BM Windows recently completed a two story residential project in Oceanside. Like most homeowners, the customers were interested in the energy efficiency of the replacement windows and doors we were installing. But they were equally concerned about the possibility of noise reduction as they are located in a noisy area; on one side they have the large 5 freeway, on the other side are busy railroad tracks.
Many people assume that by replacing windows with newer single pane products there will automatically be a reduction in noise. That isn’t always the case. It depends on how thick the original windows are and how many panes they have. When replacing single pane windows with modern, vinyl-framed dual pane windows there will likely be a noise reduction of about 20-30%. That’s a substantial reduction in noise to the interior of the home. But if the existing windows are already a dual pane product, for instance an aluminum frame window, replacing them with vinyl dual pane windows may not reduce the noise at all. It will add a lot of energy efficiency-related benefits, but noise levels may be unchanged.
For homes that are going from dual pane to dual pane, we can still reduce the noise levels by using dissimilar glass (sound package). In this case we use an outer pane that’s 3/16” thick and an inner pane that’s 1/8” thick. Dissimilarity of the pane assures that sound waves do not penetrate the glass unit as easily as if they were the same thickness.
If even more noise reduction is desired we can use laminated glass. In this case the inner pane of the dual pane unit is laminated (two sheets of glass laminated together) and the outer pane is a regular pane. This is the best of the glass packages if your concern is sound coming into the home.
In the case of the Oceanside replacement window project, we replaced old aluminum-framed windows that were single pane units. We installed all new windows and doors with high quality vinyl products that included both high energy efficiency ratings and laminated glass to maximize noise reduction. We replaced every single window and door in the home. As a result, the homeowners are very happy because their home is much quieter. In fact, the noise levels have been reduced by 60-70%!