Soundproofing Vinyl vs Fiberglass

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Sobrasil32
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Soundproofing Vinyl vs Fiberglass

#1 Post by Sobrasil32 »

Hello all. I have recently been attempting to research what my options are for replacing some windows that run parallel to a neighbor with a pair of high pitched yappy dogs that wake up my daughter very early in the morning nearly every day. Unfortunately, talking to them didn't work and I don't feel like making an enemy of them is not in my best interests so new windows it is! I hadn't noticed it before they moved in (the previous neighbors were very quiet), but these windows are completely ineffective at preventing sound transmission (I can hear normal conversation straight through them) so it's no surprise that the dog issue has been so problematic.

In my research I have noticed a few options. The one that I saw mentioned a few times was the amsco serenity series. Generally, it appears that amsco is not rated very high with the exception of the serenity series which has very high stc ratings for what it is. If anyone has any thoughts on this I would appreciate it.

Another option that people have mentioned was the milgard quiet line series, but I *think* it may have been discontinued in the last couple years because I don't see it on milgard's site anymore despite many many third party sites still talking about it. Is this correct?

A potential third option I have seen is to replace the window with a mid-range window with a decent stc rating and to then use a more expensive insert with a high stc rating. I have an aversion to this as it would seem that there *must* be a good option that doesn't include paying two separate companies, but I would do it if it solved the problem.

Another concern of mine is that I am unsure if I should go for vinyl or another route. Our summers here get above 110 at times and I am concerned that vinyl frames might degrade over only a couple summers. Our winters are extremely mild so cold is not a concern. Alternatively, I have read that fiberglass is a good option. Thoughts there?

Any help would be appreciated!

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Soundproofing Vinyl vs Fiberglass

#2 Post by Windows on Washington »

Where is the home located and what is the construction of the current window?

Anything you do in a dedicated STC class is NOT going to match up with the projection of your current window.

Window material is far less impactful than is the glazing type and air infiltration rates.

Have you considered interior storms in those locations?

Sobrasil32
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Joined: Sun Sep 17, 2023 9:35 am

Re: Soundproofing Vinyl vs Fiberglass

#3 Post by Sobrasil32 »

WoW,

Thank you for your reply! I'm in Northern California. The current window is an aluminum frame dual pane and is about 25-30 years old.

When you say a dedicated STC window won't match up to the projection of the current window, what do you mean?

I did consider inserts but we were planning on replacing the windows anyway (in the summer the windows get pretty hot and in the winter we can feel drafts), and I thought we might be able to hit two birds with one stone. Do you think it makes more sense to replace it with a window that mostly deals with the drafts and heat transfer and a separate insert to deal with the sound issue?

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HomeSealed
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Re: Soundproofing Vinyl vs Fiberglass

#4 Post by HomeSealed »

Windows on Washington wrote: Sun Sep 17, 2023 8:58 pm
Window material is far less impactful than is the glazing type and air infiltration rates.
Bingo. Totally agree with this... although there are relatively few fiberglass windows that rate well in AI, so indirectly that can point to vinyl as a better option for your set of priorities.

Find a window with a low air infiltration rating and a glass package that mitigates sound transmission (generally offset glazing or laminated glass). This will get you to your goal regardless of the frame material.

Sobrasil32
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Re: Soundproofing Vinyl vs Fiberglass

#5 Post by Sobrasil32 »

A couple questions I still have that I hope you could help me with:

1. Is vinyl not a concern with hot weather exposed to the sun? I am concerned about warping over the years.
2. Is it better to get a window that is weatherproof and then a window insert that deals with soundproofing?

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HomeSealed
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Re: Soundproofing Vinyl vs Fiberglass

#6 Post by HomeSealed »

Sobrasil32 wrote: Thu Sep 21, 2023 12:14 pm A couple questions I still have that I hope you could help me with:

1. Is vinyl not a concern with hot weather exposed to the sun? I am concerned about warping over the years.
As long as it's a high quality product, there is no concern.
Sobrasil32 wrote: Thu Sep 21, 2023 12:14 pm2. Is it better to get a window that is weatherproof and then a window insert that deals with soundproofing?
If you are referring to an interior storm when you say "insert", yes, a full window that achieves all of your goals is a better solution. That said, the condition of your existing windows as well as cost are things that play a role in that decision as well.

Sobrasil32
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Re: Soundproofing Vinyl vs Fiberglass

#7 Post by Sobrasil32 »

Thank you for your reply. Do you have any opinions on the serenity series by amsco?

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HomeSealed
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Re: Soundproofing Vinyl vs Fiberglass

#8 Post by HomeSealed »

I wouldn't call it high quality...

You are in a slight pickle, as the higher performance (ie: airtight) windows that are widely recommended aren't available in your region. That's not to say that there are no choices that fit the mold, they simply aren't the same ones that are used in the Northeast and Midwest where the product choices better reflect solutions for our cold climate.

Rather than focus on a brand name, I'd recommend getting the air infiltrations ratings for those options that you are considering.

Sobrasil32
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Re: Soundproofing Vinyl vs Fiberglass

#9 Post by Sobrasil32 »

If I am understanding correctly, you are saying that instead of focusing on STC ratings, I should focus on air infiltration ratings. Is that correct?

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HomeSealed
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Re: Soundproofing Vinyl vs Fiberglass

#10 Post by HomeSealed »

Kind of...lol

So here's the thing: unless you choose a glass package that is made specifically for sound attenuation (specifically offset glazing or laminated glass), the STC ratings are all going to be similar when compared with apples to apples glass (ie: double pane or triple pane). Even then, comparing like for like should result in very similar performance.

As long as the glass package is comparable from one choice to the next, at that point I'd say yes, practically speaking for real world sound reduction, the window that is more airtight will will actually do a better job at achieving your goal...

It seems somewhat counterintuitive given that the STC rating sounds(pun intended) like it should tell you everything that you need to know, however it is a result that doesn't account for air leakage which is probably the larger determining factor when it comes to reducing the volume of the yappy dogs.

Perfect solution for you is probably an airtight window with laminated glass... again, with little regard for the frame material of the window.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Soundproofing Vinyl vs Fiberglass

#11 Post by Windows on Washington »

What he said. The answer is...both really. Airtight is key...and glazing schedule.

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