Tips for Buying Acoustic Windows
Do horns honking and speakers blasting loud sermons prevent you from working? Can you not sleep because of a loud party at your neighbour’s house?
Modern homes and offices are built amid busy streets and towering factories. This brings noise disturbance caused by traffic, sirens, crowd, and factory equipment. Such noise distracts you from your work, damages your ears, affects mental health, and decreases productivity. Residence in large cities is dictated by several factors – noise control being perhaps the most important.
Why is Noise Harmful to You?
The human ear perceives sounds of frequencies ranging between 20 and 20,000 hertz, enabling you to hear sounds of up to 140 decibels. Any sound above 90 decibels is loud and uncomfortable. Sounds over 130 decibels can temporarily or permanently destroy your cochlea and eardrums, causing acute hearing loss.
Apart from causing hearing impairment, loud noises cause problems like hypertension, stress, tinnitus, increased blood pressure, sleep disturbance, lack of concentration, and deteriorating cardiac health.
In offices, excessive external noise can distract employees, affect clients negatively, lessen privacy, and decrease overall productivity. Similarly, peaceful home is merely an illusion if you do not ensure proper soundproofing. Soundproofing is also crucial in hospitals, labs, recording studios, and schools.
How Can You Soundproof Your Homes and Offices?
If you do not want your work hindered by constant external noise or want to return home to a quiet bedroom and a relaxing living space, soundproofing should be your priority.
Traditionally, materials like mass-loaded vinyl sound barriers, acoustic mineral wool, green glue, and silicone caulk are used to soundproof spaces. While these remain popular choices for many, one of the most innovative and beneficial ways to soundproof space is installing acoustic windows.
How do Acoustic Windows Work?
A few decades ago, windows were only thought to be a source of light and fresh air. While that remains true, acoustic windows offer soundproofing features that are precious to those living in noisy cities.
Sound is a mechanical wave, which means it requires a medium for its propagation. Every transmission medium vibrates differently when sound waves pass through, making speed and frequency of transmission unique. Soundproofing requires the installation of a barrier between the source of a sound and the listener. This warrants either absorption (dampening of sound), reflection or dissipation of sound energy as it passes the barrier, thereby ensuring soundproofing. Acoustic windows are usually constructed in one of the following manners:
- Addition of multiple layers of glass to add mass to the sound barring window.
- Increasing the air-space between two layers of the window glass.
- Sandwiching a poly-vinyl butyral layer between two glass panes.
Windows made using the third method are usually the most efficient at blocking unwanted sounds. Double-glazed acoustic glass can reduce sounds by about 40 decibels while laminated glass provides even better sound insulation. Well-designed acoustic windows can reduce unwanted noise by about 90-95% for some frequencies.
What to Look for in Acoustic Windows?
Different manufacturers offer different kinds of acoustic window solutions, only some of which might fit your individual needs. Before investing in acoustic windows, there are certain things you should pay attention to.
- STC Ratings
The quality of soundproof windows is determined using the sound transmission class (STC) ratings. Higher the STC rating of acoustic glass more is the sound-insulation provided by it. Typical single-pane windows are rated around 27 on an STC scale. This rating is 28 for double-pane windows. Acoustic windows can have STC ratings between 40 and 50. While higher STC ratings promise better soundproofing, the window you choose for soundproofing your space should fit your needs. If you do not operate in a noisy area, you might not require extremely high STC ratings for your acoustic windows.
Most of your house and office is designed to reflect your individuality and tastes. This should remain true even for your doors and windows. Acoustic glass windows can be customized according to your tastes. Most installation experts will inspect your space, perform various sound tests and check your surroundings before recommending an acoustic window for you. If you require your acoustic window to be of a special design, size, or colour, window experts should also arrange that. Always look for acoustic windows that offer personalization options.
- Adjustment with Frames
Since window panes come in different varieties, your chosen acoustic window must fit in with your preferred window frame. Always buy acoustic windows from experts who offer customized window solutions for uPVC, wooden and aluminium frames. This will not only ensure proper décor for your space but also warrant perfect sound-insulation.
At AIS Windows, we provide customized window and door solutions for both residential and commercial spaces. Our acoustic glass can reduce sounds and comes in different varieties. We offer fusion-welded and double-sealed soundproofing mechanism in uPVC, wooden and aluminium frames. All our products are durable and come in excellent quality. We, at AIS Windows, make acoustic window shopping installation completely hassle-free for you. Our experts recognize the importance of style, privacy and comfort, offering solutions that enhance your lifestyle using proper aesthetics. You can trust AIS Windows to deliver only the best for you.