The primary purpose of impact windows is to withstand powerful wind conditions such as hurricanes and tropical storms. However, thanks to their superior design, they come with several other side benefits, such as noise reduction.
Sound pollution can be among the most annoying of irritants for suburban and city home and condo owners. You may have the friendliest and most agreeable neighbors, but if they have non-stop barking dogs, screaming toddlers, or undergo 6 AM lawn care, then those amiable feelings towards them may quickly erode. Or maybe you live along a busy street or popular park and the noise has slowly been driving you insane. The good news is that you can better enjoy your neighbors and your location by simply switching out standard windows with impact windows.
How Impact Windows Provide Enhanced Sound Proofing Abilities
It’s important to note that no residential window can block out all sound all of the time. Certain sounds with low frequencies, such as the rumble of distant thunder, are much harder to block out than sounds with higher frequencies like chirping birds. However, quality impact windows rated for high soundproofing abilities are capable of blocking the vast majority of outside noise.
When searching for impact windows for the secondary benefit of soundproofing, check to ensure the model has been built with an inner layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) sandwiched between the two outer glass panes. PVB has a different density than the outer laminated glass and thus together the layers break up the traveling sound waves and thereby decrease how much enters at an audible level.
To check how effective any given impact window is at obstructing noise, look at its listed STC — Sound Transmission Coefficient. The higher this number, the more effective the model is at inhibiting noise transfer. The typical single-pane window will have an average STC rating of 28, which a window with an STC 30 is generally accepted to allow the transfer of loud speech that can be easily heard and understood.
In contrast, a quality impact window with an STC 50 is capable of blocking out most all traffic, speech, and high-frequency noises although very loud sounds like the bass from a loud sound speaker may still transfer through. Just keep in mind the rule of thumb that for every increase of 10 in the STC rating, noise is reduced by about 50%. The difference between an STC rating of 25 and 35 can make a big difference! Although you can’t completely block out noise, you can decrease it dramatically by choosing impact windows. To learn more about factors to keep in mind when purchasing, make sure to check out our other article on how impact windows are rated.
Your home is your castle – a fortress of solitude and tranquility! Making a decision to upgrade to impact windows can solve regular, everyday noise problems you experience on a day-to-day basis. The added benefit of sound reduction will make your home a more delightful place to kick up your feet and relax. When shopping for options, pay close attention to the STC rating, as this will give you an idea of how much sound is blocked. The higher, the better!
And remember, noise reduction is just one of the many benefits you’ll receive from installing impact windows. You’ll also keep your home safer during natural disasters, have less of a hassle to deal with than hurricane shutters, and protect your home more effectively from break-ins.
When you’re ready to purchase, or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to call the team at Alco Windows and Doors. They’ve provided top-notch service and quality installations for thousands of homeowners, and want to be the guys you call first to solve all your impact window and door needs. No matter where you are in your decision-making process, contact them for guidance you can trust!