Unwanted outside noise can occur in homes by a highway, airport or in a loud urban setting with barking dogs and lawn mowers. Sound problems can have a significant impact on the enjoyment of your home, particularly if it disrupts your sleep.
Windows are one of the biggest culprits in allowing noise to get in your home. Single glass panes and wood window frames are generally the least resistant to noise. Conversely, well designed windows can reduce noise and help create a more peaceful home.
One of the most important elements for reducing sound penetration in windows is glass. Double glazed windows and a well-designed vinyl frame can help reduce noise infiltration. If possible, noise producing equipment such as generators should be kept far away from windows and doors.
Sound Transmission Class
Sound Transmission Class, often referred to as STC, is used as a measure of a window’s ability to reduce sound. Generally, the higher the STC rating, the better sound control you can expect from a window and presumably the quieter the home. The typical STC rating of a single pane window is between 18-20. By comparison, a typical double glazed window has an STC rating between 28-32. Milgard Quiet Line windows can achieve an STC rating of up to 48 for exceptional sound control.
While quality windows can be used as a sound barrier for outside noise, design factor is a major element to consider. The amount of space between panes of glass is called ‘airspace’. The closer window panes are to each other, the smaller the airspace and the more sound will pass through. In addition, panes with varied thickness --- instead of uniform thickness --- help block sound transmission.