How Loud Is Too Loud When It Comes to Your Air Conditioner? What to Do When You and Your Neighbours Disagree

Your air conditioning unit might feel like a necessity during the summer months and is vital for making your home comfortable. There are instances when your air conditioner can end up making life less comfortable for those around you. Have your neighbours ever lodged a complaint about the noise levels emanating from your air conditioner? They might have discussed the matter directly with you, or they might have lodged a complaint with your local council. But how loud is too loud when it comes to your air conditioning unit? You might feel that your neighbour's complaint is without merit, but if it's found that your air conditioner is indeed too loud, then you might be compelled to take necessary action. Failure to do so can result in a fine being issued. So what can you do when a complaint is made about the noise from your air conditioner?

Know the Limits

Acceptable operating noises for air conditioners and other household appliances are handled by your local council. This means what is deemed to be acceptable can vary depending on where you live. As an example, the Brisbane City Council defines acceptable noise from an air conditioner as being no louder than five decibels above normal background noise between 7am and 10pm, and no louder than three decibels above normal background noise between 10pm and 7am. The decibel limits might differ in your area, so when faced with a complaint, you need to check with your local council as to the permitted decibel level with regards to the operation of a residential air conditioner. There might also be some variation with what is considered to be normal background noise, such as if you live in a busy urban area with a consistently high level of background noise.

Solving the Issue

Nobody wants to be on bad terms with their neighbours, so you will need to take appropriate action if you're found to be in the wrong. There's also the concern that you might receive a fine if a further complaint is lodged. Relocating the air conditioner is generally not feasible, so what can you do?

  1. Have the air conditioner serviced. Problems with the condenser coils or a lack of lubrication in the fan motor (or dual shaft fan motor) can result in excessive noise during normal operation. Servicing can result in your air conditioner's operation immediately returning to acceptable noise levels.
  2. Erect an acoustic enclosure around the air conditioner when servicing does not make a difference to the device's noise levels. This involves the unit being partially enclosed by a box constructed from acoustic panels. It's not fully enclosed so that its air intake vents are not affected. Ideally, these panels will have a noise reduction coefficient (NRC) rating of 1 for maximum sound absorption.

So if a complaint is made about the noise of your air conditioner, it's important to find out whether the complaint has merit in terms of the acceptable noise levels in your area. If so, it's good to know that there are a few things you can do to easily fix the issue. Click here to learn more about this topic.

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Renovating the hallway

We've renovated nearly every room in our house except for the poor neglected hallway. It's funny that a room that gets so much use, and is the first room most visitors see, can easily be the one that you spend the least effort in decorating. I want to make sure that our hallway looks great and creates a beautiful first impression for anyone that comes over. This blog has some ideas on how to renovate hallways quickly and effectively. It will be useful for anyone with a neglected hallway who is looking to quickly improve the way their home looks.