sound advice


Air Handling Unit Compressor Noise

A client recently contacted BABICHacoustics about noise from a rooftop air handling unit. This air handling unit is located on the roof directly above an apartment. The tenants were annoyed with the noise and vibration caused in their apartment.

When we arrived on site, it was apparent that the noise was coming from the compressors inside of the unit. This noise is typically tonal or has a “pitch” and can be transmitted both structurally and through the air from small holes or penetrations in the roof. As you can hear in the video below, the noise is pulsating; when noise is intermittent rather than steady, it often causes more complaints.

A number of these scenarios have been presented to BABICHacoustics in the past year. Contacting an acoustical consultant early in the project is important step to make sure that noise and vibration associated with mechanical units are not impacting the residents or tenants of the building. Space planning and a mechanical systems’s design and operation need to be analyzed to determine the noise impact before tenants occupy the building. After equipment is in place, it is often expensive to provide the most appropriate noise control solution.