Sound-proofed windows reduce traffic noise

If you live on a busy road or have noisy neighbours, it can be really difficult to get a good night’s sleep. According to the World Health Organisation, traffic noise alone is harmful to the mental and physical wellbeing of almost a third of people living in Europe.

One of the main ways sound seeps into a room is through its windows. Luckily there are ways to soundproof your windows and get some peace and quiet even if you live in a noisy area.

1. Acoustic Glass

Acoustic glass is thicker than regular glass as it includes a soft plastic ‘interlayer’ through the centre which absorbs sound waves and significantly reduces the amount of noise that can pass through it.

Acoustic glazing can reduce the level of noise in a room by up to 10 decibels (dB). This may not sound much, but a 10dB reduction in sound means the level of noise is reduced by a massive 50% (see table below).

2. Draught proofing

Draught proofing your windows using compression seals instead of brush seals is another effective method of noise insulation. Compression seals are soft seals around a window that seal the gap between the window and the frame.

Getting your draught proofing right, as with acoustic glass, can reduce noise by a further 10 decibels, or 50%. So if you combine acoustic glass with compression seals on your windows, you can reduce traffic noise and the sound of noisy neighbours in your home by 75%.

Sound sources and their noise levels

Sound sources with distance      Sound Pressure Level (dB)
Jet aircraft, 50m away 140
Threshold of pain 130
Threshold of discomfort 120
Chainsaw, 1m away 110
Disco, 1m from speaker 100
Diesel truck, 10m away 90
Kerbside of busy road, 5m 80
Vacuum cleaner, 1m 70
Conversational speech, 1m 60
Average home 50
Quiet library 40
Quiet bedroom at night 30
Background in TV studio 20
Rustling leaves in the distance 10
Threshold of hearing 0

Timbawood offer a range of handmade timber windows and doors with a range of draught-proofing and glazing options, including acoustic glass and our ‘Timbalite’ slimline double glazing that looks just like single glazing. As specialists in timber windows and doors for period, conservation and listed properties, including sash windows, casement windows, front doors, french doors, fire doors and bifold doors, we offer a range of replacement, part replacement and restoration options. Please get in touch with us if you’d like to speak to one our experts about the options available.