Windows - Noise is a factor

jamgraFebruary 28, 2013


A previous owner replaced all of my home's old double-hung windows with a vinyl replacement sash.

I am going to have some custom wood sashes with true divided lights and new wood storm windows made up. The one challenge I am facing is that I live near an airport, so noise abatement is a huge issue. I know the storm windows will help, but the ones I'm looking at will have a screen insert, so presumably won't be blocking any noise during the summer.

What kind of options should I looking into given that noise is an issue? Would a thicker glass pane in the window be feasible? I've talked to someone that can do 1/8", but he didn't think there would be much benefit going thicker than that.

Should I look into laminated glass? Is there any visual difference between laminated glass and regular glass? The one shop I talked to said they didn't think it would be worth it.

Thanks for any help you can give!


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I'm pretty sure that all laminated glass will do is prevent breaking into jagged sharp pieces. If you want ventilation in the summer, you are pretty much going to have the noise issue no matter time, you will hardly notice it.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 4:00AM
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Double-paned windows minimize the airport noise, but only if they are closed.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 4:18AM
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Mass absorbs sound.
Laminated glass won't help at all.
Double pane might help but with the frequencies of airplane noise I don't think it would help much.
Isolation is key but an airplane is such a wide varity of frequencies I don't think window make up will matter much.
When the whole house is shaking the glass is shaking too.

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 2:08PM
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funny, our POs replaced every window (except the basement windows) with crummy vinyl, too - and I live near an airport - and my name is Jim - I thought I wrote this and then forgot ... Anyway - check with your local metro government about airport noise abatement programs. The cost of your new windows may be partially covered by that program (if your town or city has one - if not, insist they develop one)

I would love to replace our windows, but were just poor little church mice living here ... one day, maybe. Im Jealous ...

    Bookmark   March 1, 2013 at 7:31PM
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You've chosen historical authenticity over sound reduction, so there's not much that can be done. Any higher STC glass is offset by all the wood and the loose-fitting storms. In fact, the old storms aren't meant to be tight.

Here is a link that might be useful: Laminated Windows for Noise Reduction

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 11:05AM
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Double pane might help but with the frequencies of airplane noise I don't think it would help much.

In my SO's experience, it does: and this house is under the flight path of a small airport. The reduction in the noise was immediate when the double-paned windows went in.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2013 at 3:03PM
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