Many Southern California homeowners live in close proximity to noisy freeways and busy surface streets. San Diego residents are no different, whether it’s an annoying dog barking or you live close to the airport, outdoor noise can be a major nuisance that disrupts sleep and invades your home with unwanted noise pollution. Old windows can be the main culprit in allowing noise to seep into San Diego houses.
Replacing single pane aluminum frame windows with new dual pane windows with vinyl frames can have some effect in reducing the amount of noise intrusion, but if you want a noticeably quieter home, dual pane windows with dissimilar glass will give your San Diego home the results you’re looking for. Dissimilar dual pane windows feature the combination of an outer pane that’s thicker with an interior pane slightly less thick. The dissimilar thickness of the outer and inner panes blocks more sound waves than two panes of glass that are the same thickness.
If your noise problem is drastic, laminated glass may be the answer to quiet your home. In this case dual panes are used, but the inner pane is actually two panes that are laminated together, providing an incredible amount of noise reduction to your San Diego home. The downside of laminated glass is that it can be expensive. And if you have coverage for accidental glass breakage in your replacement window warranty, laminated glass is typically excluded from coverage. So, that option is typically only used in homes in exceptionally noisy areas–such as those near the airport or a freeway.
If noise reduction windows are a possible upgrade to your San Diego residence, you want to be sure your new windows have a higher STC rating then the old windows you’re replacing. STC stands for sound transmission class and is a standardized rating in the window industry. The higher the STC rating number, the better the window is at reducing sound wave intrusions. Average single pane windows have an STC rating of 18 to 20, while a standard dual pane window has an STC rating of around 28. Double pane dissimilar glass and laminated dual pane windows can have STC ratings as high as 40. To compare, the STC rating for a standard insulated wall is about 36. A four-point increase in the STC rating will provide you with a marked improvement in the amount of outside noise that enters your home through its windows. A ten-point increase in the STC number can suppress sound by 50 percent.
Noise reduction windows can also be constructed using low-E coatings, making them energy efficient. This means you will be reducing not only sound, but also the heat that enters your home in the warm summer months.