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Soundproofing Forum Topics => Soundproofing Windows and Doors => Topic started by: pofcorn on July 30, 2013, 02:24:11 PM

Title: Large living room window - sound problem
Post by: pofcorn on July 30, 2013, 02:24:11 PM
Hello,

I'll just cut to the chase: I bought a house. The last owner replaced the living room window last year. It is rather large, a little over 6 by 5 feet (81" by 68" to be exact.) It has no openings, it's just one big window. I didn't have a problem with this when I bought the house, as it's on a rather busy street and I wouldn't need to open it.

But now, having lived in the house for a month, there seems to be a problem with it. The trafic sound "resonates" through the window, I don't know how else to describe it. It's some sort of high pitched or "wheezing" noise when cars pass by, and as far as I can tell, it's coming FROM the window. And it's 10 times worse when it's raining. I don't know if I'm making any sense.

I called the company that made the window, and the guy said that it's a dual pane window, each pane is 6mm (a little under 1/4".) The space between the panes is perhaps 1/2", not sure.

He suggested replacing it by a triple pane window (just the window, not the whole PVC frame.)

My questions:

   - What difference would it make concerning the "wheezing" sound?
   - I'm assuming the size of the pane matters in term of sound proofing performance. Wouldn't it be better to replace the whole unit with something that has multiple panes? Less glass area = less noise vibrations?
   - Lastly, would installing a secondary window inside be practical with a window this big?
   

Thanks.
Title: Re: Large living room window - sound problem
Post by: Randy S on July 30, 2013, 02:34:06 PM
You absolutely need a second pane with the greatest air space between them.
Think about commercial airplanes, when looking through those windows it is 2 panes with a 2" air space. you need to apply the same principle.

http://soundproofing.org/infopages/magnetseal_windows.htm

3/8" thick acrylic with at least 2" air space will reduce this problem greatly.
Title: Re: Large living room window - sound problem
Post by: johnbergstromslc on July 30, 2013, 10:24:20 PM
[quote author=pofcorn

But now, having lived in the house for a month, there seems to be a problem with it. The trafic sound "resonates" through the window, I don't know how else to describe it. It's some sort of high pitched or "wheezing" noise when cars pass by, and as far as I can tell, it's coming FROM the window. And it's 10 times worse when it's raining. I don't know if I'm making any sense.
[/quote]

You hit it right on the head.  The glass panes are resonating at the same natural frequency, since they are the same thickness and density. 

If yoy live on a very busy street and have the resources, I'd recommend even more than Randy.  1/2 inch laminated glass will REALLY kill your noise problem.  It ain't cheap, about $25  per sq ft, but the absolute peace and quiet it will deliver will feel awesome.....
Title: Re: Large living room window - sound problem
Post by: jhbrandt on August 02, 2013, 07:16:36 AM
+1 JB

Also Randy is correct, but acrylic is not a good choice, IMHO. Acrylic glass is 73.66 lbs per cubic foot, while real glass is 161 lbs per cubic foot. When sound-proofing, it's 'all about mass'. I do not recommend normal float glass but instead use laminated or tempered. Compared to normal float glass, the laminated or tempered will give you the best sound-proofing per pound.

Cheers,
John