A Victorian family faces a large fine if they continue running their air conditioner at night because of its noise levels and a complaint made by one of their neighbours. As someone who has just bought a home containing an older air conditioning unit, this is of concern, considering summer is on the horizon. There are a number of reasons why an air conditioning unit could surpass acceptable nighttime noise levels, so consider whether either of these applies to you.

Rattling Sounds

The good news is that rattlesnakes do not live freely in Australia, so a rattling noise coming from your outside air conditioning unit is not going to pack a venomous bite. The bad news is that an overnight rattle in your AC unit could be cause for a noise complaint.

In Victoria, for example, unreasonable noise is prohibited between the hours of 10 pm and 7 am Monday to Friday and 10 pm and 9 am on weekends and public holidays. The definition of unreasonable noise is noise which can be heard in the habitable room of another residence.

One simple reason for the rattling sound could be that vegetation debris, such as tree branches or sticks, have gotten stuck inside the exterior unit. Alternatively, a belt or screw may have come loose in the unit. Have a look at the interior of the unit and see if any vegetation is in there. If there is not, then an air conditioning repair service must be called to take a closer look at the internal mechanics.

Hissing Sounds

A hissing sound may not seem annoying to you, but if your next-door neighbour can hear it, then it is annoying to them when they are trying to sleep at night. Even worse, a hissing sound could be an indicator that refrigerant is leaking from within the external unit. The refrigerant is required to keep your air conditioning blowing cold air, so it is best to find out about this before the summer heat arrives.

The other bad news is the regassing of your air conditioning unit is not a do-it-yourself home handyman job. Only tradesmen who have the relevant certification are allowed to purchase and install the replacement gas.

Don't wait until summer to get the repairs done to your noisy air conditioner, as reputable repairers get busy as the temperature starts to rise. Instead, get your air conditioning unit sorted out now to keep both you and your neighbour happy.