Which Type of Glazing for Noise Reduction?

sound waves

There are several different sorts of glazed window available. There are traditional single-paned windows, which comprise just the one sheet of glass. Then there are the popular double-glazed units, which sandwich a layer of inert gas (or vacuum) between two glass panels. If you want to go even further, there are even triple-glazed windows which add another layer of glass (and another layer of inert gas).

The more layers, the more thermally insulated it is. But what if you’re concerned with sound pollution, too? Well, the good news is that certain sorts of window will offer considerable protection from unwanted noises. But which is best? And what alternatives are available?

Which Window Glazing is Best for Noise Reduction?

Will Double and Triple Glazing Reduce Noise?

A double-glazed window will reduce noise more than a single-glazed one. Triple glazing tends to be no more effective than double glazing when it comes to sound insulation, if you are keeping the thickness of the window the same. Thinner sheets of glass will vibrate more easily, and if the volume of air is the same, then there’ll be no real difference in sound conductivity. In practice, triple glazed windows contain more glass – and since sound travels more easily through solids than gases, they conduct noise more easily.

Will Secondary Glazing Reduce Noise?

If one window will reduce noise, then two windows placed back to back will reduce it even further. In fact, secondary glazing is even more effective when the glass used is of a different thickness. It’ll resonate at different frequencies, causing a more complete deadening effect.

Window Glazing Costs

Different sorts of glazing will incur different costs. Triple-glazed windows are far more intricate and complex than double-glazed ones, which tends to mean more expense. You can expect to pay around 50% more for a triple glazed window than a double-glazed one.

The material used for the frame will also influence the cost of the window. Aluminium windows and timber windows tend to sit at the more expensive end of the scale, but they do look better than uPVC ones – which, while more affordable, aren’t quite as strong, and thus need to be made thicker. When you’re making this decision, you should factor in the money that you’ll save over time as your energy bills go down.

Generally speaking, the more windows that you elect to have fitted at the same time, the more economical things get. Installers must factor in the time spent travelling to and from your property, and thus getting everything done at once tends to be cost effective.

How Can I Soundproof a Window?

window with patterned heavy curtains

Of course, replacing an entire window can be very expensive. If you’d like to reduce the volume without spending a packet, then there are a few simple steps you can take.

Firstly, you might dress your windows with heavier curtains – and then, crucially, draw them. You might then examine the edge of the window for any gaps, and seal them. Finally, you might consider covering the window with a screen – or even secondary glazing. If you live in a conservation area, this latter option might make a fantastic alternative to traditional double-glazing.