- Double-glazed window – the main component of a soundproof window
- The role of profile and seals in window sound insulation
- Additional noise protection
- Soundproof ventilation dampers
- Ways to increase the sound insulation of an old window
Sound insulation is one of the main criteria for a comfortable living environment, and most of the noise comes through the windows. Let us consider how ordinary windows differ from noise-insulating ones, we will tell you what other methods of increasing the sound insulation of windows are, we will describe the features of their installation.
Most homeowners, when replacing old windows for plastic, hope not only for good protection from rain and drafts, but also for high-quality soundproofing of the room. However, the latter is not always satisfactory. A noticeable reduction in street noise through the window is achieved by fulfilling three conditions:
- Acquisition of a sound-absorbing window system.
- Competent installation, sealing of the assembly seam and the device of slopes.
- Additional measures: soundproof roller shutters or balcony glazing.
Double-glazed window – the main component of a soundproof window
Sound insulation of a window starts with glass, since they account for at least 80% of the entire structure area. The maximum noise level in the living room should be 45-50 dB, and the neighboring motorway at peak load gives up to 80 dB. Conventional glass blocks reduce noise by 25-27 dB, which clearly falls short of even the sanitary standards, not to mention the comfortable conditions. Therefore, noise-absorbing double-glazed windows are used to reduce street sounds, which can reduce noise by at least 30-34 dB.
Comparative table of sound insulation levels (R) of glass units of various structures
Glass unit Glass Cameras R, dB +, dB A type Qty Thickness, mm Qty Width, mm Standard single chamber common 2 4/4 1 12 20-25 Standard two-chamber common 3 4/4/4 2 6/6 21-26.5 1-1.5 Double chamber with outer thick glass common 3 4/4/6 2 6/6 22-28 1-1.5 Asymmetrical two-chamber common 3 4/4/4 2 6/10 23-29.5 2-3 Asim. double chamber + sash with thick glass common 3 + 1 4/4/4 + 6 2 + 1 6/10 + 26 29–37 5-6 Asim. two-chamber with inert gas common 3 4/4/4 2 6/10 25.5-33 2.5-4 Asim. two-chamber with three-layer glass triplex 3 4/4/9 2 6/10 27-34 4-5 Three-chamber asymmetric common 4 4/4/6/6 3 8/16/16 32-34 8-10
As you can see, the soundproofing properties of a glass unit change depending on the parameters:
- Quantity, thickness and type of glass used.
- Air chambers widths and fillings.
A simple change in the number of cameras has almost no effect on the noise isolation of the system. The best result is obtained when equipped with an additional sash, but this entails an increase in the width, weight and cost of the structure.
Insulated glass units are separated by spacers made on the basis of polymer foam, weakly conducting sound waves. The best option is a combination of different methods and the use of new materials. There are now window systems that reduce sound insulation by 44-48 dB.
The role of profile and seals in window sound insulation
The frames of soundproof plastic windows are mainly made of profiles with 5–7 chambers, which is associated with the need to accommodate a thicker glass unit. Special design types are wood products. In windows with separate or twin double sashes, asymmetric glazing is used, which protects well against street noise: a double-glazed unit is installed in the inside, and thick glass or triplex is installed in the outside.
In addition to glass, the quality of sound insulation is affected by the tightness of the vestibule and the joints of the glass unit with the profile. The more elastic the seals, the less noise passes through them.
Advice:it is recommended to choose synthetic components – during frost they behave better in comparison with modified rubber.
Requirements for the installation of a soundproof window:
- No frame distortions – a slight deviation entails a decrease in the density of the porch: blowing can be felt only in winter, and the sound will pass all year round.
- Application of polyurethane foam with a high sound insulation rate – 60 dB.
- High-quality joint filling – preferably on both sides.
- Compliance with the size of the installation gap – no more than 30 mm.
- Careful sealing of the window opening – the correct slopes will do it best.
Additional noise protection
You can win a few more decibels (3-5) after installing soundproof roller shutters or shutters, which can be external or internal. In fact, they resemble roller shutters, the difference lies in the presence of noise-absorbing inserts. Another option is a twin design: an aluminum sash with thick glass (at least 6 mm) is hung on a plastic window using hinges.
An additional soundproof barrier is the glazing of the balcony. Even sliding aluminum systems give a tangible result, and more sealed tilt-and-turn models will reduce noise no worse than a new window with increased sound insulation.
Soundproof ventilation dampers
Solving the problem of sound insulation can lead to troubles associated with air exchange in the room. High tightness excludes fresh air access, water vapor accumulates. The problem is solved by installing soundproof ventilation valves – their characteristics must meet the requirements of class A according to the sound insulation standard. Installation of devices is possible in the wall near the window or on the window itself, in any case, this issue is thought out even at the design stage of the sound insulation system.
Ways to increase the sound insulation of an old window
A window made of any material during the operational period loses its properties – sound insulation and tightness. There are several reasons for this:
- Dry seals both between the sashes and the frame, and between the sash and glass units – are eliminated by replacing.
- The skew of the opening parts relative to the window frame – adjustment operations are carried out.
- Destruction of insulation between the frame and the walls of the building – the old insulation is removed and a new filling of the joints is performed.
- The appearance of cracks in the places of contact between glass and wood due to drying out of wood – the frames are repaired or replaced.
There is a technical trick that allows you to save money and improve the sound insulation of the old PVC window: it is rearranged into the interior of the room, and a new window section is mounted outside. Of course, this method is workable if the window is in good condition and the opening has sufficient depth..
Summing up, we can say that the “quietest” windows are created from individual decibels, and in total these little things give a good reduction in street noise – just a decrease, it is simply impossible to completely remove sounds.