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Question DetailsAsked on 11/26/2014

i recently replaced my single pane windows with dual pane and it appears that the outside sounds are lounder Why?

after replacing the single pane windows with dual pane windows the noise from outside is louder more intensified. i thought dual pane was suppose to dampen the sound. I would like to know what the problem could be ?

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2 Answers



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Answered 6 years ago by Member Services


Unfortunately, a lot of window designers seem to have little or no actual engineering design experience or training, so they make critical mistakes. A very common one is not encapsulating multi-pane glazing units (the multiple panes of glass including the metal frame that seals them together) in an elastomeric ("rubber") or glazing compound ("putty"), so the metal glazing frame is in direct contact with the window frame - transmitting more noise. Also, in all but the most expensive multi-pane glazing units the panes of glass are simply sealed tightly in the metal frame with a touch of sealant rather than being individually hermetically sealed in the glazing frame with elastomeric, so they are rigidly held rather than in a shock-absorbing medium, so the panes reverberate and resonate much more than a typical single pane unit typically does. Hence, changing to a better insulation system can unfortunately commonly result in a noisier window.

Another factor is the newer unit is likely aluminum, vinyl, or fiberglass framed - which transmit nosie through the frame better than wood, so are also noisier. Another reason (beside because I am an old fogie as I am commonly accused of being) why I recommend good quality treated wood framed windows in all but the most severe climatic exposures.

One thing you ought to do - roll up some paper or use a cardboard tube to listen very close to the window at a time when you are hearing the noise - to make sure it is coming from the glass or frame rather than from around the window under the trim. A long cardboard tube like a roll of gift wrapping paper (can have the paper still on it) wirks well for this as it is very directional - be sure ear is totally within the tube even it takes a bit of folding up of the lobes so you are hearing only what is coming through the tube. A piece of non-metallic 2 or 3" pipe works OK also. If the outer frame was not sealed in place with non-expanding insulating foam that can be done - or if you are afraid of making a mess with it, loosely (just tight enough to fill the gap, not densely packed) fill the gap around the window frame with fiberglass insulation or multiple layers of foam backing rod. The latter actually works best for noise isolation - in a couple of layers, leaving a small air gap between to dampen the sound works better than packing full of insulation or backer rod like you would do to maximize thermal insulation. Of course, to do this you have to remove and replace the inside trim, which can be easy or harder depending on whether finish nails or panelling nails were used to secure it.

Answered 6 years ago by LCD

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