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Difficulty finding info on the best soundproof and energy efficient windows

Tripwire's picture


Ok its my first post after lurking for a while......  (-:

I have subscriptions to a few magazines, and they are always concerned abouut price and energy effiency. I need to replace a large master bedroom window because of the road noise outside.  I cant seem to find any articles in regards to the best frame construction, glass thickness, layers of glass that will suit my needs


if you could mail me at stevenmiller61. At hotmail i would appreciate it as i dont log on here very often


thanks in advance for any helpful info



steven (post #206965, reply #1 of 6)

Let's keep this on the board, others might find the information helpful.


You mention a large window, that would be the first problem.  Think of original speakers-the bigger, the more ability to produce sound.  You have large thin glass, much like the diaphragm of a speaker.  The vibrations outside hit it and it transfers the sound easily.

Mass will muffle sound, hard to get in a window.

Your best bet short of limiting the size of the window might be to install interior sound deadening shutters or drapes.

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.


Generally, if you really want (post #206965, reply #2 of 6)

Generally, if you really want to control sound, a single window, even if double-pane glass, is insufficient.  Much better is two separate windows, one in front of the other.  One of the windows can be a "storm window", or you can use two essentially identical windows (though obviously if they're awning or casement windows you'll have trouble opening them).  I've seen doubled-up windows like this in a couple of hotels where the rooms were adjacent to a rail yard, eg, and it worked quite well.

In terms of window construction, wood is probably best for noise, and metal worst.  A true divided-light window will have more "damping" than a solid glass window or one with false divided lights.  (But true divided-light windows are scarce and expensive and generally not available with insulated glass, so not very energy-efficient.)  The false divided-light window is probably the second-best choice, but the muttons should be glued on, not snap-in-place.

Of all the preposterous assumptions of humanity over humanity, nothing exceeds most of the criticisms made on the habits of the poor by the well-housed, well-warmed, and well-fed.  --Herman Melville

You may not (post #206965, reply #3 of 6)

need to replace the existing window. Instead, install a second window inside the existing... an interior storm window. Install it approximately in plane with the interior wall. Use heavy laminated glass and a wood frame, and use weatherstripping so that is seals well around the edges.

If your existing window is single pane, then replacing it as well will help.

A serious issue with that, is (post #206965, reply #4 of 6)

A serious issue with that, is that the windows in the bedromm are concidered emergency exit windows .  Im thinking ofsome sortof triple glass, with each layer being a different thickness and spacing apart?   I was also thinking wood frames with vinyl cladding on the outside.

I do plan on soundproofing the wall more with a layer of deading material and another sheet of drywall on top of it.


Now doubling up an identical window is a brilliant idea...  That would be four panes of glass

any thoughts?



I've looked at these guys in (post #206965, reply #5 of 6)

I've looked at these guys in the past, they seem to know what they are talking about:

YAY!  I love WYSISYG editing!  And Spellcheck!


Steve (post #206965, reply #6 of 6)

Had the pleasure of working on some radio studios long ago.

The different windows do work.  Separate jambs and one not parallel to the other (tipped).  The jambs were separated by (they were two separate units) a compressible bulb type weatherstripping (I think-or a foam gasket).

The interior storm might be the best bet-gasket between that and bring it into your room as much as possible.  Since you might be building it, the emergency end of it would be yours to figure out.

I cannot remember (this was 30 yrs ago) which side of the wall had the tipped glass-I would think it would be the exterior in your case-directing the sound waves down instead of straight on towards your interior.

Best of luck. 

A Great Place for Information, Comraderie, and a Sucker Punch.

Remodeling Contractor just outside the Glass City.