Stop the Noise

a website devoted to reducing noise

How to prevent neighbourhood noise problems

What is music to your ears may just be noise to your neighbour. Try to make sure that your activities at home do not become a nuisance to others by showing them some consideration. People can become extremely upset by noise they have no control over. Noise can aggravate stress, particularly if sleep is disturbed, as fatigue can  result in heightened sensitivity and irritability. Here are some things you can do to keep the peace in your neighbourhood:
  • Let your neighbours know in advance if you are going to be doing something noisy like having a party, doing building work or using a chainsaw, etc. Most people appreciate the courtesy and will be less likely to complain. They can also get away from the noise if they really need to.
  • Be mindful of your neighbours when playing amplified music or using power tools etc, even within the times permitted by the Noise Regulation. Remember, offensive noise can occur at any time.
  • Keep the noise in your backyard or on your balcony down so it won’t disturb your neighbours, especially during the evening and at night.
  • Avoid revving your car's engine repeatedly when you turn on your car's ignition. Also, remember to turn the car stereo down when coming home late at night and try not to slam doors.
  • Choose quiet models when buying equipment such as air conditioners, hot water heat pumps, pool pumps and rainwater tank pumps.
  • Think about the impact on your neighbours when installing this equipment. Place air conditioners and hot water heat pumps away from your neighbour's bedroom and living room windows or have the equipment acoustically shielded to ensure neighbours are not affected. For more information see the Australian Institute of Refrigeration, Air-conditioning and Heating guidance: noise calculator.
  • Enclose pool and spa pumps to muffle the noise so it does not reach your neighbours and run pumps only when necessary within the permitted times.
  • Choose quiet models when purchasing or hiring garden equipment such as leaf blowers, string trimmers, edge cutters and lawn mowers.
  • If possible, use a broom or a rake instead of a leaf blower. If you must use a leaf blower, don't start too early, use it for short periods and avoid revving it repeatedly. These devices are often much quieter but just as effective when  used at around half the maximum power.

- excerpted from Dealing with neighbourhood noise, by permission according to their copyright requirements

© State of New South Wales through the Environment Protection Authority

To this excellent list Stop the Noise would add the following:
  • Keep your vehicle quiet by following national, state, and local laws that prohibit loud mufflers. Don't rev your engine or accelerate so fast that you create excessive noise.
  • Keep the volume level of vehicle stereos at a reasonable level that will not disturb anyone nearby. Besides annoying and disturbing others, loud volume levels are probably harming your hearing, which you may not realize for years. Current medical procedures apparently cannot treat hearing loss; it is probably permanent. Imagine how you will feel in thirty years (or less) when you develop tinnitus or significant hearing impairment? We can hope that medical procedures will be discovered in the future, but why risk it or put others at risk?
  • Perhaps a Golden Rule to strive for: Try not to create noises that would disturb a sleeping baby.
  • Some people sleep during the daytime. They deserve peace and quiet too. The level of noise required to wake someone from sleep is 42 dB (a relatively low level of sound) according to a report by the World Health Association, found here.

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This Website Was Last Updated August 20, 2023 2:27 PM