One thing homeowners notice immediately after installing a noise reduction window replacement is how quiet their home becomes. The neighbor’s yapping Chihuahua is muted and you’ll never hear the garbage truck roaring by at 6 a.m. again. The benefits of a noise reduction window are especially true if you live close to a busy street or freeway. It’s absolutely amazing the way sound remains outside of your home.
Homeowners who are replacing old single pane, aluminum-framed windows will notice the biggest improvement. Installing simple, but well-built double-pane vinyl windows, can have a dramatic impact for the homeowner when it comes to noise reduction. Choosing the right noise reduction window to best fit your specific need is very important. For example, a home near an airport may require a higher Sound Transmission Class (STC) rating (we’ll break down STC Ratings in a moment) than the homeowner that simply deals with traffic or the occasional barking dog. As you can imagine, there are numerous models and manufactures of a noise reduction window. To get a clear picture of what’s best for your home, consult with an expert to help you make the best decision.
Something interesting to note here: it wasn’t until recently that noise reduction solutions weren’t limited to unsightly, bulky windows or add-ons that made homes less attractive. Fortunately, today’s window manufactures all have a certain level of noise reducing elements manufactured right into the product. The glass, framing material, and each element of a noise reducing window itself all work together to give the product its STC Rating.
What is an STC Rating?
STC stands for Sound Transmission Class. Basically, it’s an established way to average how much sound is stopped by something. The ratings are used for windows, doors, walls, and most building materials. The STC rating is the average amount of noise stopped at 18 different frequencies that are measured in decibels. The ratings are a logarithmic scale similar to the earthquake Richter Scale, which means each number is significantly higher than the one before.
What STC Ratings do Windows Possess?
For single pane windows, the STC Rating is most likely between 26 and 28. The difference is the glass thickness and how airtight the window is. Most homes built around 20 years ago used single pane windows, which provided STC ratings of 15-20. Typical dual pane windows average 24-29 and can go as high as 38. The higher STC ratings require specific manufacturing and can become quite expensive.
For most homeowners, dual pane windows will take care of average noise issues. Naturally, manufactures make specific windows built at higher STC Ratings for specific problem solving.
If you have a specific noise problem you’re looking to solve, just give us a holler. Just make sure you’re not on the other side of our glass. We won’t be able to hear you.