Shh! City looks to crack down on noisy air conditioners and hot tubs

CALGARY- The City of Calgary may get tougher on noisy air conditioners and hot tubs.

There are already sound limits for neighbourhood noise, but the Mayor feels they aren’t sensitive enough, so council has asked staff to study changing the noise bylaw.

Council will review how to handle complaints about air conditioners, central vacuum systems and even outdoor hot tubs. The concern is the constant hum or vibration is too annoying and doesn’t fall under existing bylaws.

Mayor Naheed Nenshi would like to see air conditions only in backyard and not between homes but that would mean changes to land use bylaws.

“We’re asking administration to look at that to see what the current state of play is and to see if we can figure out ways to solve this problem for the number of people who are affected,” he explains.

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However companies who install them, say are already quiet.

Phil LaPrairie with ARPI’s Air Conditioning says most complaints come when they aren’t maintained properly.

“There are some things we can do to them. We can put compressor blankets on them to quiet them down but most units coming out now all start about 68 decibels going up to 73 and they’re fairly quiet.”

There were 2,400 noise complaints called into Bylaw Services last year and 131 were related to air conditioners, generators and vacuums.

City staff are supposed to report back to Council by February. Click here to learn more about the City Noise  Bylaw.