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Noise Control

Outdoor Appliances

Heat Pumps, Air Conditioners, Pool Filters

Problem: Noise annoys neighbors.

Cause: Noise from an appliance in a quiet neighborhood

Solutions: Select a quiet appliance.

  • Check local noise bylaws. Typical bylaws specify the maximum acceptable noise at a lot boundary, either as a maximum sound level or relative to ambient noise caused by traffic and other distant sources.
  • Select quiet appliances by checking manufacturers' literature for noise ratings.
  • Heat pumps and air conditioners are commonly rated using Air-Conditioning, Heating and Refrigeration Institute
  • Do not attempt to reduce the noise output from a noisy appliance, unless the noise is due to an obvious fault such as a rattling panel. Amateur modifications are unlikely to yield much noise reduction and may void the warranty.

Cause: Appliance in a poor location

Solutions: Move the appliance to a better location

  • Place the appliance as far from property boundaries as is possible or use a barrier to reduce sound reaching a nearby boundary.
  • Do not locate a noisy appliance between close-spaced buildings or under a carport or large roof overhang. Reflections from nearby surfaces increase the noise level and prevent barriers from working.
  • If possible, locate the appliance near the corner of the home. In this location a barrier connected to the corner of the house would be effective if needed.

Cause: Poor location or noisy appliance

Solutions: Use a barrier or enclosure

  • Do not use an enclosure without expert advise to avoid interfering with the normal operation of the appliance. This might void the warranty and reduce efficiency.
  • Do not use an enclosure for a heat pump or an air conditioner, if the problem is the low-frequency hum beard inside an adjoining building. An enclosure is likely to amplify the hum.