Sound Reducing Windows For Your Home

How Noise Reduction Windows Work & Where to Use Them

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It’s great to live in a vibrant city where restaurants, shops, shows, and community events abound. On the flip side, larger towns and cities generate a lot of noise pollution — especially in busier neighborhoods. Rush hour traffic, passing trains, loud music, late-night revelers, and barking dogs create a cacophony of sound, making soundproof windows essential.

Also known as noise-canceling windows or sound-reducing windows, noise-reduction windows block more noise than regular windows. They’re ideal for inner city houses and homes located near flight paths, railway stations, stadiums, and major highways. The very best soundproof windows block noise as well as — or better than — a typical exterior wall.

In this guide, we’ll introduce noise-reduction windows, explain how they work, and list Thompson Creek’s different sound-reducing window styles. Then, we’ll give you the lowdown on industry lingo, demystifying terms such as Sound Transmission Coefficient (STC) rating and Outdoor-Indoor Transmission (OIT) Class. After that, we’ll describe the relationship between noise pollution and human health, and then we’ll show you how to curate a calm, quiet home. 

What are Noise Reduction Windows?

The term “soundproof” is a misnomer: no windows are entirely soundproof. With that said, good-quality sound-dampening windows block a large amount of the noise that regular windows allow into your home. Double-glazed windows block more noise than old-style single-glazed windows. 

Modern soundproof glass windows come in a range of styles, so they’re easy to incorporate into existing homes. Because of the way they’re built, soundproof windows for homes provide another perk: they’re more energy efficient than regular windows.

Noise reduction window infographic

How Do Sound Reduction Windows Work?

Noise reduction window infographic

Glass is an excellent conductor, so single-pane windows do almost nothing to reduce unwanted noise. Double-glazed windows are better at reducing noise pollution. Soundproof windows, however, actually absorb sound waves — and here’s how:

  • Thicker glass: The thicker the glass, the less noise gets through.
  • Space between panes: The bigger the gap, the greater the sound absorption.
  • High-quality frames: Premium noise-reducing windows have noise-reducing frames, too. 

Thompson Creek’s entire range of windows have sound-reducing properties, so they block a substantial amount of exterior noise. Many of our customers comment how much quieter it is in their home, once they install our standard double pane windows.  The company’s Sound Shield windows, however, go even further, filtering out 35% more noise than standard Thompson Creek windows. Sound Shield windows are some of the best windows for noise reduction because of the following:

  • They incorporate two layers of glass: one 3mm layer and another 5mm layer.
  • They use argon gas to block maximum noise.
  • They have a robust honeycomb frame, which further improves energy efficiency.

Styles of Sound Reducing Windows from Thompson Creek

Thompson Creek brand noise-reducing Sound Shield windows are made of high-quality vinyl and sound-dampening glass for an enduring finish. Sound Shield soundproof windows for homes come in the following premium styles:

  • Double Hung: Two sashes that move up and down to provide ventilation from above or below
  • Casement: Windows with hinges at the sides, which are used singly or in pairs within one frame
  • Picture: Large, fixed-pane windows without glazing bars 
  • Awning: Hinged at the top, these windows open outward to provide rain-resistant ventilation
  • Double slider: Horizontal double-sash windows with weather stripping
  • Bay: Windows that project out of a room, forming a bay space
  • Bow: Windows that project out of a room, forming a bow space

What is Sound Transmission Coefficient (STC) Rating?

Also called Sound Transmission Class, Sound Transmission Coefficient (STC) is an acoustic rating system. STC indicates how well an interior wall, exterior wall, door, window, or floor blocks noise. Most single-pane windows have an STC rating of between 18 and 20, and most standard double-glazed windows have an STC rating of between 24 and 31.

STC ratings for sound-reducing windows begin at about 32. At the lower end of the STC scale, voices and high-pitched noises are less audible; at the higher end, plane engines, traffic, trains, and other low-frequency noises diminish.

What is Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class (OITC) Rating?

Outdoor-Indoor Transmission Class (OITC) is a newer ratings system designed specifically to measure how well exterior walls, doors, and windows block lower-frequency outside noises. OITC measures sound intensity loss in decibels, just like STC. OITC isn’t as well-recognized as STC, but it’s arguably a better way to rate soundproof glass windows because it specifically targets loud noise in the low to mid-frequency range.OITC vs STC inforgraphic

What are the different types of Thompson Creek Windows?

Standard Thompson Creek windows have impressive noise-reducing properties. Many customers comment on how much quieter it is in their home, once Thompson Creek windows are installed.

If you’re wondering how to reduce traffic noise from windows, look no further: Thompson Creek Sound Shield windows are ideal for street-facing rooms. Sound Shield windows use a combination of pane placement and glass composition to maximize noise reduction.

Effects of Noise Pollution on Human Health

Noise pollution isn’t just irritating — it can also take a toll on your health. Sirens, garbage trucks, overhead tram lines, plane engines, and other loud sounds all cause stress. When it’s sustained for a period of time, noise pollution makes a significant impact on mental health.

Airplane flight path noise, for instance, can reach up to 97 dB. A recent British Medical Journal study found that people who lived near Heathrow Airport in London had a higher incidence of cardiovascular disease. Other research found that sustained road noise had a similar effect.

According to German cardiologist Thomas Münzel, noise triggers a fight or flight response. If you’re continually exposed to loud noise, your body constantly stays in a state of heightened awareness. At that stage, hormones like adrenaline and cortisol kick in, raising blood pressure and heart rate.

The negative effects of noise pollution go beyond the mental and physical and into the developmental, too. Several studies — some going back as far as the 1970s — have found that consistent exposure to loud noise causes developmental delays in young children. 

Soundproofing methods, including noise-reducing windows, can help prevent some of the worst problems caused by noise pollution. Many homeowners who switch from regular windows to sound-dampening glass windows say they’re able to:

  • Relax easily and sleep deeper
  • Feel calmer
  • Watch TV or listen to music at normal levels
  • Work and study more easily

Popular Reasons for Choosing Noise Cancelling Windows

Thompson Creek Sound Shield sound dampening windows offer excellent value for money — especially when you consider what they do. If noise pollution reduces quality of life, then it stands to reason that noise reduction techniques improve wellbeing. Here are ten popular reasons why people choose noise-canceling windows:

Homes Near Busy Highways

Highway noise can make it hard to concentrate, especially during rush hour. Noisy semi-trucks, cars with exhaust problems, or sheer volume of traffic make living near a freeway or big highway a major drag.

Homes Near Trains, Airports & Subways

Freight trains can be very loud — particularly when they’re fully loaded and a mile long. Passenger trains are equally imposing, especially when they travel at high speeds. Sound-dampening glass can help reduce railway, airport, and subway noise.

Early-Rising Neighbors

Some people are night owls; others get up at the crack of dawn. Early birds who like to mow the lawn first thing on Saturday mornings put a real damper on weekends. Soundproof windows make enthusiastic early-rising neighbors easier to ignore.

Nursery Windows

If you’re on a budget and have a baby, the best windows for noise reduction probably belong in your nursery. Small children need a quiet space to sleep, and sound-dampening windows make it easier to create the peaceful, nurturing environment they need to thrive.

Home Office Windows

If you work or attend classes from home, you need to be able to focus well. Paper-thin office windows let in a lot of distracting racket. Noise-canceling windows put the end on all that commotion, making it easier to concentrate.

Frequent Sirens & Car Alarms

People who live near fire stations, hospitals, or in busy cities often wonder how to reduce traffic noise from windows. Sirens, car alarms, and other nuisance noises can wreak havoc on your sleep schedule, making it hard to stay alert during the day.

Homes Near Schools, Playgrounds & Parks

Happy children are a delight to listen to, but sometimes you need a little peace and quiet. If you live near a busy park or next to a school, sound-reducing windows help lower the volume, making it easier to focus on other things.

Homes in Rapidly Developing Neighborhoods

Construction projects sometimes last years. If you’re not keen on jackhammer sounds, shouting, and dawn-to-dusk construction noise, Thompson Creek Sound Shield windows might just save your sanity.

Barking Dogs or Farm Animals

City dwellers aren’t the only ones with noise pollution issues. Cows, cockerels, barking dogs, and other animals all create discord. If you live on or near a farm, noise-reduction windows can help dim the agricultural din. 

Homes in College Towns

College towns are colorful and interesting, but they’re also pretty noisy. College students come and go at all hours of the day and night — and parties can get loud. Noise-reduction windows help put the fracas on mute.

Woman standing inside and looking out a windowWoman smiling and working on laptop

How Effective Are Sound Reducing Windows?

Thompson Creek Sound Shield windows filter out up to 35% more noise than regular Thompson Creek windows, so they’re ideal for homes in busy cities, under flight paths, or near railway lines. They’re also energy efficient, so they could help reduce your utility bills.  It’s worth noting that the windows are only part of the building envelope and other factors, such as exterior wall insulation also contribute to sound reduction.  

If you love your city home but don’t love noise pollution, sound-dampening windows might be an ideal solution. High-quality soundproof windows eliminate the majority of unwanted noise, making it easier to concentrate and improving your quality of life.

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