How to minimize outdoor equipment noise

Noise from outdoor equipment or appliances – like heat pumps, pool pumps, and back-up generators – has the potential to disturb your neighbours.

As a homeowner, it’s important to be considerate of others when it comes to controlling noise produced on your property. The World Health Organization (WHO) lists guidelines for appropriate levels of community noise, with sleep and concentration at risk of being negatively impacted.

You can avoid potential noise issues by taking a proactive approach when considering where to install and store equipment around your property.

Things to consider when installing a piece of outdoor equipment

Working with a reputable and experienced contractor to install equipment and appliances around your property can help ensure you are following the proper guidelines. If you have doubts about complying with our noise regulation bylaw, seek professional advice from an acoustical consultant. More often than not, resolving a noise problem is more difficult and expensive once the equipment has been installed.

Some things to consider when working with a contractor, or installing the items yourself:

  • The noise rating of your equipment
  • Available noise control options
  • Where you’re placing the equipment
  • Unique requirements for ventilation
  • Weather protection

How to select the best location

The best location to install outdoor equipment and appliances is near the front or centre of the property. Equipment should not be installed close to neighbouring property lines, when possible.

Check the equipment noise rating

Compare units during your purchasing process, and try to select a model with relatively low noise levels. Manufacturers of appliances like heat pumps usually publish sound pressure levels (noise levels), so you can compare units.

Get creative on ways to prevent excess noise

For some types of equipment, it may be possible to avoid operation during nighttime hours or to set up internal controls so the equipment can only operate at reduced capacity during the night.

You can also investigate noise control options that may be available from the manufacturer, or from third parties.

Heat pumps

If you are interested in switching to an energy-efficient, low-carbon heat pump for home heating and cooling, we’ve created a guide to help advise residents and installers.

It will help you to:

  • select a quiet heat pump system
  • determine an optimum outdoor location
  • properly maintain your heat pump
  • control and prevent noise travel

View the guide
Learn more about our Jump On A New Heat Pump Program 

Report a noise concern

Our Noise Bylaw helps regulate noise throughout our community. If you are experiencing excessive noise on a constant basis, you can report the issue online.

Report a problem online
View our Noise Regulation Bylaw

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