How effective is double glazing at reducing noise?

5 min read Windows

Providing households with a wide range of benefits, we’re often asked how effective double glazing is at reducing noise. Increased noise pollution in the home can have a real impact on you and your family’s health and wellbeing. So, cutting noise pollution will not only reduce stress, but it can also improve your immune system and your quality of sleep, as well as your memory.

Naturally spending more time at home in recent years, the need for a quiet, peaceful home has become the focus for many. Our double glazing has undergone various sound tests to assess how well it reduces noise pollution, able to keep out an impressive 35 decibels from entering the building. So, if you would like to learn more about how double glazing reduces noise, we’ve taken the time to answer a variety of frequently asked questions on the subject below.

What is a decibel and how is it measured?

Decibels (dB) measure sound intensity - the higher the dB value, the louder the noise in the home. When the sound's force increases, so does the volume of that sound. In stark contrast to a linear scale (like a ruler), the decibel scale uses a logarithmic scale. A linear scale divides distances into equal parts, so for example, 20cm is twice as long as 10cm, 30cm is three times as long, etc. The decibel scale differs by increasing in powers of ten, so every increase of 10dB is equivalent to a 10-fold increase in sound intensity. So, 20dB is 10 times louder than a sound of 10dB and 30dB is 100 times more intense. 100dB works out as one billion times more intense than 10dB, which is incredibly damaging.

Can we hear 1 decibel?

blue soundwave

Yes, humans can hear sounds between 0 and 140 decibels. Typically, skilled listeners will be able to hear a 1dB change, whereas less skilled listeners can differentiate changes in sound between 2 or 3 dB. 0-30 dB is very quiet, the average home noise is around 40dB, and anything over 85dB is potentially damaging. Here are some examples of general noise levels to get an idea of different sounds measured in decibels:

  • Breathing: 10dB
  • Whispering/rustling leaves: 20dB-30dB
  • Quiet conversation: 40dB
  • Normal conversation: 60dB
  • Vacuum cleaner: 70-80dB
  • Helicopter: 100dB
  • Police siren: 110-120dB
  • Jet engine/fireworks: 120+ dB

What does RW rating mean?

Measured in decibels, Rw refers to the Weighted Sound Reduction Index. So, when you purchase new windows, Rw is the rating that measures the level of sound insulation of the product - the higher the Rw index, the higher the acoustic insulating capabilities.

How much does double glazing reduce noise by?

Double glazing reduces sound from outside as the two panes of glass and the gas between them absorb the sound vibrations and dampen the transmission of sound. Able to reduce sound by 20-65%, our quality double glazing is capable of reducing sound levels by as much as 35 decibels. Furthermore, thanks to their superb sealing, uPVC frames can help to dampen noise vibrations even more.

What is the standard gap in double glazed windows?

Varying anywhere between 6mm - 20mm, the standard gap between the panes of glass is around 16mm.*

*correct at time of publishing

What double glazing is best for noise reduction?

Sheerwater always uses high-quality acoustic laminated glass for excellent noise reduction, as well as impact protection for those that require durable glass.

stormproof casement

How does acoustic laminated glass work?

High-performance laminated acoustic glass features a thin layer of polyvinyl butyral (PVB) fixed in between the two glazing panels to dampen the soundwaves further.

Areas that would benefit from laminated acoustic glazing?

  • Homes near busy roads and motorways
  • Homes near airports
  • Homes near train lines
  • Homes near schools/pubs/restaurants
  • Interior office partitions/meeting rooms
  • Overhead glazing affected by the impact of heavy rain

Is triple glazing better at reducing noise?

Triple glazing is incredibly energy efficient, however, double glazing is often preferred for dampening sound as triple glazing can actually amplify sound due to vibrations on the internal pane.

Do trickle vents increase noise?

Trickle vents can sometimes affect sound levels entering your home. However, they’re sometimes required to comply with buildings regulations and therefore can’t be avoided. If this is the case, acoustic trickle vents should be considered, which are designed to block out noise whilst letting fresh air inside.

High performance double glazing in Woking & Surrey

Double glazing showing signs of disrepair? Single glazing that urgently needs updating? Get a FREE quote, call us on 01932 344 415, or contact us online to find out more and take affirmative action to reduce noise getting inside, whilst possibly increasing the value of your home too.

Related reads:

How good is secondary glazing at reducing noise?

Can you repair double glazed windows?

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