Super Soundproofing Community Forum

Soundproofing Forum Topics => Soundproofing your single family home from traffic noise and neighbors. => Topic started by: Jerry L. on April 26, 2005, 06:51:22 AM

Title: neighbor's loud air conditioner
Post by: Jerry L. on April 26, 2005, 06:51:22 AM
Our neighbor has a loud air conditioner that almost makes me dread our Seattle-area summer.  Unfortunately, the unit is situated on their property so that the sound reflects off a nearby playhouse, a fence, and their house right into our yard.
Our neighbor is willing to work with us to reduce the noise.  At this point, we're exploring options.  Has anyone dealt with air conditioner noise successfully?

Title: Re: neighbor's loud air conditioner
Post by: Tom Doyle on May 22, 2005, 11:57:47 PM

I'm having the same issue so I'm curious as to how you are able to resolve it.  It doesn't look like anyone replied to your question, but were you able to make some changes to reduce the noise?

Title: Re: neighbor's loud air conditioner
Post by: supersoundproofing on May 23, 2005, 12:42:35 AM
Sometimes a baffle style fence will reduce the noise enough to not be annoying.  It would best be built around the unit and have no openings in it that sound could pass through.

The fence needs to be quite high and lined with the kind of absorbant mat a shown on

Attention should be given to the unit- sometimes they are  noisy because they are old and worn out.  Replacement would be an option- the cost of soundproofing it could be (probably) more than replacing it.
Title: Re: neighbor's loud air conditioner
Post by: dlee051 on August 15, 2005, 01:03:15 PM

I have the same problem. Could you please let me know if you have found any solutions?


Title: Re: neighbor's loud air conditioner
Post by: Hickory Stick on August 17, 2005, 09:30:02 PM

Title: Re: neighbor's loud air conditioner
Post by: pave-low on November 09, 2005, 02:57:26 PM
Our HOA requires 3' thick living hedges around compressors.  This reduces  a lot of the noise (except for the top). Any chance your HOA would adopt this?  
Title: Re: neighbor's loud air conditioner
Post by: Rachel R. on April 11, 2006, 09:22:29 PM
Did you find a solution?  I have the same problem with my home in Phoenix.  The neighbors are very nice, but I can't stand the sound that comes from their air conditioner!  I'm dreading summer here!
Title: Re: neighbor's loud air conditioner
Post by: debmi on June 25, 2006, 07:32:22 PM
Any solutions to this? Im hoping if I can find something I can present it to our HOA to let me do something before I go nuts! I have a similar problem that I also posted under condos.
I live in a ranch style condo adjoined to another unit. The noisee from the neighbors AC is unreal. They run it ALL the time even in cold weather. The longer it runs the noisier it gets. It never shuts off unless the line freezes. This place is about 4 years old. The noise was not a problem with the old neighbor who did not run it non stop.
The unit is on the ground level of a walk out pretty close to my bedroom window which is above on the mail level and I can hear it way down ion the other end of my condo in my living room even with the windows shut. The other problem is my bedroom wall sits out a bit directly next ( sort of like an alcove) to it so it also vibrates the wall. Any ideas? The AC people around here are useless. The constant noise is stressing me big time! They wear ear plugs so they think its not a problem.
Title: Re: neighbor's loud air conditioner
Post by: swede on August 02, 2006, 06:24:31 AM
We had a problem with a neighbor's air conditioner also.  It was brand new and was placed in a position that the sound drove us crazy because it was  bouncing into our house and through all the windows on that side of the house . We assumed that if an air conditioner is installed it must meet local ordinances for sound control.   But in our city an air conditioner can be installed without meeting zoning requirements for noise.  They can be fined if someone complains and then they are required to do something about it. We felt our neighbors had a right to an air conditioner but we also had a right to quietness. We discovered that many towns  have a dept of Environmental Health that limits the amount of noise an air conditioner can make.  For our city the noise level is measured at the property line between our homes.  We called our Dept. to get the noise limits for our city and they loaned us a digital sound level meter so we could determine if we had a noise level greater than the noise law.  It was quite a bit higher and so we contacted our neighbors- who by the way have been very nice. We also encourged them to call the Environmental Health office. In our city they have to be in compliance if you complain - they cannot just ignore this or they are heavily fined. They have had two different types of products installed to lessen the noise-the first did not bring it into compliance but the second was a compressor blanket of some kind that helps muffle the noise which has brought it into compliance and made our lives much better.  Contact your local Environmental Health Dept. to see what your zoning noise laws are  and most of all don't feel that you have to accept this.  Also we still get along with our neighbors!
Title: Re: neighbor's loud air conditioner
Post by: joel on August 04, 2006, 08:21:21 PM
Hi Jerry L.,

There is a lot of good solution info at this link:

Here is one quote:"Determine direction of the soundpath that is causing the problem and plan a fence barrier between it and the target of the sound. (A bedroom window, for instance).  Build a fence (no gaps in the slats!), at least 8' high and 6' wide that goes all the way to the ground as close to the unit as practical and line it with sound absorbent closed cell foam.  1" thick is a good choice.  If the soundpath is angling upwards, add a overhang to your fence to help block the path. If there is more than one soundpath, a fence in the shape of a "V" or even 3 sided like a "U" may be necessary.  In some cases a boxed in area may be needed, complete with a roof to contain the sound.  Access doors and ventilation will have to be planned for this type of solution. Some hints on how to baffle a noise source is here."

Title: Re: neighbor's loud air conditioner
Post by: debmi on August 05, 2006, 04:54:08 PM
The cost involved putting up that kind of fence is more than the cost to replace the AC unit witha new Quieter mode!!!!!!!
Title: Re: neighbor's loud air conditioner
Post by: joel on November 24, 2006, 06:04:01 PM
Hi all,

Lots of good recommendations in all the replies.  Has anyone made sure that the HVAC units are on anti-vibration pads in the first place?  If the units are mounted or sitting directly on a concrete pad (feet) then the sound/vibration will be amplified.  For more info on anti vibration isolation pads see