Tag Archive: noisy neighbor

  1. Summer Sound Series: Loud A/C Units


    The Situation

    My neighbor’s A/C unit is situated close to our house, and the noise is starting to drive me crazy. I know that I can’t ask him to move it, but is there anything that I can do to keep some of the sound out or at least make it quieter?

    The Solution

    While it’s difficult to reduce the vibration energy that is being transmitted into the house from the air conditioning unit, there are a few things that we can do to attempt to reduce the airborne sounds. The “right” product depends on a few things – namely the type of structure and the exposure to U.V. (sunlight).

    Recommended Products

    Sound Silencer

    Sound Silencer acoustical panelsFirst, our Sound Silencer panels can be installed onto some kind of structure or enclosure around the noisy equipment. The walls should be far enough away from the machine that they do not inhibit its performance and airflow requirement. The height of the machine should eliminate the line-of-sight from a listener’s location to the machine to achieve results. A rule of thumb is that the height of the wall should be one-and-a-half the height of the noise source.

    The Sound Silencer panels will both block and absorb some sound, but should only be used in areas that are not exposed to prolonged hours of U.V. exposure as the polypropylene will start to break down over time. The panels are typically installed with construction adhesive and/or mechanical fasteners. These panels are usually installed onto a wooden fence rather than onto chain link.

    Exterior Grade Quilted Curtain

    Exterior Outdoor Quilted CurtainSecond, our exterior grade quilted curtains are going to offer a greater reduction of both blocking and absorbing sound. They are also custom made based on the measurements of the enclosure and because they are made with parts that are all U.V. stable, they are going to far outlast the Sound Silencer panels. These are made with grommets to be used as points of attachment to the structure and the vertical edges of each panel has a 2″ wide strip of Velcro attached so one panel can be attached to the one next to it.

    Exterior Grade Quilted Fiberglass Absorber

    Exterior Quilted Fiberglass AbsorbersThird, we have our exterior grade quilted fiberglass absorbers, which are used to absorb the reflections from a concrete enclosure or from off of a building. By adding an absorptive surface to the wall behind the enclosure, the amount of sound hitting the building and then being reflected toward a potential listener is greatly reduced. These panels are not used to block sound, they are only used to reduce reflections.

    Echo Barrier Panels

    Installing Temporary Echo Barrier PanelsFourth, our Echo Barrier panels are available for rent or for purchase. They are similar to the exterior grade sound blanket in that they are reinforced in their performance – they will both block and absorb sound. If you are unsure as to how you are going to proceed, the rental option would allow you to test the performance of the panels yet allow you to return the panels if the situation is not reduced to your expectation

    Climate Seal Acoustic Window Insert

    Climate Seal Acoustic Window InsertFinally, if the unit is mounted outside of a window and the sound is coming in to the window, it is common to purchase one or multiple Climate Seal acoustic inserts to snap into place over the existing window. This will reduce sound while not reducing your view.

    A Few Final Thoughts

    I strongly suggest contacting a local HVAC company before putting an enclosure around your compressor. They will be able to direct you as to the distance that is required from the machine to the walls of your fence.

    Feel free to send us digital pictures of your situation as well as the address of the potential installation. The digital pictures give us a more complete view of the situation and the address allows us to find a bird’s eye (or street’s eye) view of the building.