Noise is unwanted sound. Some would say it is the most intrusive pollution there is, an ever present fixture of the modern environment. Noise is an outside nuisance from your neighbours, from factories, traffic, trains and planes that invade the comfort of our homes. Even if you don’t live on a busy street, noise can undermine the quality of your life and relationships, and it’s getting worse. Levels are increasing in urban and rural areas alike.

Measured in decibels, 0dB is the threshold of hearing where a sound is just about discernible. A quiet conversation measures about 40dB, while a jet aircraft at 500ft typically achieves 120dB – loud enough to cause pain.

Glazing and windows can play a key role in reducing noise so that occupants of a building are not unduly disturbed. Single glazed windows are the weak link in your home’s defence against noise. Even traditional double glazing is effective only against some noise, doing little or nothing to prevent other types of noise.

But advances in glazing technology now provide a full menu of options that will dramatically reduce noise of all types. Solutions include thick glass, secondary glazing, double or triple glazing, laminated glass, absorbent linings to the reveals, gas filled units and various combinations of these techniques. The right solution for you depends on a number of factors, including the nature of the noise, and when and for how long it occurs.

If you suffer from noise pollution talk to a professional window company to identify the nature of the problem and what can be done to solve it. But whatever the solution, it will only be effective if your windows are made and fitted properly. Even tiny air gaps in the sealing can have a big effect on performance. Air gaps of only 1% of the total window area can reduce the overall sound insulation by as much as 10dB, which means that external noises are twice as loud as they would be if fully sealed.