do double pane windows block out traffic noise

Do Double Pane Windows Block Out Traffic Noise?

If, like me, you live near a busy road, then you’ll know the noise from traffic can affect your sleep, your living environment, and ultimately your health. Installing double pane glazing is a popular sound insulation measure, but do double pane windows block out traffic noise effectively? Luckily for you, we have all the answers.


Do double pane windows block out traffic noise?

Today, we’re going to explain all there is to know about the sound-insulating properties of double-pane windows. Including whether they block out traffic noise, how much noise they can block out, and the benefits that come along with them. So, if you’re in dire need of a peaceful night’s sleep, keep on reading!

In short, yes, double-pane windows do block out a significant amount of outside noise. But, they don’t block it out completely. Double-pane windows aren’t going to entirely soundproof your room, but they will cut some noise from outside traffic and make it easier to ignore.

How do double-pane windows block out noise?

Sound travels in pressure waves, and when these pressure waves hit a single-pane window, they cause the glass to vibrate. The vibrations in the glass cause new pressure waves in the air on the other side – essentially transferring the sound through the window so it reaches your ears.

do double pane windows block out traffic noise

Double-pane windows, on the other hand, are constructed of two panes of glass mounted in the same frame, with a gas or air pocket between them. That means that the pressure waves must pass through one piece of glass, then the air pocket, and then another piece of glass before reaching your ears. At each stage, the sound is deadened slightly, so the noise on the other side of the window is quieter than on the other side of a single pane window.

How much sound do double-pane windows block out?

The amount of sound that double-pane windows block out varies, depending on how much distance separates the two panes of glass and how thick each pane is. As a rule, the thicker the panes of glass and the wider the air gap, the more noise your double-pane windows will be able to reduce. Noise reduction for thinner double-pane windows starts at around 20%. The most efficient double pane windows block out up to 65% of outside noise, which could really make a difference if you live on a busy street.

Investigating the sound insulating properties of different types of glazing has been an ongoing field of research since the 1960s. Inevitably, double-pane windows that were installed recently are more efficient at blocking traffic noise than older windows. Partly because manufacturing methods have improved, and partly because windows don’t last forever, and become less efficient at blocking noise over time.

The benefits of installing double-pane windows

Installing double-pane windows has some great benefits, some of which you wouldn’t even initially think of. In 2017, the U.S. Energy Information Administration estimated that 3 in 5 American homes already had double or triple pane windows. If you’ve been debating whether to switch out your single-pane windows too, the following advantages may just sway your opinion. Double pane windows can:

  • Promote better sleep.
  • Lower stress levels.
  • Create a more comfortable living environment.
  • Improve insulation.

Promoting better sleep

One of the biggest benefits of double-pane windows is the fact that with them, you’re more likely to have a peaceful and undisrupted sleep. Noises can seriously affect our sleep cycles, and if you continuously have a lousy night’s sleep, it could lead to sleep deprivation, putting you in a terrible mood and constantly making you feel tired.

Lowering stress levels

Sleep deprivation can ultimately lead to higher stress levels, which can then lead to behavioral and emotional issues. It’s a vicious cycle, isn’t it? Investing in double-pane windows for your home won’t only give you a full 8 hours of sleep, but it will also prevent stress-induced issues like depression, anxiety, and weight struggles.

Creating a more comfortable living environment

Your home is your safe space, and you don’t want to be living in it with loud and disruptive outdoor noises. Outdoor noises can really ruin your atmosphere, and whether you’re trying to take a bath, watch a movie, or cook dinner, I’m sure you’d rather do it in peace.

Improving energy insulation

Double pane windows don’t just reduce the noise that comes into your home, but they also provide better thermal insulation than single pane windows. Better insulation throughout your home means your heater or air conditioning won’t be working overtime to maintain steady conditions, ultimately reducing your fuel bill too.

Are triple-pane windows more effective than double pane?

Did you know that there are even triple-pane windows on the market? If two panes are better than one, are three panes better than two? Although you may expect that triple pane windows would run circles on double panes when it comes to noise reduction, there isn’t actually that much difference.

You see, when it comes to windows for your home, the air spaces in double-pane windows are wider than those in triple-pane windows. Triple-pane windows need to be slim enough to fit into standard window frames, meaning that double-pane windows actually cushion near enough the same amount of sound because of their wider air gap.

Summary: Do double-pane windows block out traffic noise?

Although double-pane windows won’t be blocking out all of the traffic noise, they will certainly reduce it, allowing you to have a better night’s sleep in the process. If you’ve been thinking about upgrading your windows to double pane, then it is definitely worth doing as they not only cut out noise but they also better insulate your home, saving you money and a whole heap of stress.

Are you looking for way to beat traffic noise?

Let us know what home improvements you’re going to try, in the comments box down below.

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Tadeu & Mateus. Sound transmission through single, double and triple glazing. Experimental evaluation. Applied Acoustic. 2001.

U.S. Energy Information Administration.

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