Large stained-glass windows in historic church sanctuaries are beautiful -- but they eventually deteriorate. According to Religious Product News, most stained-glass windows last between 70 and 100 years. Once they're this old, stained-glass windows will begin to sag. If your church's stained-glass windows are loose and need to be replaced, consider opting for a modern take on stained glass that will reduce how much outside noise enters your sanctuary. Hiring a window installation company to put in double-pane stained glass windows will keep your church's sanctuary both beautiful and quiet.
Churches Face Two Challenges
When deciding on what type of windows to have installed, churches face two specific challenges.
First, church sanctuaries are supposed to be a place of quiet refuge, where worshippers can gather to pray and meditate. They're a haven that's separated from this world, heaven on earth, and, therefore, outside noises should be minimized in them. Since many churches are located on busy streets, blocking out noises from the nearby roads is especially important.
Second, most churches work on tight budgets. Few churches can afford soundproof or triple-pane windows, even though they may want to keep their sanctuaries quiet.
Windows Let Sound Through
Windows, however, are one of the most important parts of a sanctuary, at least when it comes to sound isolation. As SFGate explains, windows are one of the least efficient building materials used in homes -- and churches. A single pane of glass will do little to prevent outside noises from entering your sanctuary.
The sound that windows will let in is a consideration for any building, but it's especially important in church sanctuaries. Sanctuaries often feature several, if not many, large stained-glass windows. Since more of their walls are covered with glass than the average room's, more sound will come in through their walls than in most buildings.
Double-Pane Windows Will Reduce Noise
Double-pane windows provide decent noise reduction, and they're affordable and available in stained glass. While they won't block out 90 to 95 percent of noise like soundproof windows would, double-pane windows can provide as much sound isolation as an exterior wall.
The easiest way to compare windows' abilities to insulate against sound is by their Sound Transmission Class (STC) ratings. Every building material, including windows, has an STC rating that indicates how well the material isolates noises. The higher a material's rating is, the more that material will reduce noise.
Magnetite Southwest's chart shows that an STC rating of 15 to 25 provides poor sound insulation, while a rating of 25 to 35 will give you marginal protection from noises. According to TheWindowMan.com, single-pane windows have a rating between 24 and 26 (poor to marginal), while double-pane windows are rated between 31 and 33 (marginal). For good performance, which comes with ratings between 35 and 45, your church will need to have laminated double-pane windows installed, which usually carry an STC rating of 35 to 38.
Even though they are simpler than triple-paned windows, double-pane windows provide better sound insulation. As TheWindowDog.com explains, triple-pane windows' air gaps and pieces of glass are thinner than double-pane windows', so sound waves can travel through triple-pane windows quicker. Thus, double-pane windows provide the best sound insulation without purchasing soundproof windows, which are usually beyond of a church's budget.
If your church needs to replace its sanctuaries' stained-glass windows, talk to a local window installation company about the benefits of double-pane windows. Even if they don't carry laminated double-pane stained-glass windows, they'll be able to help you understand the advantages of these windows, and they might be able to help you find a window installation company that can help your church. For additional info, contact a professional in the area.