Double glazing is known to make your home more energy efficient, but there are other benefits to choosing double glazing windows over single glazing. Your home will be more secure, as double glazed windows are more difficult to break than single panes. And another unexpected benefit of double glazing is the sound insulation.
If you live in a busy area or close to a road, you’ll know how annoying the sound from the street can be. Whether you live next door to people who like to work on their garden early on Saturday morning, or you live next to a traffic light and hate the sound of engines idling, you can find some relief from the noise by upgrading your windows.
How does double glazing reduce noise from outside?
Double glazing is simply two panes of glass held together by a frame. This system will help to reduce sound from the outside by absorbing and dispersing the sound vibrations and damping the transmission of sound.
Double glazing is thought to reduce sound from outside by about 20-65%. The thickness of the glass and the spacing between the panes will also have a big impact on how much your windows reduce noise from the outside.
What factors can cause this to fail?
Even if your new windows are advertised as blocking sound by a certain amount, you might not achieve this if your windows are installed incorrectly. There are also issues that can arise over time that might impact the soundproofing of your windows.
If the windows are installed poorly and there are gaps around the frames, this can impact the ability for your windows to block out sound from the outside. The way your windows sit in the frame will also influence the sound proofing. If your windows do not create a tight seal when they are closed, this will impact your soundproofing.
It’s very quick and easy to adjust windows that are not sitting in the frame correctly. All you need to do is loosen the screws that hold the window opening mechanism in place and move the window up or down as required. Once it is in the right spot, you can tighten the screws and this should hold the windows in the right position in the frame.
If this step doesn’t fix the problem, it could be an installation issue and there may be gaps around the frame. This can be addressed using special sealants to close the gap and provide additional soundproof protection.
How can you improve your sound insulation?
Noise from the outside can disturb your life and impact your sleep quality. If outside noises are keeping you awake at night, this can quickly impact other areas of your life. If you want to make your windows more insulated against outside noise, there are a few things you can try. The first and most expensive option is to upgrade to triple glazing. This will offer even more protection against noise. However, as mentioned, this will be a very expensive option.
Another option would be to add shutters to the inside or outside of your home. Roller shutters outside your home will not only block out noise, but they will also block out light and increase security. Plantation shutters inside your home also offer excellent sound protection. They will also block out most light, provided they are installed correctly.
The third option would be to use heavy curtains to help block out the noise. Acoustic fabric is a heavyweight fabric that helps to block out noise. Obviously, this will only work when your curtains are closed, so you won’t enjoy any additional sound proofing during the day when your curtains are open.
If you are being kept awake by street noise, a simple way to make this less disruptive would be to move your bed away from exterior walls and also to use internal partitions to create sound barriers between you and the outside.
And finally, you can also use methods like sound machines to help drown out the outside noise. A sound machine will emit white noise which your brain will eventually tune out, and this can help to distract you from the noise outside. This can be particularly useful for those living in city centre apartments who struggle to sleep and cannot make big changes to their windows.
Your double glazing should offer good protection from excessive noise, but there are some things that can make it less effective. If your windows aren’t working like they should, they might need to be adjusted to ensure there is a tight seal when they are closed. Upgrading to triple glazing is one way to increase sound protection, but you can also try methods like adding shutters or heavy curtains.