Expectation vs. Reality

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DeltaIntegrale
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2023 3:06 pm

Expectation vs. Reality

#1 Post by DeltaIntegrale »

Just wondering if I am missing something here post install. I lurked here during the shopping phase and it offered helpful info.

I had all my windows replaced. Sunrise Restorations with NRG glass. Installed by a local company that has been around for a while and has good reviews everywhere I looked. Replaced builder grade double pane. For my project I was particularly interested in reducing sound from traffic in particular. So it seemed like I found a good window, with a sound mitigation glass option. I did full frame replacement. Didn't want to get my new windows put in and have some corner cut by the builder reduce their effectiveness. So get them installed right.

Now that they are in, I am noticing basically no difference in sound. It also doesn't matter where I am in the house, the results are about the same. If one room seemed worse than another, I could at least theorize maybe someone made a mistake on one of the windows. I know they filled the gap between the window and the rough opening with the low expansion foam, capped the outside, trimmed the inside, everything outside is caulked. I'm not noticing drafts around the windows like something is wrong. Seems sealed up.

I wasn't expecting silence in the house, but I see reviews of people who got "Bob's No-Name Windows" and rave how their house sounds quieter. Certainly people getting higher end stuff report the same. So I was expecting some payoff for my "good" window with noise reducing glass.

So I'm wondering if the folks here have run into this. Is it just bad luck that it didn't work on my house, or if there maybe a problem to explore. Thanks.

Delaware Mike
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Joined: Fri Nov 19, 2004 10:44 am
Location: South Jersey, Delaware, Philadelphia area

Re: Expectation vs. Reality

#2 Post by Delaware Mike »

If you had tight and almost painted shut wood windows that were not drafty along with super tight storm windows, that pocket between the storms and wood sashes can insulate from sound pretty good sometimes and modern windows can in super rare circumstances actually allow more sound from the exterior.

DeltaIntegrale
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2023 3:06 pm

Re: Expectation vs. Reality

#3 Post by DeltaIntegrale »

Thanks. I replaced vinyl windows. No storms were installed. They weren't sealed shut or anything out of the ordinary.

WindowsDirectCinci
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Joined: Sun Feb 28, 2016 2:46 pm

Re: Expectation vs. Reality

#4 Post by WindowsDirectCinci »

I’d recommend calling the company and verify they were ordered the NRG glass. They could have made a mistake. You may also be able to tell a difference of the inner pane and outer pane by tapping on the glass as one is thicker than the other and theoretically sound different. There are numerous variations thing it could be. Maybe your walls are portly insulated and most of the sound is coming from there, or installation issues (weatherstripping not making good contact) or it is actually different but your expectations were much higher

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Expectation vs. Reality

#5 Post by Windows on Washington »

If you replaced some builder's grade vinyl, you should have noted some improvement indeed.

Ricknez
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Joined: Fri Sep 13, 2013 9:18 am
Location: southern PA, north east MD

Re: Expectation vs. Reality

#6 Post by Ricknez »

Its possible the sound is coming through the walls. Also, sound reduction can be very subjective to where one person notices a difference and the other person doesnt.
If they definitely used sunrise’ noise reduction glass, its not the windows.

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HomeSealed
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Location: Milwaukee, Madison, SE Wisconsin

Re: Expectation vs. Reality

#7 Post by HomeSealed »

Great observations from the other pros, I agree.

- Verify that you did get the correct glass
- Were the old windows casements? If so, the seal may have been decent even if the windows were poor quality and needed to be replaced anyway. In my experience that is the biggest reason that folks hear less outside noise -- a better sealing window.... If the old ones were dh, then that though is probably "out the window", as builder grade dh's invariably leak lots of air.
- Other than that, as others have suspected, you may very well have some deficiency other than the windows that is causing this.

The last thing I'd add, is that expectations are subjective, so it's pretty difficult for us to say whether yours were realistic or not. That said, the answer would be YES to the basic question of whether most folks have a quieter home after replacing the windows.

DeltaIntegrale
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Joined: Wed Jan 18, 2023 3:06 pm

Re: Expectation vs. Reality

#8 Post by DeltaIntegrale »

Thanks for the suggestions.

The installer/dealer did verify that the glass was installed with the factory. The build stickers on the windows say it too. Installers said they were heavier than normal windows, which is what they'd expect with the glass package.

The old windows were not casements, but they were single hung. I suppose that could mean they were a bit tighter than a double hung? The old ones weren't necessarily replaced because they were particularly "leaky". I had a few that were producing pretty good drafts in the middle, which I temporarily addressed with that clear window tape. Otherwise they were hard to open, had failing seals, poor fitting screens, and cloudy glass in a few instances.

Like I said before, there has been some windy days here and I've not noticed any significant air getting through. Nothing blocks all outside air, and there is a maybe a tiny bit from the corners where the bottom sash and frame meet. So seems like weather stripping is doing what its supposed to.

Short of busting open the wall, the only thing I could think about checking was the temperature. The wall is usually about 2-3 degrees warmer than the window frame with an IR thermometer. I'd guess that would ideally be higher, since the window is supposed to be R-7 (frame) and R-4 (glass).

And I know no one can read my mind, but it does seem like I am an outlier in not finding much of a difference after replacing all my windows.

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Windows on Washington
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Re: Expectation vs. Reality

#9 Post by Windows on Washington »

What are exterior temps like where you are?

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toddinmn
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Re: Expectation vs. Reality

#10 Post by toddinmn »

Reducing sound sometimes needs more of a systematic approach as the window is only part of the assembly.

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