Secondary Glazing Noise Reduction
Noise pollution refers to unwanted, harmful, or annoying noises. It can originate from inside the home or the external environment.
Unfortunately, while noise pollution seems innocuous, it can damage your health (just like other forms of pollution). For instance, excessive environmental noise can increase your sensitivity to stress. It can also make you feel on edge, frustrated, and angry and intensify existing mental health conditions.
People most affected may experience difficulty relaxing, falling asleep or remaining asleep. They may also develop abnormal loudness perception, tinnitus (ringing or whirring in the ears) and paracusis. It could even raise blood pressure, a leading risk factor for cardiovascular disease.
Unfortunately, noise pollution is highly prevalent in the UK. Estimates suggest it affects over 18 per cent of the urban population, meaning there is a high chance it is impacting you too.
The purpose of this page is to describe the top sources of noise pollution, the benefits of reducing it, and some best practices and strategies you can adopt to achieve a quieter environment. The goal is to help you plot a path to lower harm, letting you continue to enjoy your home without risking your health.
The Most Common Sources of Noise Pollution
Noise pollution can come from outside and inside the home.
Good examples of noise pollution inside the home include:-
- Appliances: Refrigerators, dishwashers, air conditioners, fans, vacuum cleaners and cookers can all generate significant noise. Sound-emission regulations may apply when new, but appliances become noisier if not maintained to the point where they are intolerable.
- Electronics: TVs, radios, computers, speakers, and phones create noise pollution in the home when set to high volumes or when users don’t pair them with headphones.
- Plumbing: Pipes, radiators, boilers, and water tanks can make annoying sounds if old, poorly maintained, or installed incorrectly.
With that said, most unwanted noise comes from outside of the home. Good examples include:-
- Aeroplanes and airports
- Traffic and public transport (such as trains)
- Amplified music
- Lawn and gardening equipment
- Power tools
- Emergency vehicles
- Construction and industrial activity
- Noise from neighbours, pedestrians, and passers-by.
More persistent urban noises, such as traffic, are more harmful than less persistent ones. The constant drone of background noise damages well-being because it doesn’t give the body’s nervous system a chance to reset.
The Benefits of Reducing Noise in The Home
We’ve already alluded to some benefits of reducing noise in the home above. However, the physical and psychological improvements you can experience are often vast.
Here are some of the benefits of keeping sound levels lower:
Improved Sleep Quality
Constant background noise can disrupt sleep. Studies show that excessive noise at night reduces the time you spend in restorative sleep leading to symptoms like fatigue, irritability, mood swings, and impaired cognitive function.
Reducing background noise helps to improve this situation. Without the constant drone of traffic or music, you are much more likely to enter extended periods of REM and deep sleep, giving you the rest you need.
Enhanced Productivity and Creativity
Noise can also distract you from tasks and make it harder to concentrate and focus. Constantly background sounds from amplifiers, power tools, and trains rushing by can interrupt your learning and memory skills. Children in noisy homes are at a higher risk and may not maximise their cognitive potential.
Again, reducing noise in the home can improve focus and efficiency. It gives you the mental space to concentrate on tasks, enhancing problem-solving and creative skills.
Better Communication And Relationships
Excessive noise in the home can also interfere with your ability to hear and interact with others, particularly if you are hard of hearing. When noise levels are high, it makes it difficult to have private conversations about sensitive topics or hear what others are saying.
Reducing noise levels in the living and dining rooms helps to foster more harmonious interactions. People don’t need to shout to be heard and can speak to each other quietly when they want to.
Increased Sense Of Relaxation And Happiness
High noise levels can also trigger your stress response, leaving you feeling tense, on edge, anxious, and angry. They can prevent you from enjoying music or meditating – activities that calm the nervous system.
However, reducing noise levels throughout your home gives you space to feel relaxed and happy. You can enjoy your favourite activities without annoying sound pollution disturbing or interrupting you.
The effects of noise pollution on health are considerable. Researchers have found that it drives hearing loss and tinnitus, hypersensitivity to sound, heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and sleep disturbances. It can also heighten stress, putting you at risk of mental health problems, attention deficit disorder, and memory impairment. There may even be a link with dementia.
When you reduce noise pollution in your home, your metabolism and bodily processes enter a healthier, more sustainable state. The body exits disease-causing chronic “fight or flight” mode and enters the “rest and digest” phase, where it can recover and maintain itself.
The Best Practices And Strategies For Reducing Noise In The Home
Fortunately, there are many ways to reduce noise in the home. Here are some options:
Reduce noise within your home with Secondary Glazing
The best way to reduce noise within your home is to install secondary glazing, an additional layer of glazing that sits on top of your existing windows. You don’t need to remove the original window frames or their panels. New installations simply sit on top of them.
Secondary glazing can reduce incoming sound significantly, it is widely known that secondary glazing is the best treatment that can be applied to your windows to reduce the amount of noise entering your home. When sound waves hit the first layer of glass, they impart their energy to it, causing it to vibrate. With single-glazed windows, this energy would pass directly into the room. But with secondary glazing, it must pass through an air gap first. This gap is the key to secondary glazing’s soundproofing abilities. It decouples the movement of the outer and inner glass panels, reducing resonance and limiting the sound waves’ energy. It works better than double-glazing units that use narrow layers of inert gases.
The benefits of adding secondary glazing to your home include:
- Ability to install it over most existing windows
- Cost-effectiveness – it is significantly more affordable than installing fresh double-glazing and is vastly more effective than double glazing for noise reduction.
- Quick to install and minimal disruption of your home life or routine
- Preserves the original character of your building
- Offers additional benefits, such as saving you money on bills by trapping more heat
Soundproof Your Home With Insulation
Soundproofing your home with insulation is another way to reduce noise pollution. Adding insulating materials that block and absorb sound waves to the floor, ceiling, windows, and doors reduces incoming noise and prevents it from spreading throughout your rooms.
Close Your Windows
Another simple way to reduce noise pollution is to close your windows. Once shut, they help take energy out of sound waves before they reach your ears. You can enhance the effect by pairing windows with curtains, blinds, or shutters to put more material between you and the external noise environment.
Put Down More Carpets And Rugs
You can also reduce noise levels in your home by putting down carpets and rugs. The fabric they contain naturally absorbs sound waves and stops them from bouncing off the walls and ceilings.
Other soft homewares, such as pillows, blankets and cushions, will work too. These dampen sound further, keeping your home pleasantly quiet.
Plant Trees And Shrubs
Lastly, you can plant trees and shrubs to reduce noise pollution. Leaves and foliage act as a natural barrier and deflect sound waves (which is one of the reasons why it is always quiet when you go to the forest). Plant them around your home’s boundary or place them next to windows and doors in your flat.
Get Secondary Glazing From City Sound Glazing
Secondary glazing is a versatile solution for UK homeowners and businesses looking to reduce noise levels on their properties. It is suitable for various building types, including listed properties. It also works on multiple window types, including casement, sash, sliding and fixed lift-out.
Secondary glazing is also suitable for homes with pre-existing double-glazing and improves noise-reduction performance. Thirty per cent of the secondary glazing we install is with existing double-glazing.
If you want to find out how much installing secondary glazing on your property will cost, get in touch with our team at 020 8523 3210. You can also read the advice and guides on our website or view our gallery of completed projects to see how your property will look after secondary glazing noise reduction.