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Double / triple glazing and noise reduction

17 replies 11.7K views
MackleMackle Forumite
72 posts
My partner is having lots of issues with a road-facing room, where lots of road noise is leaking in through some very old aluminium double glazing. From what I gather, both the glass and the gap inbetween is very small by modern standards, and they are not great at sealing out noise. When on the phone, it sounds like they are by the side of a motorway, such is the volume of noise. We believe that the windows are at least 15-20 years old, no idea who the installer was.

This particular room has no road facing door, and the ceiling is well sinulated.
I am guessing that for noise reduction, triple glazed is usually the best route to go down?

My partner spent some time growing up in Germany and remembers woodern triple glazing there as being incredibly effective.

So far we've had one quote, which was for uPVC tripe glazing. For three windows (two small 620x1310 and a large window that is 2100x1310) it was £1500, and the details about the glazing was "4mm Float/12/4mm Planitherm Total +" not really sure what that means.
On purely a sound proofing basis, what should we be looking for in replacement windows? Any other benefits are secondary. And is triple glazing typically the option to pursue for maximum noise reduction?
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Replies

  • FurtsFurts Forumite
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    Trickle vents let in noise, so from a sound insulation approach do not have them fitted.

    You refer to German timber windows, but these will better than pvc windows at sound insulation. In a nutshell, to deaden sound you need mass. There is more mass in timber than in a hollow plastic window profile.

    Sound travels through the smallest of gaps. So if you replace the windows it is vital that they are installed with meticulous attention to detail.
  • SystemSystem
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    for noise (if you have enough space in the reveal) secondary glazing will give better results than double/triple glazing, as it gives you completely independent units where minimal vibration can pass through...
  • lstar337lstar337 Forumite
    3.4K posts
    If purely for sound proofing, I'd get ear plugs. Much cheaper.

    Sound proofing cannot be your only consideration for windows. As an example from the post above, if you ditch the trickle vents you will improve the noise barrier but you will likely end up with a house full of condensation, damp, and mould.
  • arbrightonarbrighton Forumite
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    TI believe trickle vents are no longer required by building regs. We've just gone from old, poor quality double glazed pvc to wood double glazed windows (might seem a little unconventional but it is an early Victorian house and PVC looks so wrong).
    We live by a fairly busy road junction, including a lot of hgvs and the reduction in noise has been pretty dramatic
  • FurtsFurts Forumite
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    arbrighton wrote: »
    TI believe trickle vents are no longer required by building regs. We've just gone from old, poor quality double glazed pvc to wood double glazed windows (might seem a little unconventional but it is an early Victorian house and PVC looks so wrong).
    We live by a fairly busy road junction, including a lot of hgvs and the reduction in noise has been pretty dramatic

    I might be a lone voice, but I believe for most people trickle vents are a good theory. Unfortunately, people tend not to open and close them when required to aid ventilation and condensation. So, for most people the trickle vents are redundant.

    Which reminds me - I must go and close the one on the ensuite and the two in the front bedroom - these will have controlled the steam following the shower being used. See they do work! But it does depend on thinking and acting!
  • Newly_retiredNewly_retired Forumite
    2.6K posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
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    Just had new double glazing installed, no trickle vents, and the noise reduction is huge. The old windows were double glazed but very old, and the seals had massive gaps, very draughty. So our house is now quieter and warmer.
  • misspricemissprice Forumite
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    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts
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    I have tripled glazing. However I went from single to triple.
    Downstairs has aluminum clad wood frames. No noise gets through them. Even the recent road works were barely a mumble. However really expensive.

    Upstairs has UPVC frames/triple glazed though and most noise is reduced. I have put in another thread somewhere the van on a morning that sounds like a bag of spanners is loose inside his engine is more of a purr than a loud roar. No longer wakes me up at 6 am anyway. But cheaper than wood. By a big margin

    Major heat increase indoors, but as I went from single glazed that's no surprise.

    When I looked at the cost, I discovered for the UPVC a whole £50 per window extra for triple as opposed to double glazed.
    Again the actual prices are somewhere on here but from memory UPVC was £1600 for 5 windows, one huge, one medium, 3 small ( one of the small is fixed)

    The wood framed were £1600 for 3 windows, one huge, 2 medium.

    And to also add, I had night vent installed rather than trickle vents
    63 mortgage payments to go.

    Zero wins 2016 😥
  • arbrighton wrote: »
    TI believe trickle vents are no longer required by building regs.
    Heat recovery ventilation systems are not required by building regs either, yet they would still improve almost every home in the UK.

    Just because something may or may not be in the regs, doesn't mean it is or isn't useful. Trickle vents are used for ventilation and moisture control. I have them, and if I close them the effect is very apparent by the next morning. Now I wont close them unless I am running a dehumidifier.

    This is in a house that was built January 2014.
  • FurtsFurts Forumite
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    lstar337 wrote: »

    Just because something may or may not be in the regs, doesn't mean it is or isn't useful. Trickle vents are used for ventilation and moisture control. I have them, and if I close them the effect is very apparent by the next morning. Now I wont close them unless I am running a dehumidifier.

    This is in a house that was built January 2014.

    Two weeks ago the night time temperatures were lower, The trickle vents were open on my bedroom windows and the condensation outside was dripping off them. So yes, they do work - better it be outside than inside!

    Similar to your home, this bedroom dates from 2012. Ventilation and condensation prevention is an issue with modern building.

    But I am undecided on heat recovery ventilation systems. They may be OK for some people but opening windows, using trickle vents, controlling heating and controlling ventilation should be the default settings for many people.
  • RobwizRobwiz Forumite
    364 posts
    Answering the OP, triple glazed windows will be slightly quieter than double glazed. However, the gap between panes needs to be wider for noise reduction than for insulation so a better solution might be to install secondary glazing on the inside of the existing double glazing. It will cost less, be quieter and will have a thermal insulation benefit as well.

    My understanding is that Building Regs requires trickle vents to be included if the windows being replaced have them.
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