Fences and noise reduction


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Old 04-01-24, 08:51 AM
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Fences and noise reduction

Hello,
We just moved into our new home 3 weeks ago. The first week was a dream until we discovered that the old guy across likes to run his heat 24-7, even during the night ( We are in Arizona, completely ridiculous). We are in a retirement community where the backyards don't have any fences in between. His AC unit is roof-mounted, directly facing our bay window, and it is also very old. It makes a sound like a 4 x 4 truck is idling underneath our windows and it spreads through the entire house, regardless of where you go, even to the front room. We also have plantation shutters, but these don't help at all. So we are forced to run air purifiers and white noise machines, but since his unit is making that dum-dum sound, these don't help completely either. We already talked about selling, that is how tired we are from not sleeping.
We had people come and quote us on both the block wall fence and the white vinyl fence, but I am wondering if those will help at all. Before we invest so much money into a fence I wanted to ask if there will be any sound reduction for us, considering his unit is roof-mounted and facing us directly.
We had a house before this one for 25 years and never heard our neighbor's ac units inside. With the summer approaching here in AZ, the thought of having to listen to his unit running 24 hours a day makes me want to pack and move to a deserted island.
 
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Old 04-01-24, 09:34 AM
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Although you can't tell, noise is not just a single thing. Instead, it comes in a variety of ways. So, to combat noise, a multifaceted approach is considered best practice. I suggest finding someone who can offer that solution. This approach incorporates absorption, deflection or reflection, and refraction. A block wall is a good first step assuming it's all enough. Add something like egg crate foam to the wall. Ivy on the wall also helps. Finally, add trees, bushes, and other plants with different shapes. Here's an example:
 
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Old 04-01-24, 10:13 AM
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I really don't think you have any good options. You mention that the noisy AC unit is roof mounted. I will require a very tall fence to be high enough to block directly radiating noise. Then, in order to block much sound a fence will have to be pretty substantial, think highway noise fence/barriers. Your best bet is convincing the neighbor to replace their unit with something quieter.
 
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Old 04-01-24, 12:35 PM
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I have no idea whether the county/town where you reside has so called 'Ordinance rule or something similar enforcement' for excess noise, particulary after 11 o'clock.
Try to contact the county/town whether your concern would be accepted. If does, the county goes to the neighbor to not making excess noise after mid-night.
In my personal experience, either tall or mid-sized fence does not reduce an excess noise in your description, ... just 'buffer.'
Also, in this region, there is no fence more than 6 feet-tall and fence in the front yard is not permissible, unless 'decorative fence' with shortest height.
One more to add is that an excess noise causing both 'physical and mental health' for your reason. Not able to sleep every nite is a legitimate and understanding health reason. Because the county/town makes the first priority to take the complain any issue related to the health.
 

Last edited by PineCone; 04-01-24 at 01:03 PM.
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Old 04-01-24, 01:39 PM
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The funny thing is the fact that we waited our entire "younghood ", to be able to buy a house here, which is supposed to be the quietest place in the state of Arizona. And it truly is, but of course, such is our luck, to have him as a neighbor. He also has a bunch of wood and metal working machines in his sun room (the big standing ones, that we could not see through the screens), so he is sanding, grinding, and drilling whole day long.
We are still of working age but surrounded by people who have nothing but time on their hands, and I have to say that this is one of the life decisions I personally regretted the fastest.
Thank you for your suggestions,I appreciate it. I will look into it. I will first have to attempt to reach him somehow and make him aware of the problem before I can speak to the county.
 
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Old 04-01-24, 02:03 PM
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You should go visit the neighbor and see what he makes. A neighbor with tools can be VERY handy.
 
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Old 04-01-24, 02:58 PM
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He is 83. My husband is very handy and we have tools, I wish he would let us look at his AC
 
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Old 04-01-24, 05:51 PM
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He is 83. My husband is very handy and we have tools, I wish he would let us look at his AC
KInda trivial, off the cuff suggestions but.....
He's 83...... possibly he won't be there very long? Maybe an assisted living facility in short order? Declining health? Seriously, you never know but...

"I wish he would let us look at his AC". I was thinking, maybe he would consider letting you help invest in a new system? Probably cheaper than moving again, especially if this is the home you've dreamed of.

Oh, and take a pie with you?

Trivial & off the cuff but some seriousness, depending on your specific situation. Could be cheaper than & cinder block wall...... I mean, after all you did consider that as an investment to the situation.

 
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Old 04-03-24, 02:02 PM
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I will first have to attempt to reach him somehow and make him aware of the problem before I can speak to the county.
I totally agree, it's a very sensitive issue to deal with, because neighbors, particularly the next door neighbor is very important folks as seeing when construct fences, retaining-wall and etc,
If it has not done anything yet, try to talk some of neighbors close to his house.
Years back, I had a similar problem with the neighbor on the back of my house. It was dog-barking day and night problem.
Two neighbors on the back and two neighbors on the side of my house, including us complained about his unruly, loud barking. But, he kept the dog barking, he was a very insensitive and unconcerned neighbor. He eventually moved out, but it took about two years. So, I really understand your pain, 'excess noise problem.' Hope a good resolution to come soon.
 
 

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