Soundproof Windows vs Secondary Glazing
Dec 03, 2014
What Are Soundproof Windows?
A revelation in noise reduction, soundproof windows are the total solution to the problem of noise pollution in London. Tackling every aspect of intrusive noise, soundproof windows utilise the following in order to make your property peaceful and serene:
laminated glass to dull sound waves
the space between panes is optimised to reduce noise
timber frames are specifically designed in order to prevent noise pollution
secure fittings ensure there are no gaps in the frames/no reverberations
With a totally scientific approach to preventing unwanted noise in your property from the very beginnings of design, their sole purpose is to ensure that there is no sound penetrating from the outside world.
How Does Secondary Glazing Work?
A solution for noise reduction, secondary glazing is a system that can be put in place in almost all properties and most window designs. Fitting into the original frame design, secondary glazing solutions effectively just place a secondary window frame unit within the property in order to create another barrier between the sounds of the world outside.
Creating another barrier helps to dampen the sound waves, especially when the thickness of the secondary glazing unit is different to that of the original units, secondary glazing basically just adds a layer of sound insulation.
Soundproof Windows Vs Secondary Glazing
In order to give you the best overview of the products, we’ve laid out the most important factors to consider and how each solution fares in regards to not only sound proofing but other factors too.
The most important factor first. Soundproof windows provide better sound reduction. Hands down. Designed from the ground up to reduce sound, and tailored to the individual property’s specific noise problem and providing a holistic solution, quite frankly there isn’t a better solution for reducing intrusive sound.
That said, secondary glazing does provide noise reduction. It will absolutely noticeably make your property quieter, just not to the same degree that soundproof windows can.
Installation Of Noise Reduction Windows
Soundproof windows are a bit messy in this regard. You will need to entirely replace your original window frames which is a fairly long process. That said, employing a proper soundproof windows company will mean that the job can be completed in only a few hours (depending upon the size of the project, of course).
On the other hand, secondary glazing units can often be put in place on your own. This will take as long as you take over it, but alternatively there are a wealth of companies which will come and install their own secondary glazing units at your property. This means you get to keep your original windows in; no mess, no crew required if you don’t want them.
Of course, installing yourself does mean that you can get things wrong and nullify their effects, and the benefits of hiring an established firm will outweigh the few pounds you will save. And so we come onto…
The Cost of Soundproof Windows Vs The Cost Of Secondary Glazing Units
No prizes for guessing what wins out here. Well, ‘wins’ is perhaps the wrong word. Secondary glazing units are far cheaper than the former, but that’s not necessarily a good thing.
If you’re on a shoestring budget and have a heinous problem with noise pollution which is keeping you awake at night, then secondary glazing will most certainly help and will most certainly reduce noise. Even more so if you decide to install the secondary panes yourself.
Soundproof windows are on the opposite end of the spectrum. They are expensive solutions, but that’s clearly not a bad thing. They are expensive because they provide the best solution possible; they are tailor made for your property. In fact, they will actually add value to your house because it means that those who you may sell it on to will not have to install the windows themselves!
Thankfully both soundproof windows and secondary glazing units will offer you a degree of thermal insulation. Hooray!
Creating an additional barrier between your inner sanctum and the world outside, secondary glazing creates another buffer between cold air, reducing heat loss through the window panes themselves.
Soundproof windows, due to their very nature; the fact that every single element of the frames are insulated from any possible gaps in their frames, offer far greater thermal insulation than secondary glazing.
In fact, soundproof windows offer double the thermal efficiency of second glazed units. Double… which means double the savings on your bill too!
Issues With Soundproof Windows
The main issue with soundproof windows is that quite often they will require planning permission due to the radical nature of the transition. In conservation areas this can be even more of a headache due to the need for like for like replacement windows, though expert manufacturers can create solutions which will pass even the strictest of local councils.
Issues With Secondary Glazing
Cleaning secondary glazing units is rather a pain. You effectively have to clean two separate window units and this can be kind of awkward depending upon the space you have.
Due to their design, secondary glazing often caused a great deal of condensation on the primary glazing unit. This is another pain to wipe down due to the fact that you have a sheet of glass in the way.
DIY units are often not sealed very well which means that they become pretty much redundant.
The Conclusion. Which Is Best?
Well, quite frankly it depends upon your circumstances. If you don’t have the budget to replace the windows in your property then secondary glazing will go some of the way to reduce noise pollution as well as improve thermal efficiency.
If you do have the budget, you simply have to install soundproof windows. They add value to your property and provide a total, lasting and holistic solution to the problem. They will reduce noise pollution far more than secondary glazing and look far more elegant. Secondary glazing encroaches into your room whereas soundproof window frames will fit snugly within the aesthetic of your property and look gorgeous.
Image by Smabs Sputzer