Single pane windows do not stop that much noise. They
are also usually old enough to leak air and more noise into the house
too. Replacing them with a good quality dual pane window will
reduce noise levels by up to 25%. However, if you do not choose
the right style and glass thickness, the noise levels can actually go
up instead of down. If you have an historical home or have other reasons
to not replace the windows, perhaps changing the thin glass to a thicker
glass is also an option.
The graphic below shows the soundproofing qualities
of single pane glass with respect to the thickness of the
Another option, shown later in this course, will
give more noise reduction for the same amount of money as
replacing these windows with dual pane windows.
If you already have dual pane windows it is very doubtful
that you can replace them and improve the amount of noise
they stop by very much. Buying replacement dual pane windows
as described below may decrease your noise levels by only
about 10% over what you already have.
possible exception would be if your dual pane window glass
is extra thin (single-strength glass). The extra thin glass stops
very little noise and replacing it can help noticeably. You can
even replace the glass in the windows and reduce noise levels,
this can be costly. Often replacing the glass can cost almost as
much as new windows. Going from single strength glass (3/64")
to the combinations described earlier, will reduce noise
levels by 20% at best. You
should buy dual pane windows that have at least a one inch
thick glass assembly. The glass should be 1/8" thick
on one side and at least 3/16" thick on the other side.
of glass assembly for effective soundproofing in dual
is still a very economical add-on cost to the windows and
gives you the most noise reduction for the dollars spent.
Other options like low-e may be nice, but they do virtually
nothing to reduce the noise levels. Argon
gas has been shown to help reduce noise a little bit. If it is
not too expensive an option, it can help. It only helps a little,
but every little bit can help.
The bad news is that while 10% to 25% noise reduction
is nice, it is not good enough to solve many of the soundproofing
problems that you may have. Making a quiet neighborhood real
quiet is great, but making a noisy neighborhood only 25%
quieter is usually not enough.
The only effective way to soundproof windows is
to install a second set of windows. There are many ways to do this
and the results can vary a huge amount.
Click on soundproofing to continue.