The unit used to measure sound is the decibel (dB). The human ear can normally detect a change in sound volume as slight as 1 dB. To understand what this means, here are a few examples of decibel levels:
Prolonged exposure to sound levels over 85 dB can cause serious damage to your hearing, and levels over 120 dB can actually be painful.
Many homes today are built with basic, unlaminated, double-paned windows. The problem with these windows is that sound passes through them very easily. The two pieces of glass in traditional double-paned windows vibrate together to act like a tuning fork. This generates vibrations which then become sound, so the more a window vibrates, the more it allows sound to pass through it and into the home.
Many of the windows offered today can help reduce the amount of sound that enters the home. These "acoustic windows" can make a big difference in keeping the inside of the house quieter.
Use good judgment when selecting windows to reduce noise. Because so many windows are promoted as reducing noise, follow the best practice for selecting an acoustic window by learning as much as possible about each of the different types of windows and their sound reduction properties.
Here are some important facts to consider:
In today's market, triple-pane windows will go a long way to reduce the amount of sound that enters a home, but proper installation is also very important. To learn more about the best practices in window installation, visit the Building America website or click here.
Different thicknesses of glass create different vibrations that deflect sound waves.
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