Sound pollution can greatly affect your relationship with your home. When your home doesn’t have noise-reducing windows in Toronto, you might begin to dislike where you live simply because you can’t ever escape the noise. It’s not surprising that if given a choice, most Canadians would prefer to keep outside noise… well, outside.
However, noise-reducing properties are rarely taken into consideration when purchasing new replacement windows. If you have found yourself in a situation where too much outside noise is entering your home and disrupting your day, there are steps you can take to correct this issue. Of course, as with much of anything else, what options are available to you will greatly depend on your budget.
Can Windows Really Be Soundproof?
There is not a single residential window that will block 100 percent of sound 100 percent of the time. For the most part, you will hear the term “soundproof” used to describe windows that can greatly diminish outside noise – some even up to 95 percent.
A guideline to follow when shopping for noise-reducing windows in Toronto is what kind of frequencies you want to soundproof against. Lower frequencies, such as garbage trucks are much harder to block than high frequency sounds like birds chirping. Doing so is made easier through rating a window’s ability to stop sound on a sound transmission class (STC) scale. This means that the higher the number, the better the window reduces noise.
How Soundproof Windows Works
Like any other home building material, windows reduce the amount of noise that enters your home by creating a barrier that blocks any sound waves. Increasing a window’s ability to block these sound waves, thus increasing its STC rating, is done through a couple of means at the manufacturer’s level.
The first is adding mass to the window, or, in other words, making the glass thicker. The thicker the glass, the better the soundproofing. For best results, consider double-paned windows. The key to stopping as much noise as possible is to make sure the two panes are different levels of thickness. If they are the same, the noise will resonate through the first pane and go right through the second.
Keeping with the idea of a double-paned window, adding air space between the window panes will help. By increasing the distance between the two panes your windows will be operating at their highest level of effectiveness. This will distort and reduce sound as it travels between the two panes that act as barriers.
Finally, using laminated glass can help further reduce noise transmission. Laminated glass differs from standard glass as it has a thin plastic sheet sandwiched between two pieces of glass. In most cases, it is only necessary to use one laminated glass pane with one standard glass pane. Similarly to our first point, the difference in thickness between the two panes can help block most external noise pollution.
Reducing Noise in Your Existing Windows
If you do not have the budget to completely upgrade your home to high-level STC rated, noise-reducing windows in Toronto—or your windows are still relatively new—there are some more inexpensive steps you can take instead.
Since sound needs air to travel through, a good place to start when soundproofing your home’s windows is recaulking their seals. Caulking can dry up after a few years, which can let through more and more noise as time passes. Redoing your window seals can be an instant boost in their soundproofing performance.
Additionally, you can install a secondary glazing. As previously mentioned, laminated glass panes offer superior noise-reducing capabilities when added to existing windows. There are a variety of companies that offer this kind of service, so you won’t have to worry about installing them yourself. There is one significant potential downside to laminated glass, though. Oftentimes, you will no longer be able to open your window once the glass is put on so beware of your options when you are shopping.
However, these steps will only take you so far. The best option you have to keep as much noise as possible from entering your home is to get replacement noise-reducing windows in Toronto.
Replacement Noise-Reducing Windows
While replacing your home’s windows with noise-reducing ones is the most costly option, it can also be the most beneficial. There is only so much you can do to older, lower quality windows before it is time to go shopping. But we’ve got some tips for you to keep in mind when looking for noise-reducing windows in Toronto.
- Always ask about the STC rating
- Consider triple pane windows
Most manufacturers and stores will have these ratings for a wide variety of different windows. If they do not have this information, there is a high chance that their windows are not high enough quality and you should look elsewhere.
We previously talked about how double-paned windows work a lot more effectively to reduce noise levels, but triple-paned windows are an option as well. Not only are they energy-efficient, but they can eliminate up to 20 percent more noise too.