The air con unit on the building next door was upgraded mid winter a couple of years ago. It wasn't until summer that we knew why. It seems a supplementary cooling system was added to it. It roared into life the first hot day we had the following summer but it took us time to work out what the noise was. The noise was very loud, but as it only came on when it was hot it wasn't a bother as we had everything shut up then anyway. It always shut down around six pm until eight am and never ran at weekends.
That was until New Year's Day this year when it started going on and off even in mild weather. Worse, it was doing it at night time, whether it was hot or not. It was impossible to have a window open at night and even during the day the noise was very annoying when a window was open. At night it would usually switch on and off three times within ten minutes and then be silent for an hour or two.
A couple of days into the new year, R and I went to find the building's manager. We couldn't find him but we did find his office that had his phone number and email address. I sent an email, without a response. I rang him and it went to his message service. I left him a message, without a response.
Then I found out the building's property management company and rang the property manager. he was quite uninterested and spoke as if he was in the middle of doing something important on a computer, you know, when there are pauses while someone's brain is processing what they are seeing on the screen and what you are saying, all at the same time. He told me the unit was faulty and there was a wait for parts to repair it.
I let it go for another few weeks, then I again emailed the building manager, and no response.
Last week, I wrote a letter to the property manager, without a response.
As I understand the laws, which I can't find the details of at the moment, the operation of commercial air conditioning is restricted to civilised hours. This is aside from the level of noise clearly breaching any other regulation.
I also understand that local councils are the first port of call for noise breach enforcement, even though the regulations are proscribed by the Environment Protection Authority.
This week I composed an email to the City of Port Phillip, intending to cc it to the EPA.
I took a couple of sound recordings, the first of what it sounded like when it stopping running but then I got lucky and caught it starting up, which is better. The sound files were going to be attached to the email. I took the recordings while lying on my bed with the window open.
I had not yet sent the email, but lo and behold, maybe the slightly annoyed and slightly threatening letter did the trick as some poor lad was out in the 38 degree heat yesterday presumably fixing it. Fingers crossed. We have putting up with this for what, eight weeks.
The 19 second video I just made is a still of the lad working. The unit starts up just at the end so don't turn your speakers up too much because you can't hear much.