How Can a Neighbor’s HVAC Setup Have an Effect on Your Home?

The placement and operation of a neighboring HVAC system can affect your home in certain cases. In many locales, homes are built closer together than ever. In those close quarters, certain functions of mechanical systems like air conditioners and gas-fired furnaces may become an issue. Here are two ways that a neighboring HVAC system might impact your quality of life and/or your property.


The outdoor component of a central air conditioner incorporates the powerful compressor motor. Noise from this neighboring HVAC unit may be noticeable to neighbors, particularly when the outdoor unit is placed at the side of the home in close proximity to a house next door.

Noise produced by residential central air conditioners typically ranges from 50 decibels (quiet units) up to 80 decibels (likely to annoy close neighbors). Where central AC noise is an issue, owners of the neighboring HVAC unit may utilize several accessories to reduce it.

  • Sound-Deadening Blanket. Installed by a qualified HVAC service technician, this blanket is placed inside the outdoor AC unit and wrapped around the compressor, the principal source of noise in most units. An effective sound blanket can reduce noise from the central AC up to 50%.
  • Fencing. A solid wood fence constructed around the outdoor unit can also deaden sound from the compressor. The main benefit comes from reducing noise emitted horizontally from the unit. A fence will not reduce noise rising vertically from the unit.

Condensate Drain

A high-efficiency gas-condensing furnace may generate more than 5 gallons of acidic water in 24 hours as a byproduct of the heating process. In some installations, this water may simply be drained through a pipe to the outdoors. If the drain terminates at the side of the house, continuously pooling water may annoy a close neighbor. To remedy the problem, owners of high-efficiency gas furnaces can have the condensate pipe connected to the indoor plumbing’s drain system instead of releasing water outside.

For more suggestions to solve neighboring HVAC issues, contact the professionals at CCAC.

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    David Mathewst David Mathews is the owner of CCAC Air Conditioning and Heating. A Corpus Christi native... More »