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How to Soundproof Sash Windows [Without Sacrificing Anything!]

Graeme Clarke October 24, 2017 Soundproofing

It is possible to effectively soundproof sash windows without losing all the things you love about your windows.


If you have these architectural relics in your property, don’t assume you have to sacrifice their integrity in order to get the noise reduction benefits you need.


With today’s window technology and the help of experienced window professionals, you can retain the look, function and original character, even in heritage buildings.




Retrofit double glazing allows you to get the acoustic benefits you want whilst improving the value of both your windows and your property. Sash windows, commonly referred to as double hung sash windows in Australia, were introduced to England in the late 17th century and are still found in Victorian, Edwardian and Georgian style homes today.


There is some debate over where the sash design originated, whether it was a French or Dutch invention. The word sash has its roots in the French word for frame. These windows were very popular in France as well as England and other parts of Europe.


The movable panels and elegant functioning are what make these traditional windows so desirable. They are excellent for letting in those lovely fresh breezes, which is why they are a popular choice for more modern homes as well, particularly in coastal properties and country homes.



Why Traditional Methods of Acoustic Enhancement Won’t Work


Soundproofing sash windows requires more care than the process for soundproofing regular windows. Double hung sash windows have a sash weight as part of their design, which is used to counteract the weight of the glass panes.


This means you can’t actually use a noise reduction method like secondary glazing. Installing a second glass pane will disrupt the internal balance of your sash windows, let alone ruin the unique charm that your windows have.


And, you can’t install new double glazed windows if you want to keep your existing wooden windows and sash design. This is where many property owners simply give up on the prospect of soundproofing. They don’t want to lose their sash windows and be stuck with new windows that lack character, the sash function that everyone loves, and the warmth and value of their timber frames.


So, they suffer from noise pollution or spend money on soundproofing alternatives, such as acoustic curtains, that simply can’t compare to the noise reduction benefits of double glazing. In fact, these alternatives often won’t make an audible difference and will do nothing for the frustrating vibrations that make living near loud sounds like traffic, trains or aircraft so unbearable.


But it doesn’t have to be this way. The industry has made a few advancements in recent years that make soundproof sash windows entirely possible – and affordable!


With retrofit double glazing, instead of ripping out your beautiful windows and replacing them with a new double glazed window you can keep the existing structure.


The current timber windows are carefully prepared for their retrofit and then a double glazed unit is installed.


That’s it.


Actually, there are quite a few nuances to the process that make it so successful for traditional wooden windows.


Here’s what you need to know about the advancements in window technology that have made retaining your sash windows possible.



Reweighting Your Windows




The window professionals at Thermawood’s franchises all have experience converting double hung sash windows, including the older heritage models.


The Thermawood process involves reweighting the windows, thus solving the problem of setting the original sash weight off balance. This means your retrofitted windows will still function flawlessly, even with the insulated glass unit (IGU) that is installed during the retrofit.



Respecting the Heritage Design


Heritage windows have a uniquely designed frame, which is responsible for the fluid movement of the sash panes and also ensure that these windows can stand the test of time.


Thermawood’s system involves having our window beads sit at the exact same angle and positioning of existing heritage windows.


This is one of those seemingly small details that makes all the difference – and which makes our retrofit double glazed windows suitable for Grade 1 and state-listed heritage properties.



Preventing Moisture and Mould Problems


One of the risks of having your windows soundproofed with a new double glazing unit or secondary glazing is moisture build-up.


Even a small amount of condensation forming around the glass can eventually lead to mould growth, negatively impacting indoor air quality and over time causing structural damage.



To solve this problem, Thermawood developed a patented dry glazing system.


With our innovative methods, our dry retrofit encourages the maximum amount of moisture to drain and promotes faster evaporation.


With timber sash windows in particular, proactively preventing moisture build-up can go a long way in enhancing the longevity of your windows. Water is traditionally wood’s worst enemy because prolonged exposure causes damage.



Maintaining the Aesthetic of Your Soundproofed Sash Windows



Nothing brings character to a property like beautiful windows. No one wants to sacrifice the aesthetic appeal of their sash windows when trying to determine the best way to combat noise pollution.


With retrofit double glazing, you don’t have to. Your existing timber windows won’t be torn out.


With special tools and a focus on care for the original structure, a sound insulating IGU can be installed in place of your single glass panes, creating a gorgeous heritage window with the acoustic benefits of the best that 21st century window technology has to offer.



Don’t Invite Noise Pollution into Your Home


Noise pollution is more than just background sounds. It has the power to damage your ears, increase blood pressure, disturb your sleep and contribute to anxiety. We all deserve peace and quiet at home within our often hectic modern lifestyle.


Learn more about the advantages of soundproofing your sash windows, including the cost-savings benefits and customisation possibilities, with our complete guide.


soundproofing windows

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