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Annoying Outdoor Unit

Glad to see you were not offended.I not sure how it is in your part of the world but, everytime that is suggested in my area they are planted right next to the unit.

Have a great time in the sunshine state!

Comments

  • BD Brannan_2
    BD Brannan_2 Member Posts: 14
    Annoying Outdoor Unit

    We are having a bit of a situation dealing with our neighbor's outside a/c unit which is located at the front corner of the neighbor's house. We spend a fair amount of time on our front porch and when his a/c runs we have difficulty having conversations due to the metallic ringing/clanging sound it makes.

    Lately I have noticed that when it kicks on (with an especially emphatic grinding clatter) the lights in OUR house will flicker momentarily, so the startup electrical draw must be something. Also it seems to cycle on and off pretty frequently but I haven't timed it so I couldn't say for sure. We have steam heat and window units for a/c, and we don't run the a/c unless it's really humid and uncomfortable, so we can hear some of our other neighbor's outdoor units running and all you really hear after they're up and running is fan noise. But you can hear the noisy one loud and clear especially at night.

    We have talked about it with him and he is trying to be nice and get it fixed, but he had it looked at by a fairly reputable local residential HVAC company with whom he has a service contract. The tech they sent out today did not think the noise was excessive and pronounced it to be fine considering that it is 18 years old

    Can there be something else to suggest that they look (or listen) for? If it is because it is old then could a new one potentially be noticably more efficient as well as quieter? The electric current pull/light flicker part however makes me think it may have a genuine defect. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.

    bd
  • BD Brannan_2
    BD Brannan_2 Member Posts: 14
    Annoying Outdoor Unit

    We are having a bit of a situation dealing with our neighbor's outside a/c unit which is located at the front corner of the neighbor's house. We spend a fair amount of time on our front porch and when his a/c runs we have difficulty having conversations due to the metallic ringing/clanging sound it makes.

    Lately I have noticed that when it kicks on (with an emphatic grinding clatter) the lights in OUR house will dim momentarily, so the electrical draw on startup must be something. Also it seems to cycle on and off pretty frequently but I haven't timed it so I couldn't say for sure. We have steam heat and window units for a/c, and since we don't run the a/c unless it's really humid and uncomfortable, we hear most of our other neighbor's outdoor units and all you tend to hear after they're up and running is fan noise. But you can hear this noisy one loud and clear especially at night.

    We have talked about it with him and he has tried to get it fixed, but he had it looked at by a large local residential HVAC company with whom he has a service contract. The tech they sent out today did not think the noise was excessive and pronounced it to be fine and suggested it may only be that it is 18 years old and heading south.

    Can there be something else to suggest that they look (or listen) for? If it is because it is old then couldn't a new one be noticably more efficient as well as quieter? The electric current pull/light dimming part however makes me think it may have a serious defect that is being overlooked. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated. Thanks,

    bd
  • don_182
    don_182 Member Posts: 69
    Too funny

    I could understand your concern however,if you want to buy the neighbor a new piece of equipment I'm sure he would be happy to let you do so.

    As for the noise it could be that the system is overcharge.
    Or it could be a rainshield on the condenser motor or,it could be that its getting ready to throw a rod.

    And as fars as the light dimming it sounds like a loose neutral at the panel box.

    And yes the newer equipment is so much quieter.
  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059
    would not

    Think a loose neutral would dim your lights as there is not a neutral connection on a 240 volt A/C unit. Contact the Power co as a undersized transformer will allow the lights to dim. J.Lockard
  • Brad White_9
    Brad White_9 Member Posts: 2,440
    Annoying Neighbors?

    I would see if your electric meter takes a jump when their condensing unit starts...

    ;)

    That light dimming is troubling at some level...

    Is screening an option? Direct the noise upward at least until it gets fixed?

    Also, not to get government involved, but do you have a noise ordinance? You are entitled to the "quiet enjoyment" of your property. A tech telling me it "sounds normal" is like the FAA telling me that living near Logan Airport is normal too :)
  • jim lockard
    jim lockard Member Posts: 1,059
    Power co

    Asking your power company to place a data logger on you electric service would tell the story. Expect you would see a voltage drop when the A/C load comes in. Could be hard on your electronics. Best Wishes J.Lockard
  • heatboy
    heatboy Member Posts: 1,468
    Sounds like......

    the compressor may be showing it's age. For a temporary reprieve, a hard start kit may help the starting load. Could be other things not allowing pressures to equalize, though.

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  • BD Brannan_2
    BD Brannan_2 Member Posts: 14
    A little more

    Hey, we really appreciate all the suggestions. The Wall has helped us substantially improve our steam system so it stands to reason we'll get the same kind of positive outcome from an A/C inquiry.

    My wife had talked to the service tech when he came to look at the unit on Monday. She had forgot to mention that the tech had suggested a compressor blanket (?) as a means of reducing the noise.

    Also the tech flatly rejected the notion that our lights could dim from the operation of a neighbor's unit. She tried to press him on the subject but evidently he was rather insistent that it was an impossibility so she declined to pursue it further.

    We are on very good terms with the neighbor, and he really does want this to get resolved to everyone's mutual satisfaction. We have mentioned the possibility of simply replacing it and sharing the cost, but he seems to be keen on getting it repaired if possible. He has enthusiastically volunteered to help share the cost of a new fence we are planning, so maybe it is only a matter of negotiation.

    Anyhow, we are going to have another opinion from the guy who used to look after the forced air systems at our old house have a look and listen. He is pretty open minded so we are optimistic. I will keep you posted.
  • BD Brannan_2
    BD Brannan_2 Member Posts: 14
    A little more

    Hey, we really appreciate all the suggestions. The Wall has helped us substantially improve our steam system so it stands to reason we'll get the same kind of positive outcome from an A/C inquiry.

    My wife had talked to the service tech when he came to look at the unit on Monday. She had forgot to mention that the tech had suggested a compressor blanket as a means of reducing the noise. What the heck is that? Sounds counter-intuitive to me.

    Also the tech flatly rejected the notion that our lights could dim from the operation of a neighbor's unit. She tried to press him on the subject but evidently he was rather insistent that it was an impossibility so she declined to pursue it further.

    We are on very good terms with the neighbor, and he really does want this to get resolved to everyone's mutual satisfaction. We have mentioned the possibility of simply replacing it and sharing the cost, but he seems to be keen on getting it repaired if possible. Meanwhile he has enthusiastically volunteered to help share the cost of a new fence we are planning, so perhaps it is only a matter of negotiation.

    Anyhow, we are going to have another opinion from the guy who used to look after the forced air systems at our old house have a look and listen. He is pretty open minded so we are optimistic. I will keep you posted. Thanks again,

    bd
  • Paul Fredricks_3
    Paul Fredricks_3 Member Posts: 1,549


    A compressor blanket is a wrap that goes around the compressor inside the condensing unit. It helps deaden the compressor noise. If that is where all the sound is coming from it may help a bit and is reletively inexpensive.

    As far as the lights dimming, it either happens or it doesn't. Coordinate with your neighbor by phone. Have him turn on the A/C while you watch your lights. In my experience, nothing is impossible.
  • Brad White_95
    Brad White_95 Member Posts: 10
    Compressor Blankets

    as Paul mentioned, cover the compressor and reduce radiated noise if they are sealed tightly. In my experience the most pervasive noise is the condenser fan. Those with high tip speeds can grate on you. Some have accessory shrouds to direct the noise upwards.

    Every bit helps.

    Glad you have good neighbors; you both seem keen on keeping things that way!
  • Eugene Silberstein
    Eugene Silberstein Member Posts: 1,380
    Options...

    It may very well be that the unit's age has a great deal to do with the noise level, but you mentioned that there was a banging type sound, which may be the result of a fan blade that is out of balance. This can happen with age.

    If the compressor is making the noise, a noise blanket, as mentioned may do the trick. You also mentioned that you and your neighbor are planning to put up a new fence. Very good idea.

    A more immediate solution may be some strategically placed bushes between the condensing unit and your property. Bushes and shrubs do a great job of deadening sound and reducing sound transmission.

    Good luck.
  • don_182
    don_182 Member Posts: 69
    Next time

    you come to see us Professor...Remind me to give you a kick in the butt for suggesting putting any type of bushes or shrubs anywhere near the hvac unit.

    Have you really forgot what its like? LOL.





  • Eugene Silberstein
    Eugene Silberstein Member Posts: 1,380
    Kick in the what????

    Hey Don,

    If you read my post CAREFULLY, you will note that is says "placing bushes BETWEEN the condensing unit and the fence"....

    The word "BETWEEN" does not mean "NEXT TO"...

    Soooooooooo... who will be kicking whoes butt??????

    ;)
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