Noise pollution inside a residential home or commercial building can significantly impact the health and well-being of its occupants. From interrupted sleep schedules to distractions while working, noise pollution can affect our day-to-day lives. Fortunately, triple glazing is here to help. Unlike the traditional double-pane windows, triple-glazed windows add an additional level of insulation that significantly reduces outside noise from entering your home.
What is Triple Glazing?
Triple glazing is a type of window that utilizes three panes of glass instead of the more common two. The extra glass pane provides additional insulation and helps to keep heat inside during colder months as well as reduce outside noise. In between the glass panes, there is also an insulating layer. The insulation layer is filled with either air or an inert gas such as argon or krypton to further improve insulation and noise reduction.
How Do Triple-Glazed Windows Reduce Noise?
The additional pane of glass and the insulating layer in triple-glazed windows work together to absorb and reduce noise pollution. When a sound wave hits the first pane of glass, it causes the window glass to vibrate. However, with triple-glazed windows, the second pane of glass is positioned to absorb the vibrations without passing them onto and through the third pane. Then, the insulating layer in between the glass panes further dampens the sound waves.
Reducing Noise Pollution with the Insulating Layer
To further improve noise reduction in triple-glazed windows, each pane can be filled with heavy inert gases, such as argon or krypton. This is because these gases are denser than air, which means that unwanted noise has a harder time traveling through them. When sound waves encounter these gases they lose energy and their amplitude decreases which reduces the noise that enters your home.
Improving Noise Reduction with Glass Pane Thickness
Furthermore, the thickness of each pane of glass in triple glazing is carefully designed to optimize sound reduction. The thickness can vary depending on the desired level of noise reduction, with larger thickness providing better soundproofing capabilities. However, it's important to maintain a balance between the thickness of the glass and the insulation layer, as a lack of the insulation layer can reduce the insulating properties of the window.
Triple Glazing Noise Reduction Rating
When it comes to noise reduction, one of the essential factors to consider is the sound transmission class (STC) rating system. It's calculated by measuring how much sound travels through a material in a laboratory setting. The test measures the sound transmission loss (STL) through the material at different frequencies. Then, the STL values are then converted to an STC rating using a formula. The higher the STC rating, the more noise pollution the material can block.
What is the STC Rating of Triple Glazed Windows?
Triple-glazed windows typically maintain an STC rating range of 35 to 50 or more. An STC rating of 35 means that the window can reduce noise from moderate traffic, conversation, and television to a background noise level. On the upper end, an STC rating of 50 means that the window can reduce noise from loud traffic, a musical instrument, or a stereo system to a background noise level.
Triple Glazing vs Double Glazing Noise Reduction Quality
Double glazing is a type of window that consists of two panes of glass with a layer of air or gas between them. It can provide a minimal level of noise reduction, but it may not be as effective as triple glazing. Triple-glazed windows, on the other hand, are made up of three panes of glass with two layers of insulation in between. This extra layer of glass and insulation allows triple glazing to provide a much higher level of noise reduction than double glazing when designed to reduce noise.
Generally, double-glazed windows have an STC rating of 28-32, while triple glazing has an STC rating of 35-50, making it more effective at reducing noise transmission in most cases. However, the amount of air between panes can significantly impact the STC rating of double or triple glazing.
What Factors Affect Noise Reduction in Triple-Glazed Windows?
When considering triple-glazed windows for blocking noise pollution, it's important to understand the factors that can alter their effectiveness. Here are some of the key factors:
Glass Pane in the Window
The type of glass used in a triple-glazed window can significantly impact its noise reduction capabilities. Laminated glass is a popular choice for the outermost pane in triple glazing as it can help to reduce noise by blocking out sound waves. Laminating glass involves sandwiching a layer of plastic between two layers of glass. This also makes the glass more durable.
In addition to laminated glass, the thickness of the glass panes used in triple glazing can also impact its noise reduction capabilities. Thicker glass can help to block out more noise, but it also makes the window heavier and more expensive.
Spacing Between Panes
How much space is between the panes in triple-glazed windows is another important factor in its noise reduction capabilities. Typically, larger airspace between the panes can result in better noise reduction performance, with European tilt and turn windows and lift and slide door systems we typically offer 48MM to 56MM glass thickness as opposed to the typical 26MM double pane thermos offered by North American window manufacturers, allowing more sound waves to be absorbed and blocked. However, it's important to note that increasing the airspace may also increase the weight and size of the window.
Overall Window Design
A window’s overall design also affects its noise reduction capabilities. Factors such as the framing material, thickness, and design of the window can all play a role. For example, a thicker and wider window frame can provide better sound insulation than a thinner one. The use of double or triple weatherstripping can also help to reduce noise transmission.
Installation and Sealing Quality
Even the best triple-glazing windows can fail to provide adequate noise reduction if they are installed and sealed improperly. Proper installation is essential to ensure that the window is securely mounted and that there are no gaps or cracks around the frame that can allow noise to pass through. Additionally, using high-quality seals and gaskets can help to further block noise and improve the overall performance of the window.
With its innovative technology, triple glazing can significantly reduce the amount of external noise that enters your home, resulting in a quieter and more comfortable environment. Compared to double glazing, triple glazing provides better noise reduction performance due to the added layer of glass and heavy inert gases, which in turn greatly improves the quality of life of the occupants.
However, it’s important to note that not every triple-glazed window offers the same level of noise reduction. The thickness of the panes, spacing between the panes, overall window design, and the quality of the installation all impact the window’s noise reduction capabilities. North American window manufacturers also offer triple-pane windows, however, their glass thickness typically maxes out at 36MM, only achieving about one-third or half of the desired comfort level.