Which is the best idea to soundproof – buying new windows or soundproofing with window inserts? If you’re wondering, you’re not alone. It’s one of the most common questions our new customers ask us. The short answer comes down to this – Double-pane replacement glass windows are not meant to block sound. Soundproofing window inserts are designed for optimal noise control.
Here, we explain in more detail which window soundproofing methods will work, which will not — and why.
The Science Behind Soundproofing
To actually absorb sound you need sufficient mass to contain the sound waves and enough of an air gap to absorb the noise.
Insulating materials are rated in terms thermal resistance, also known as R-value. The higher your R-value rating, the better your insulation. Placed over single-pane windows, soundproof panels raise your R rating to 3.3 — the same as double-pane, argon-gas-filled energy-efficient windows!
Comparing the Mass of Replacement Panes and Glass Soundproofing Inserts
The greater a material’s mass, the more sound waves it can absorb. Double-pane windows, which consist of a pair of slim glass panes, are low on mass. The mass of our 1/4″ laminated glass equates to 3.27 pounds per square foot — substantially higher than standard windows, acrylic window systems, and other common window types.
Comparing the Gap and Seal Capabilities
The bigger a gap between the panes, the more sound waves a window system confines.
With standard replacement windows, the panes are close together. They lack the necessary soundproofing gap. Between the panes of these windows, there may be inert gas that guards against energy loss and holds humidity out. The gas does not constitute a soundproof seal. Sound seeps right though standard replacement windows.
In contrast, soundproofing inserts are laminated glass consisting of two 1/8 inch annealed glass panels, with a membrane between them. Thus, the panel in total is more than 1/4 inch thick. The membrane’s flexibility absorbs vibrations and dissipates sound waves.
Placed between an existing window pane and shades, the best soundproof window inserts leave a gap of at least two inches from the window pane. The result is an insulating and energy-efficient window that traps sound effectively.
STC Rating: What It Is, Why It Matters
Your new soundproof window panels can be quickly installed. Once in place, they’ll immediately block up to 75 percent of sound from commercial vehicles and other low-pitched sounds and as much at 95 percent of high-pitched sound. The decibel reduction is measurable, and scientists use a Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating to tell you how well a material barrier absorbs airborne sound. It’s a simple indicator, as the STC rating number is a rough equivalent to the decibel reduction your sound barrier offers.
Window inserts from Sun and Sound Windows provide an STC rating of 42 for single-pane windows. Contrast that with the typical rating for a single-pane window, which is STC 18 to 20 or a double-glazed window, which maxes out at STC 32.
This is a big reason why getting the best soundproof window inserts is so important. An STC rating of 48 provides outstanding sound control.
Our customers often describe window inserts as making the unwanted noise seem to be faint and distant, thus substantially improving the quality of their home life, ensuring:
The kinds of noise our window inserts can block range from motorbikes to reverberating music, from sirens to outdoor amplifiers. How much noise can you block? We have answers, so don’t hesitate to bring us your questions or call or message for a free estimate for your home or office space. Include the kind of sounds you intend to block so that we can give you a good idea of both price and expected results.
No Need to Replace Your Windows
There is no need to buy soundproof replacement windows. Some soundproof or “triple-pane” windows may use laminated glass (as our soundproof inserts do), but the air gap is tightly restricted by standard wall structures. They block out sound less effectively, and cost more, than our soundproofing inserts.
Laminated glass inserts are superior in reducing noise at all frequencies, including trucks and trains, motorcycles, emergency vehicles, playgrounds, barking dogs, air conditioning units, general traffic and yard care noise.
The best soundproof window inserts block not only sound but also weather. And the thicker your existing windows, the more powerful the insulation factor.
If you’re already planning to purchase replacement windows, consider gaining some peace and quiet and reinforcing the sound and weather insulation of your home by having Sun and Sound window inserts installed as an addition to your new windows. Feel free to contact us to discuss the way noise abatement window inserts will transform your space and dramatically ease your noise and stress levels.
The Best Soundproof Window Inserts for Existing Windows
What are the main comments from customers when they explain the difference Sun and Sound window inserts make in their living and working space?
- Glass soundproof window panels fit the contours of existing windows and architecture.
- Laminated glass keeps out glare and blocks 99 percent of UV light.
- As a soundproofing method, window inserts are considerably less expensive than the purchase of new window panes.
So, for a fraction of the price of window replacement, you can enjoy the tranquility that can only be found in a quiet interior space. Turn down the speakers on life. Cherish the comfort of silence at home and at work.
Sun and Sound Windows is pleased to provide that comfort to those in Houston, Galveston, Dallas, San Antonio, Austin and Fort Worth — and now Nashville, Tennessee. Contact us to make an appointment with our soundproofing experts or to receive an estimate for bringing a new level of peace and quiet into your life.