Triple Pane Windows And Soundproofing



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Triple Pane Windows Soundproof

There is often a lot of confusion when it comes to triple pane windows and soundproofing. There are a lot of issues and factors at play, so we will go through each one step by step and try, as best we can, to explain some of the principles that go into how best to consider triple pane windows and soundproofing.


Triple Pane Window Basics

Triple pane windows have three separate glass panes as part of the IGU or insulated glass unit. This differs from a dual pane window, which has two panes of glass as part of the IGU. Whether or not a triple pane window will provide better sound proofing depends mainly on the construction of the unit itself.

There are two main types of triple pane windows. In the first and less expensive option, a third pane of glass is slid in between the existing window frame unit without an increase in the depth of the window frame itself. In this case, there will be very little sound attenuation advantage over the dual pane window option.

The second approach to a triple pane window is to actually create a deeper window frame in which the third pane of glass is slid in between the two panes of glass, but the airspace between the panes is 1" to 2" thick. In this case, the amount of noise attenuation should be greater than with a standard double pane glass.


Mass

This previous discussion of whether to use three panes or two panes of glass focuses on the issue of mass. The overall mass or thickness of the combined panes will have an effect on the amount of noise attenuation. However, a dual pane window that uses a quarter inch thick glass on the outside and an eighth of an inch glass on the inside should achieve an STC rating that is equal or slightly better than a triple pane window that uses three 1/8" panes. The reason is that the difference in glass thickness between the inner and outer pane will have an affect on the noise attenuation.


Take Aways

At the end of the day, consumers would be better off to get a well-made double pane window that uses two different thicknesses glass panes and has a 2" to 3" airspace between the panes than to spend the extra money on the triple pane window option. Of course, consumer should also remember that a triple pane window will have some improvement in the overall energy efficiency of the window. The more important performance number to look at for consumers ought to be STC rating, instead of number of window panes.



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