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Noise Regulations for Air Conditioning in Brisbane

Did you know that air conditioners in Brisbane have strict regulations when it comes to their noise output? Many people aren’t aware of this and the buying the wrong air conditioner can mean the noise made from the outdoor compressor can impact neighbouring homes and lead to cranky complaints made.

Brisbane City Council has implemented the Environmental Protection Act 1994 to address noise from air conditioners with penalties that can apply. But before its gets as serious as fines, there are lots of things that can be done address noise from air conditioning units, which we explain in this latest post along with the legal requirements for homeowners.

What are the legal requirements?

  • Air conditioners between 7.00am-10pm must have noise that can be no louder than 50 decibels. As a general guide this is the sound of a quiet residential suburb or a conversation at home.
  • Between 10pm – 7am air conditioning noise can be no louder than 40 decibels or 5 decibels above background noise – whichever is higher. This is the sound from a library and the lowest level of ambient sound in an urban area.

How is sound output from an air conditioner measured?

Air conditioning noise is measured in Sound Power Level (lw) which must be displayed on all new air conditioners sold in Queensland. Most new air conditioners will operate within the decibel range required but it’s a good idea to compare different models with the same capacity (kW) and consider choosing the model

You might however notice that your air conditioner is labelled at 60dB and wonder how it could possible comply with noise regulations in Brisbane, however this noise will decrease with from the distance between the unit, and so will the decibel level. This is similar to a 60w light bulb which is measured at 60 watts at the globe, but the light intensity decreases further away from the globe.

What can be done to address noisy air conditioner?

If you think the noise of your AC system may be causing concern for you (or neighbouring homes) luckily there are some different measures to take.

  • Upgrading to a newer more energy efficient model. Older window mounted models are usually the noisiest.
  • Limit the hours of use for your AC system.
  • Install an acoustic barrier or screen enclosure around the outdoor compressor.
  • Keep your air conditioner regularly serviced and maintained. Systems that aren’t well maintained are almost always noisier when in operation.

Our H&H Air Conditioning technicians will look at the best place to install your new air conditioner system in the best position so that any noise which may affect neighbouring homes is managed. We can also recommend some of the best models that are known for their quiet operation.

Call our friendly team on the Sunshine Coast on (07) 5477 1777 or (07) 3276 1800 for our Brisbane office.

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