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Old 05-16-2021, 05:50 PM
 
105 posts, read 49,891 times
Reputation: 102

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I cannot bear living in my home with all the noise going on. It's not just road noise, although that is horrible and getting worse, but leaf blowers, dogs, and even just conversations outside.

I am dying to move to another place that is quieter, but in this market, it's just not possible, and it's looking like it's not going to change for many, many more years. There are just too many people looking and waiting.

I don't know how much of the problem is my windows and how much is just the general location of the house. I have typical thin, builder grade dual pane windows that are totally 100 percent worthless. I find it hard to believe they are not a big source of the problem, although I could be wrong and it may be that no glass will provide a drastic benefit.

I am considering replacement windows that use either laminated glass or panes of dissimilar thickness. I am also considering window inserts that are custom made to fit inside in front of the existing window. I can see that replacements might offer a better seal with the wall, but the inserts would have a substantially thicker gap between panes. I do not want to throw out $600-$1000 per window for something that's not going to work as well as some other option.

The glass itself is in bad shape on some of the panes and very inefficient overall, so replacements would not be a total waste of money but not worth it just for that and definitely not worth it if I thought the market would balance out.

There are no acoustic experts that look at residential properties, so I'm stuck asking for personal advice and experience.

Am I better off with inserts, replacement, or hopeless either way?
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Old 05-16-2021, 05:57 PM
 
Location: Northern California
74,758 posts, read 6,124,509 times
Reputation: 24881
Disimilar glass will not help any, it just means you have the double panes, bit with one thin sheet & one thicker sheet of glass.Whoever is recommending that is imo, dishonest & slick.
If you are very sensitive to sound, I'm not sure if new windows would help. Inserts might, & probably the cheapest option, if that is a consideration.
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Old 05-16-2021, 06:15 PM
 
1,933 posts, read 911,651 times
Reputation: 6915
I doubt that it would be worth the expense to install all new high-quality windows in your house just for sound reduction. That might help some, but probably not enough to make a significant difference in the noise level unless your current windows are REALLY bad. New high-quality windows are EXPENSIVE.

It sounds like you may just need to move to a quieter area, but that has its drawbacks too in many instances. Choose carefully before moving. I suspect that there may be other issues at play here besides just the outside noise you're hearing.
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Old 05-16-2021, 07:27 PM
 
7,498 posts, read 5,645,077 times
Reputation: 9967
Impact windows reduce the noise by a lot.
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Old 05-16-2021, 10:00 PM
 
1,851 posts, read 1,438,357 times
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Heavy drapes will likely do more than new windows, but you may have bigger issues than just windows. Are the walls and attic well insulated? Do the doors close tightly with good seals all around? Dealing with some noise is just part of living with neighbors, and sometimes there's nothing that you can do about it.
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Old 05-17-2021, 06:16 AM
 
Location: Houston/Brenham
4,835 posts, read 5,652,869 times
Reputation: 9460
Quote:
Originally Posted by Leonard123 View Post
I have typical thin, builder grade dual pane windows that are totally 100 percent worthless.
Quote:
Originally Posted by k350 View Post
Impact windows reduce the noise by a lot.
Couple of thoughts. The most effective thing you can do to lower noise levels is insulated (dual pane) windows. If you already have them, then that's done. There is very little difference in sound levels between the cheapest and the most expensive insulated windows, so spending a fortune on new windows probably won't make you happy.

Also, unless your windows are over 20 years old, they are fairly well made (building codes), and again, newer ones won't help much. If your windows pre-date 2000, newer ones *may* help, as the codes became much more stringent after 2000. Not so much the glass, but overall quality, which reduces noise leakage around the moving parts.

Impact windows are VERY expensive, as in 4-5 times as expensive as regular windows. And I'm not sure how effective they are in sound reduction.

There are noise standards for windows. They're rated in how much they reduce the sound. Check them out.

Good luck!
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:02 AM
Status: "I'd rather be outside!" (set 5 days ago)
 
Location: East of Seattle since 1992, originally from SF Bay Area
35,109 posts, read 63,970,439 times
Reputation: 39842
We replaced our windows two years ago with triple-pane. It made a huge difference in noise, we cannot even hear thunder now. More importantly for us, the winter heating cost went down about $100/month. We won't live here long enough to recoup the cost though, it was $14,000 (3,000 sg house, 13 windows and 1 sliding door).
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Old 05-17-2021, 08:50 AM
 
105 posts, read 49,891 times
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What are impact windows? Does that differ from laminated? The quotes I got for laminated windows were typically around or just under $1000 each. The frames are from 1989, and it shows. The glass has been replaced but not with anything better than was originally there. Assuming a replacement helps, would the inserts be of more benefit?

The numbers from the manufacturers of course show anywhere from 50 percent to 95 percent noise reduction. The inserts seem to advertise better numbers but that is their purpose. I am not going to replace or even get inserts for all 23 windows without trying out some in the bedroom first. However, even there, it's a costly gamble.

One salesman told me STC ratings depend on the size of the window. I can't find anything to back that up. It seems that pitch does matter, but the noises bothering me are not particularly high or low.

I don't think insulation is a major issue. The exterior walls are brick, and the noise does not penetrate the closet on the same wall short of maybe a leaf blower within 10-20 feet.

If I were to move, which is looking hopeless with all the panic shoppers out there, I would not know exactly what to look for. I think large amounts of open space make the situation worse. I back to a greenbelt, and the noise across is worse than the noise nextdoor. Besides that, I'm subject to a larger number of noise sources with less buffer.
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Old 05-17-2021, 09:09 AM
 
Location: North Idaho
26,957 posts, read 36,253,791 times
Reputation: 57474
I don't know which is best for noise reduction. I'm just adding that I am in a house right now that is darn good at filtering out noise, but I can still hear the neighbor's dog bark and I can hear the leaf blower on the other side of me. That noise is greatly reduced over what it sounds like when I am standing outside. The only place I can hear my generator is in the room where it is next to the wall. I can't hear it in the rest of the house and I have to go outside to check and see if it is running.



The windows are double pane and look quite well made and they are fitted and sealed perfectly. The window frames aren't wood, but don't seem like cheap vinyl, either. The walls are heavily insulated, which helps with noise reduction. I suspect that the inside walls are also insulated because there is no noise from one end of the house to the other.


Landscaping helps a bit. Trees and large shrubs absorb some of the noise, if you have room for them in your yard.


I suggest that you check and see what sort of insulation you have in your exterior walls. If that insulation is thin or it has settled, you might benefit from some additional insulation.



There are some thin sound-proofing mats that maybe could be added to your house. I've posted about them before in C-D, but I can't remember what they are called.
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Old 05-17-2021, 09:14 AM
 
3,211 posts, read 6,405,343 times
Reputation: 7319
If you already have double-paned windows then replacing them with a different type will have little effect.

Triple-paned windows will help the most (although they seem to be virtually unknown in the US). Heavy drapes might help some. Long-term external plantings will help some.

White noise from an HVAC system can help mask exterior noise.
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