By Michael Lentin
Once you’ve decided to upgrade your home with Soundproof Windows, you’ll need to make some choices that impact the price and efficacy of your project. When choosing the number of panes, Window thickness, and installation style, first consider location, budget, and starting noise level.
How Double Pane Soundproof Windows Work
Most Soundproof Windows are made using two panes of glass, separated by a gas layer that insulates and muffles sound. Some companies use air as an insulator. At CitiQuiet, we use Argon and Krypton: colorless, odorless, chemically inert gases that are denser than air and effectively block sound and heat.
In addition to double panes and a gas layer, Soundproof Windows often feature optional energy-saving upgrades, such as low-E glass. Low-E glass minimizes transmitted ultraviolet and infrared light without compromising visible light. Double pane Windows made with low-E glass help reduce energy costs and keep your house temperate year round.
Are Triple Pane Windows Worth The Added Cost?
Some Soundproof Windows are made with three panes and two layers of gas. There’s some debate over whether triple pane Windows are a better investment than double pane Windows. However, while triple pane Windows may slightly reduce heat loss compared with double pane Windows, they are not significantly better at blocking sound.
According to FacilitiesNet, “Acoustical test data of triple pane Windows have demonstrated that there is little acoustical benefit over a double pane insulated System.” Additionally, triple pane Windows will only save you about $1 a year on the average heating bill. For most people, double pane Windows are the sensible choice.
Choosing Your Window’s Thickness
The thickness of your Soundproof, double pane Window will depend on the noise that you want to block out. The capacity for a barrier to block sound is measured by its STC rating. In general, you’ll be able to hear normal speech through Windows rated STC-25 and below. When you reach STC-35, you can still hear loud speech, but it will be muffled. At STC-50, you can hear loud stereos and musical instruments.
A standard wood frame or steel casement Window is STC-13. Soundproof, double pane Windows have a higher STC rating the thicker they get. At CitiQuiet, our 1/8″ interior Window is STC-29, our 1/4″ interior Window is STC-31, and our 1/4″ laminated interior Window is STC-35. Our most powerful Soundproofing product is our Acoust-A-Pane interior Window, which is STC-38. Depending on the degree of noise (the chatter of passersby versus the blare of a fire engine), you’ll want to choose a thinner or thicker double pane Window.
Installing Double Pane Windows
There are two ways to install double pane Windows. The first involves tearing out and replacing your existing infrastructure, and can be time-consuming and expensive. The second method is simpler, and involves installing a Soundproof insert over your existing Window. Provided it is the right fit, a double pane Window insert offers Soundproofing on par with a complete Window reinstallation.
For most people, double pane Window inserts are the most effective, affordable, and convenient way to Soundproof. If you choose to use them, maximize your Soundproofing with inserts that conform to your existing frames. CitiQuiet double pane Windows fit snuggly in your existing Window openings, and sit a few inches away from your Window, providing additional Soundproofing. We custom-manufacture every Window, insulate the spacers with thermoplastics, and surround the glass panels with spring-loaded seals to stop additional sound leaks. The result? Whisper-quiet, at last.