And two, is it totally inappropriate to suggest to your neighbour his son should give up the drums and take up chess instead?


The second question doesn’t have an easy answer. Fortunately, the first one does. Yes, with the modern joinery techniques available today, you can soundproof your windows and improve your home’s acoustics, for a lot less money than you think.



The Dangers of Unchecked Noise Pollution



Unwanted external noise is more than a nuisance. It can, over time, have a serious impact on one’s health.


With minimal acoustic protection, the sound of heavy machinery, traffic, music being played, or even of people outside your property going about their daily activities, can lead to added stress and anxiety.


It can become an even bigger problem if it is disturbing your sleep patterns.


Certain populations are extra vulnerable to the effects of high decibel levels in the home.


This is something residential and commercial property owners need to consider. A house or building with poor acoustics doesn’t provide a hospitable environment for getting work done, relaxing, or just being at peace while at home.


  • Families with young children are particularly at risk. With thin walls and single-glazed windows, something as simple as a loud motor or people laughing and talking outside can disrupt a much-needed nap for new parents or wake up young children. If this happens regularly, it can be a serious cause of stress.
  • Elderly people or anyone suffering from an illness who may need increased rest will also require better windows to cut down on external sound waves entering the home.
  • Individuals and students who work from home will also be more adversely affected by noise pollution than others.



The Difference Better Windows Can Make


With the right windows, you can dramatically decrease noise and create a more desirable indoor environment. With double-glazed windows, it is possible to improve the acoustic performance of your windows by 20% to 25%.


By integrating laminate glass into a new double-glazing or retrofit double-glazing system, you can reduce noise pollution by as much as 50 to 55%. Laminated glass is one of the best options for soundproofing because it has a vibration-dampening effect that other types of glass don’t have.


Draft and acoustic seals can reduce noise even further by blocking any existing openings, creating a quiet, serene atmosphere.


For even more intensive noise reduction, there are acoustic grades of laminated glass, such as a special glass known as SoundStop. Using two glass sheets with a layer of acoustic resin, this glass is extremely powerful at blocking unwanted sound waves from entering the home.


Even though acoustic glass is the most effective, it may not always be a smart option. For example, in older homes and buildings, the extra benefits from a more expensive acoustic glass may be counterbalanced by the sound waves and vibrations that enter through the walls.



How to Achieve the Right Sound Level for Your Home


When it comes to soundproofing your windows, the goal is to achieve as much tranquillity as possible. Even with the best windows for soundproofing, there will still be some sound penetration through the walls as well as through any small openings in the window.


An experienced professional will, however, create an effective solution to help improve the acoustics enough with soundproofed windows, based on the source and strength of the noise that’s entering your property and on the nature of the property itself. They can help you determine which features you'll need to get the results you want.


By choosing a thicker glass, using laminated or a specific acoustic glass, and using acoustic and draft seals, it is possible to enhance the acoustics of your property, even in noisy environments.


For example:

A bedroom should have a decibel level of about 35 dB. This is what is necessary for allowing for uninterrupted sleep. If the outdoor environment is 70dB, then you’ll require about 35 dB of sound reduction for the windows and walls.



Different Ways to Soundproof Windows


With the right combination of glass features and the best windows for soundproofing, it is possible to facilitate an indoor environment a newborn could sleep with a motorcycle driving by outside.


  • What are the different ways to soundproof a window and which is the best for achieving substantial results?
  • What are the advantages and limitations of each option?


The first and least recommended way to soundproof windows is to apply a piece of acrylic or glass over the window from the inside. This will have a minimal impact on sound reduction while at the same time sacrificing the aesthetic of your windows.



Depending on your acoustic needs, it may not be worth the effort and it is never worth the risk of sacrificing how your windows look and function. People choose this option assuming it is an easy, cheap DIY project, not realising how effective – and affordable – other options are for soundproofing windows.


New double glazing can also be used for soundproofing. With new double-glazed windows, your old windows are removed and new double-glazed windows are installed. Depending on the type of glass used and the thickness, this can be an effective option.




New double-glazed windows are, however, the most expensive way to soundproof your windows.




It can also ruin the look of your windows as you’ll lose the original character.


While better acoustics will improve the value of your property, the appearance of the new windows may take away from a home’s aesthetic appeal. This is especially an issue for period homes like Victorian and Edwardian houses.

Retrofit double-glazing is the best way to soundproof your windows because it offers the effectiveness of double-glazed windows, without sacrificing the charm and character of your home.



With Thermawood’s patented retrofit double-glazing system, your existing timber windows can be seamlessly converted. The current single glass pane is replaced with a double-glazed insulating glass unit (IGU,) without tearing out your existing wooden frame.


Thermawood’s unique system includes a specially designed drainage system that allows flawless conversions even for heritage windows. With the draft and acoustic seals that are machined into the retrofit, you also get a superior level of noise reduction without any sacrifice of appearance or window functioning.


Thousands of property owners across Australia are opting for retrofit double-glazed windows for soundproofing as it isn’t just the most effective option – it’s also one of the most affordable. Retrofit double-glazing costs about a third of the price of new double-glazed windows.



You Deserve a Serene Indoor Environment


Window technology has advanced tremendously over the past few years. With the retrofit double glazing system, installed by an experienced team who knows exactly how you can get effective soundproofing without overspending, you can enjoy a tranquil, healthy indoor environment. This results in less stress, peaceful sleep, and beautiful windows.


To learn more about creating the perfect claims for your property, download the free guide below.


soundproofing windows

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