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Measuring Performance: Sound Control

  • Sound

    The acoustical properties of windows are tied closely to technologies for infiltration control and to some degree to heat loss control. A side benefit to houses with tight, insulated windows is that they are dramatically quieter than homes with leaky windows. This reduction in noise transmission from outside to inside can be a major benefit for homes in noisy locations or to occupants who value privacy and quiet.

    The most significant step which can be taken to reduce sound transmission is to minimize air infiltration. Care should be taken to ensure the windows are installed properly to minimize infiltration between the wall and the window frame.

    Beyond minimizing air infiltration and using double glazing, there a few steps that can be taken to further reduce direct sound transmission. These techniques are often custom and may add to the cost of the products. These include:

    • Wide air/gas gaps between glazings (5/8-inch or greater instead of the 1/2-inch or less).
    • Replacing air with argon or krypton between the glazings.
    • A 1/4-inch exterior light with an inner light of different thickness (often laminated with 1/8-inch or 3/16-inch glass).
    • Triple glazing with varying glass thicknesses including glass greater then 1/8-inch thick.