If you seem to wake up every morning every time your neighbor starts their car for their early-morning shift or are kept awake at night by the "night owls" next door talking away on their porch, then there are two options to look into for making your home more soundproof. If you already have adequate home insulation, then replacing your older windows with the right replacements can help you finally have a quiet home that keeps outside noise outside where it belongs. Don't know which windows to choose? Here are the two most important window components to look for when you want to block out as much outside noise as possible.  

1. High Sound Transmission Class Rating

Windows marketed as "soundproof" or "sound-blocking" often have a rating called a Sound Transmission Class Rating, or STC. Put simply, this is just a measurement of how much sound from outdoors the window blocks. The higher the STC rating, the more sound it should block. If the windows you are looking into don't have this rating, then don't worry, because you can determine a general STC rating just by knowing how the window is generally constructed. 

Single pane non-laminated windows are typically rated at about a 27 on the STC scale. Dual-pane non-laminated windows are usually rated at about 28 on the scale.  As expected, the type of glass is also a factor when blocking noise, and one thick pane of laminated glass will block more outside noise than a pane of non-laminated glass. One pane of laminated glass has a rating of 32 to 35.

If you want to block even more noise, there are special "soundproof" window panes that have STC ratings of 45 to the mid-50s. While the investment in this added sound-blocking pane would likely be a great one if you are dealing with very loud outside noise, like if your home is next to train tracks or close to an airport, a good set of laminated dual-pane windows would likely be sufficient to block out the sound of those noisy neighbors. 

2. Air-tight Vinyl Frames Properly Installed

If you are looking into new windows, then you may already know that vinyl frames are best for home insulation purposes. They are also the best frame choice for blocking outside noise and are the best overall choice for consumers who are not in hurricane-prone areas where impact-resistant aluminum can be a better option. In the end, no matter what type of window frame you do choose, proper installation is key to blocking as much outside noise as possible. Window frames installed properly will prevent air from entering your home. While sound waves travel faster through many solid substances, most of the sound waves are absorbed by the solid substance or reflected off it in the direction it came from. That means air-tight window frames will reflect noise back outside and absorb some of it, leaving little entering your home. 

If you think you have noisy neighbors, then you may just need new windows that block more sound. Take these two important factors into consideration when choosing new replacement windows that will block as much outside noise as possible.