Noise-reducing windows?

chmpgntstSeptember 26, 2011

Hello everyone,

We've recently moved into a house that backs to a fairly busy road. I definitely underestimated how much the noise would bother me even when inside with all the windows closed. It seems, though, like our windows let in an unusual amount of noise (when the yard guys were here the other day, I went around looking for the open window because it was so loud in the house -- turned out they were all closed).

A former neighbor once mentioned that her new windows seemed to make the house a lot quieter. Has anyone had any experience with this? Are some brands better than others?

Lastly, a google search led me to companies that install a second window inside the existing window (this would be easy to do in our 11-year-old house that doesn't have lovely old trimmed-out windows). I can't imagine that this looks good, though. Has anyone seen these in person? Maybe with window treatments in place they are not so noticeable?

Thanks in advance!


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Some kind words about Soundproof from the Journal of Light Construction.

Before adding or replacing windows, though, check out your existing windows and their installation. Changing or adding weatherstripping and filling gaps between the window and the framing with foam can make a big difference.

Windows, however, are just one of the sources of noise entry. See link below for the others.

Here is a link that might be useful: Exterior Soundproofing that Works

    Bookmark   September 27, 2011 at 11:30PM
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Double glazed?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 5:36AM
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Pockets around the frame insulated?

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 11:46AM
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Do a blower test. Airtight is the key word that you need to know about. It's a key word in the article that worthy linked to. Noise is like water, and will flow through cracks in your building envelope. Do not think about the windows. Do not think about the window installation. Think about the whole house and everything about it. It's the whole house.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 1:48PM
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IOW, anything you do to block sound will also make your home more energy efficient.

    Bookmark   September 28, 2011 at 8:23PM
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In replacing an original aluminum slider in our living room, we chose a triple-paned glass window. My husband plays trombone, and for some reason worries that others may be bothered by it. We are on a corner lot, and there are no other houses near this room, but it mattered to him.

Another option is to get "laminated" glass in a double-paned window. Depending on the brand of window, you may find that one or the other is offered. If you live in a climate with large temperature swings, the triple-paned window has an advantage. Film is applied to the inside pane that both reflects outside heat out, and inside heat back in. This can only be done in the triple-paned window, since the film is fragile and must be protected from another pane of glass. This window is good in the summer for keeping heat out, and in the winter for keeping heat in.

Of course, during install, our builder filled all spaces with insulated bats or spray foam.

Just some info if you decide to look at replacement windows.

    Bookmark   October 21, 2011 at 9:46PM
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Nancy-in_mich, which brand of triple pane windows did you choose? I am ready to replace my single pane windows as it gets so cold in Northern NJ and I am tired of cranking up the heating and keeping all the blinds down to try to warm up my home.

    Bookmark   December 1, 2012 at 12:50AM
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