What is Noise?
Noise is essentially unwanted or unpleasant sound, typically originating from sources that include airports, traffic, industrial installations and railways. It can even originate from neighbouring properties as a result of loud television sets, noisy children, musical instruments and so on. One thing that can be agreed upon is that noise is a disruption to the calm and peaceful atmosphere that we all expect to have within our homes. It can affect our rest and relaxation, impairing performance at work and even, in some cases as has been proven, affecting our good health.
Luckily, the effects of noise originating from outside of a property can be lessened by installing good quality windows and doors within said property. This can be achieved through the use of high quality materials, thick glass, double or triple glazing, greater partitions between glazing, and laminated glass.
Choosing a technique is all about considering a number of important factors, for example, the source and type of the noise, the time of day and duration in which it is typically an issue, and the purpose of the building in which the noise is an issue (e.g. home or office).
One solution to reducing the impact of external noise is to increase the airspace between panels in a window that has multiple glazing. When a high degree of insulation against sound is important, airspace greater than 100mm is beneficial.
There is however a limit to the benefit compared to the inconvenience of increasing the airspace beyond a certain degree. Beyond 200mm, the additional reduction gained is not economical and improvement drops off sharply.
Where double or triple glazing is installed, and attention has already been paid to the optimal airspace, improvements can be made by filling the window cavities with argon gas. Blue Sky Windows use argon gas in the production of our windows, which increases the noise reduction properties.
This will only be effective if there is an absolutely airtight seal around the entirety of the window installation. Any air leaks of just 1% of the total surface area of the window can reduce the potential overall sound insulation by up to 10 dB, meaning any noise transmitted is heard twice as loud as it would have been if there was a full seal.
Window frames can be manufactured in a range of materials, including aluminium, wood and uPVC. Blue Sky Windows choose to use uPVC in the build of our windows, due to other substantial improvements that the material offers, such as a low ongoing maintenance. However, over a certain glazing Rm (around 35 dB), the material used to construct a window frame begins to come into the equation with regards to sound insulation and acoustic performance.
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