New Windows, Allergy and Noise Edition
April 19, 2016 9:50 PM   Subscribe

Have any of you noticed an improvement in your allergy symptoms after installing new windows? We have single-pain windows now, from the 70s, and I have an asthma attack every time my neighbor mows his lawn. Would new windows help that much? Do they also help with the noise? Would I maybe go an entire day without hearing my neighbors' yippy, untrained dogs? Is it worth it just for that?

I couldn't care less about improving the property's value or getting it nice for sale, I want to know if these improvements will help with my here and now, before I shell out $4000.00 for double pane windows. I need the bad air and noise out so badly that I don't want to get my hopes up to high and be devastated after I go through the mess and cost. Do replacing crummy windows really help that much?
posted by myselfasme to Home & Garden (11 answers total)
I replaced mine and the noise went down to totally bearable levels (from "can hear every word spoken in the courtyard" to basically nothing.) It was 100% worth it to me for that.
posted by restless_nomad at 10:04 PM on April 19, 2016

I think YES.

Plus, for goodness sake, even running one of these $35 units all night in the room facing the grass, especially if the windows are closed, will help on days your allergies are kicking up.

But yes, double pane Windows block sound. Makes a world of difference.
posted by jbenben at 11:39 PM on April 19, 2016

IDK about the allergies but I was congratulating myself on my new windows yesterday when there was jackhammer running all day outside about 3 metres from where I was working and it was just a gentle hum.
posted by bimbam at 1:20 AM on April 20, 2016

YES oh gods. I live in a WWII era house that just recently got window upgrades, and the difference in the amount of noise coming in is incredible.
posted by Tamanna at 2:38 AM on April 20, 2016

Yes, worth it for noise reduction! I don't know if it will reduce the allergies because that is so dependent on how tight the rest of your house is. Might be worth getting an 'energy evaluation' to see where you have the air leaks that are letting in the allergens.
posted by PorcineWithMe at 4:08 AM on April 20, 2016 [1 favorite]

Totally, totally worth it for the noise reduction.

Allergies -- that's a little harder to tell, because you may have other sources of air infiltration beyond the gaps in your single-pane windows. I don't think it's likely to make it worse, though.

What I would do: replace the windows, see where the air quality is at. If the air quality issue is reduced but not solved (which is what I suspect is likely in older construction), get an HVAC guy or an energy auditor in to look at your air flow and see where else you're getting infiltration.

And yeah, the table-top air purifiers also help -- I use those myself.
posted by pie ninja at 5:23 AM on April 20, 2016

Yes for the noise reduction. For your allergies, probably not - that's an air sealing and filtration problem that probably doesn't have much to do with your windows (some of the air leakage could be around the windows, so make sure the installer seal the new windows properly to the sheathing, but that's unlikely to be more than a small factor).
posted by ssg at 6:38 AM on April 20, 2016

We live on a busy street, and last fall we replaced one side window in our living room. The window was original construction from the early 60's. I replaced it with a new construction window (I.E. the sill, etc was replaced). It was a huge reduction of sound from the street (along with the winter felt significantly better in that room without the draft / cold air from the window). If you don't go with new construction, and don't use door/window foam around it, there might not be as much reduction in sound.

A house should not be totally air tight; as such new windows will likely not help with allergies.
posted by nobeagle at 7:54 AM on April 20, 2016

There exist screens marketed as pollen-reducing, but I have no idea if they are useful or just a marketing gimmick. If they are actually useful then I would expect new windows to be, as well.
posted by nat at 8:57 AM on April 20, 2016

Replaced late 50s metal casement windows with "engineered" (glued wood & vinyl) casement double pane.

Cut noise dramatically, AND helped with my asthma. Also helpful: changing the hot air furnace/AC filter four times/year.
posted by Jesse the K at 12:57 PM on April 20, 2016

Thank you! You guys rock!
posted by myselfasme at 2:40 PM on April 20, 2016

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