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View Full Version : Yay! More By-laws!


ken0042
07-22-2009, 07:37 AM
Air conditioner noise complaints in Calgary heat up (http://www.660news.com/news/local/more.jsp?content=20090722_011907_7620)

I think this goes back to what I said in one of the fire pit threads, it's the people who feel it is their right to have their windows open, but expect it to be as quiet inside their house as if their windows were closed.

Sure, most nights I do turn it off by 10:00 and open up my windows. I do enjoy the fresh air. But last night it was still warm by 10:00, and so it stayed on until 11.

Boblobla
07-22-2009, 07:46 AM
UGH, people like this need a nice warm glass of STFU.

Rhettzky
07-22-2009, 08:18 AM
So 200 people complain in a city of over a million and we need a new bylaw? They are probably only used two months of the year anyways. Bill Bruce needs to stop thinking this city is still the size of a large town. If 200 people is all it takes to initiate a bylaw change then we should start some CP jihads and get some cool bylaws put in place.

And why can't these people just talk to their neighbours?

Jedi Ninja
07-22-2009, 08:24 AM
So 200 people complain in a city of over a million and we need a new bylaw? They are probably only used two months of the year anyways. Bill Bruce needs to stop thinking this city is still the size of a large town. If 200 people is all it takes to initiate a bylaw change then we should start some CP jihads and get some cool bylaws put in place.

And why can't these people just talk to their neighbours?

Speaking of which, we need a bylaw against magpies. The buggers woke me up at 5:30AM this morning with their squaking as they were feasting on the strawberry plants that my kids planted this year. I was out there chasing them away with my meat cleaver in my undies. (And I think the latter explains why my neighbours don't want to talk to me.)

The Ditch
07-22-2009, 08:41 AM
Oh great something else for my old cranky neighbours to phone me in for. After the first 15 tickets and the by law guy coming out multiple times they realized what idiots my neighbours were but that still doesn't stop them.

valo403
07-22-2009, 08:46 AM
What a joke, I run my window air conditioner all night every night, just like everyone else in my neighborhood. Like someone else said, Calgary needs to stop thinking it's still a small town. If you live in a city with over a million people you shouldn't expect the same peace and quiet you'd get living on a few acres in the country.

BTW, it says they get over 200 calls, but I wouldn't be surprised if a good portion of them come from one or two people engaged in a blood feud with their neighbor.

Esoteric
07-22-2009, 08:51 AM
Horrible idea. If a bylaw gets past, I am willing to bet most people won't adhere to it.

You DO need an air conditioner in Calgary for about 4 months of the year. Fans, and open windows just don't cut it. People in newer communities also can't open their windows to the excess amounts of dust that would come in to their homes.

We have an extremely quiet air conditioner (to the point where you can barely hear it if you're outside), and I hope that a few grumpy people don't get any bylaws thrown their way.

Thor
07-22-2009, 08:51 AM
In a small town people actually talk to their neighbours and the odds of them calling police or the municipality over noise is negligable.

I think its the vast suburbs of big cities that people isolate themselves in their homes, rarely meet or talk to their neighbours and get this us vs the world attitude where any noise, improperly parked cars, weeds on lawns, etc... is enough to set people off and turn neighbours into enemies.

Its just sad, people need to chill out and stop being such whiney people and learn some patience.

habernac
07-22-2009, 08:56 AM
Horrible idea. If a bylaw gets past, I am willing to bet most people won't adhere to it.

You DO need an air conditioner in Calgary for about 4 months of the year. Fans, and open windows just don't cut it. People in newer communities also can't open their windows to the excess amounts of dust that would come in to their homes.

We have an extremely quiet air conditioner (to the point where you can barely hear it if you're outside), and I hope that a few grumpy people don't get any bylaws thrown their way.

While I don't agree with a bylaw, anyone not living in an apartment does not need an air conditioner. It's a luxury item at best.

Thor
07-22-2009, 08:58 AM
While I don't agree with a bylaw, anyone not living in an apartment does not need an air conditioner. It's a luxury item at best.

Elderly people would disagree, and people like me from nordic countries, 20c at night is enough to wake me up every few hours. :D

mykalberta
07-22-2009, 09:14 AM
In my condo, I have a portable AC unit (best purchase ever after the Weber BBQ and my Cosmos computer case). I have it turn on at 2pm and when I get home at 6ish I turn it off. I open my windows around 9ish and close them when I leave at 530ish

It only ever gets turned on when its 27C+ which is very rare in Calgary but those days to happen and that thing saves me.

Esoteric
07-22-2009, 09:22 AM
While I don't agree with a bylaw, anyone not living in an apartment does not need an air conditioner. It's a luxury item at best.

If you have a home with 3 bedrooms upstairs, you need an air conditioner. I wouldn't call it a luxury item - I'd say it's almost needed in the summers.

Shazam
07-22-2009, 09:23 AM
Weird. I did get central air a few years back, the neighbour on the side where it was didn't even know I had it until I pointed it out to him.

I suppose part of the problem is that the change in refrigerants resulted in larger and therefore louder AC units.

Ironhorse
07-22-2009, 09:26 AM
UGH, Bill Bruce needs a nice warm glass of STFU.Fixed.

That guy has been on a massive powertrip for years... :rolleyes:

Dion
07-22-2009, 09:29 AM
If you have a home with 3 bedrooms upstairs, you need an air conditioner. I wouldn't call it a luxury item - I'd say it's almost needed in the summers.

No it isn't. I open my windows at night to cool my house down and close them in the morning. Plus any windows that face the sun during the day, the blinds are closed also. No problems with heat in my house.

The Goon
07-22-2009, 09:32 AM
We just sleep in the basement for the two weeks it's necessary to do so.

Boblobla
07-22-2009, 09:36 AM
No it isn't. I open my windows at night to cool my house down and close them in the morning. Plus any windows that face the sun during the day, the blinds are closed also. No problems with heat in my house.

Not everyone can do that. I can only open my windows if it isn't very windy because of dust from nearby construction. I have a large south facing window in my bedroom. I leave the curtains closed all day and it was a solid 25/26 in there at like 9pm last night.

mikey_the_redneck
07-22-2009, 09:39 AM
Bylaws are what politicians put into place when they don't know how to solve a problem. Pretty typical.........

Dion
07-22-2009, 09:41 AM
Bylaws are what politicians put into place when they don't know how to solve a problem. Pretty typical.........

Sounds like the city is looking for a way to solve the problem.


Bruce says one of the other options the city is considering is changing rules to ban fan units from side yards as it creates reverberation between homes often causing the largest problems with noise.

Dion
07-22-2009, 09:44 AM
Not everyone can do that. I can only open my windows if it isn't very windy because of dust from nearby construction. I have a large south facing window in my bedroom. I leave the curtains closed all day and it was a solid 25/26 in there at like 9pm last night.

Fair enough.

Ceiling fans can help with that as well as turning on the furnace motor to recirculate the cool air from downstairs. It's a cheaper alternative to the nights you can't open your windows.

habernac
07-22-2009, 09:47 AM
If you have a home with 3 bedrooms upstairs, you need an air conditioner. I wouldn't call it a luxury item - I'd say it's almost needed in the summers.

bah, that's the exact setup I have. There are about 6 days a year where sleeping is uncomfortable, hardly a reason to dole out cash on an air conditioner.

ken0042
07-22-2009, 09:49 AM
One of the reasons I went to central air is for security. I now don't have to worry about windows being open when I'm not home or asleep. I have secured a couple of the windows in my house with burglar bars, but not all of them- for fears that I may not have time to get the bars off in the case of a fire.

fotze
07-22-2009, 09:50 AM
I cannot get the upstairs cool no matter what I try, plus I have air conditioning, its useless, can leave it going for hours and it barely cools the upstairs, I think my house has absolute dogcrap insulation, cold as crap in the winter and hot as fata in the summer, the wife and kid have been sleeping in the basement for a week now.

I blame it on all the newfie housebuilders that came out here to do their typical drunken poor job.;)

fotze
07-22-2009, 09:52 AM
One of the reasons I went to central air is for security. I now don't have to worry about windows being open when I'm not home or asleep. I have secured a couple of the windows in my house with burglar bars, but not all of them- for fears that I may not have time to get the bars off in the case of a fire.
Ya its like we live in the The Warriors movie set with the crime waves we have in this city. Safety, what a load of sh^t!:w00t:

Boblobla
07-22-2009, 10:11 AM
Fair enough.

Ceiling fans can help with that as well as turning on the furnace motor to recirculate the cool air from downstairs. It's a cheaper alternative to the nights you can't open your windows.

I have a ceiling fan, and a smaller fan and I have the furnace on recirc. I love sleeping at about 17° but once it gets about 22° I have a really hard time falling asleep.

I dont have AC but I am seriously considering central air.

Jedi Ninja
07-22-2009, 10:14 AM
Calgary is unique that even on hot days, it rarely stays above 20o overnight. In the summer, we use one of those fans that goes in your window to pull in cold air. It totally rocks.

TurnedTheCorner
07-22-2009, 10:17 AM
Pffft, it's a bylaw. Those never get enforced.

Dion
07-22-2009, 10:18 AM
I have a ceiling fan, and a smaller fan and I have the furnace on recirc. I love sleeping at about 17° but once it gets about 22° I have a really hard time falling asleep.

I dont have AC but I am seriously considering central air.

If I was living out east where high heat and humidity is a common occurance, i'd be all over a AC unit. That's not the case here as it's rare we get a long stretch of days where it's hot at night. With the weather we get here it's not worth the cost to have a AC unit. In some rare cases i've slept in the spare bedroom in the basement.

DOK
07-22-2009, 10:19 AM
No it isn't. I open my windows at night to cool my house down and close them in the morning. Plus any windows that face the sun during the day, the blinds are closed also. No problems with heat in my house.

No it isn't, yes it is, no it isn't, yes it is....

Just thought I'd fast forward the argument a couple replies.

Our room gets smoking hot at dinner time, because of the way the house is situated. And our room is over a un-insulated garage. Heat goes up in the summer, making the room that much hotter. Not to mention the road noise doesn't help my sleeping (opening windows). So, I'd argue that yeah, AC is important and necessary.

Nufy
07-22-2009, 10:20 AM
I blame it on all the newfie housebuilders that came out here to do their typical drunken poor job.;)


Easy there skipper :mad:

Bobblehead
07-22-2009, 10:24 AM
If this bylaw is in place because of air conditioner noise can they also include those #%$@ wind chimes people seem to love? Or the #%@$ who loves to gun his motorbike down the back lane at 6am most mornings?

Shazam
07-22-2009, 10:29 AM
If this bylaw is in place because of air conditioner noise can they also include those #%$@ wind chimes people seem to love? Or the #%@$ who loves to gun his motorbike down the back lane at 6am most mornings?LOL, I had a neighbour that had a wind chime for one night. Guess it drove her crazy as well.

RyZ
07-22-2009, 10:34 AM
While I don't agree with a bylaw, anyone not living in an apartment does not need an air conditioner. It's a luxury item at best.
Why do you say that? I live in a little bungalow and my bedroom was 31C when I went to bed on Monday night. And 30C on Sunday night. Since it can become way too hot in there to sleep without one, I do need an AC unit in my house. But thanks.

Dion
07-22-2009, 10:36 AM
No it isn't, yes it is, no it isn't, yes it is....

Just thought I'd fast forward the argument a couple replies.

Our room gets smoking hot at dinner time, because of the way the house is situated. And our room is over a un-insulated garage. Heat goes up in the summer, making the room that much hotter. Not to mention the road noise doesn't help my sleeping (opening windows). So, I'd argue that yeah, AC is important and necessary.

Why haven't you insulated the garage?

Shazam
07-22-2009, 10:37 AM
Why haven't you insulated the garage?Insulating a garage does SFA.

Dion
07-22-2009, 10:40 AM
Insulating a garage does SFA.

Really? My garage is a lot warmer in the winter since it's been insulated.

Shazam
07-22-2009, 10:41 AM
Really? My garage is a lot warmer in the winter since it's been insulated.So it's -20 instead of -30?

Dion
07-22-2009, 10:44 AM
So it's -20 instead of -30?

It's around -10 if you really need to know.

ken0042
07-22-2009, 10:44 AM
In my insulated garage, without the heaters on it would almost never get below -10. A huge factor is the amount of heat that a car that is fully warmed up gives off. I would come home and it would be -10 in there, and then 2 hours later it would be -2.

Ford Prefect
07-22-2009, 10:45 AM
In Drum the lots are big enough that houses and AC units are far enough apart none of this is a problem. Yeah for small towns.

Rhettzky
07-22-2009, 10:45 AM
bah, that's the exact setup I have. There are about 6 days a year where sleeping is uncomfortable, hardly a reason to dole out cash on an air conditioner.

There's a ton of factors that make every homes air circulation different.
-Back or Front is East/West facing.
-Big tree's to block rays.
-Windows that aren't tinted or sealed properly.
-Poor quality insulation.
-Crappy Construction.
-Huge bay windows or a loft.

Some houses stays cool in the summer without A/C. You can just turn on the furnace fan to pump air from the basement into his house. In my house that does absolutely no good.

Flacker
07-22-2009, 10:49 AM
So it's -20 instead of -30?

Which makes a major difference on the wear and tear of starting a vehicle. Hardly SFA. Amazingly, it is possible to heat the garage as well.

If you have heat saturation problems in the summer insulation will make a huge difference.

FlamesKickAss
07-22-2009, 10:50 AM
yeah we leave our furnace fan on and an electric fan and it was 30 in our house last night.

A/C would be nice, closing windows and shade haven't seemed to help the last couple days.

Schultzie
07-22-2009, 10:53 AM
UGH, people need a nice warm glass of STFU.
Fixed.

Shazam
07-22-2009, 10:56 AM
Which makes a major difference on the wear and tear of starting a vehicle. Hardly SFA. Amazingly, it is possible to heat the garage as well.Sure, insulating AND heating is great to have.

Cars have these things called block heaters that really help with the "wear and tear".

Dion
07-22-2009, 11:02 AM
Sure, insulating AND heating is great to have.

Cars have these things called block heaters that really help with the "wear and tear".

Having an uninsulted garage and using a block heater is ridiculous.

Tron_fdc
07-22-2009, 11:04 AM
It's pretty easy to keep your house cool at night without air conditioning. Open up your bedroom window in one end of the house, block your bedroom door open, close all the other doors in the hallways, block the door open at the end of the hall, and open a window in that room. It creates a bit of a wind tunnel. It works even better with a fan in front of your bedroom window that sucks in the cool air.

I've been doing that for years, and I actually get cold at night.

TurnedTheCorner
07-22-2009, 11:04 AM
I want central air. My neighbors are never home anyway. :p @ bylaw office.

calculoso
07-22-2009, 11:59 AM
I cannot get the upstairs cool no matter what I try, plus I have air conditioning, its useless, can leave it going for hours and it barely cools the upstairs, I think my house has absolute dogcrap insulation, cold as crap in the winter and hot as fata in the summer, the wife and kid have been sleeping in the basement for a week now.

I blame it on all the newfie housebuilders that came out here to do their typical drunken poor job.;)

Check to make sure that you have insulation in your attic... the house that we just bought didn't, and apparently the old owner has been complaining about it for years. It's only a 5 year old house, but apparently the blown-in insulation was never blown-in.

fotze
07-22-2009, 12:01 PM
Check to make sure that you have insulation in your attic... the house that we just bought didn't, and apparently the old owner has been complaining about it for years. It's only a 5 year old house, but apparently the blown-in insulation was never blown-in.Thanks, I will check, I don't think I have ever seen an attic door though?

calculoso
07-22-2009, 12:44 PM
Thanks, I will check, I don't think I have ever seen an attic door though?

Try looking at the roof for a square opening with a push-up type cover. This will be your attic 'door'. It may look something like this, although I've never seen a wooden one with a handle (mine have always been white squares). I'll see if I can find a better picture.

http://img2.timeinc.net/toh/i/a/addingon/attic-access-01.jpg
http://www.helpinaflash.com/images/Ideas/Attic-Fan-Cover.jpg

Beefcake
07-22-2009, 12:48 PM
I'm at least partially in favor of the article. I've got a neighbor with (what I beleive to be) a ridiculously loud AC unit, and I can't leave my windows open at night because I can't sleep through the noise of it (and i'm not a particularly light sleeper). I'm not the type to call the city and complain, but I think i'm going to try and find a device to measure the decibels that it's pumping out, and then talk to him about it if they're way outside of the bylaw limits.

To me, it's not an easy question to answer... If I can't sleep at night because of the sound of my neighbor’s A/C unit, should I have to spend the money to install a unit in my own place (I don't otherwise have troubles sleeping with the windows open and a fan going on the hottest days of our summer)? Or should he have to spend the money to put in a new quieter unit, repair the unit, or do some other noise-dampening enhancements to the unit etc?

Also, the unit is at the side of his house, which I know to be the opposite side of the house to his master bedroom, kids' rooms, etc. However, it directly faces what's soon to be my 2-year-old's bedroom window, and in a direct line with our master bedroom windows. So, their sleep-time comfort has unquestionably come at the expense of ours.

I probably sound whiny, but i'm really against the idea that because I live in a city the size of calgary, i shouldn't expect to be able to leave my windows open at night.

Jimmy Stang
07-22-2009, 12:53 PM
Calgary is unique that even on hot days, it rarely stays above 20o overnight. In the summer, we use one of those fans that goes in your window to pull in cold air. It totally rocks.

Those window fans are excellent. And you think it is awesome pulling cold air in? Switch it to exhaust and pull the hot air out. I was sceptical at first, but it works many times better.

I have a window fan sucking the air out at the front of the house and I leave a window open at the back of the house (all upstairs). And I switch the furnace fan on too for a little more cool air coming in.

I also close windows and blinds to block the sun during the day.

Some people like AC and that's fine. In the car it is an absolute must for me. But at home with my little system taking advantage of the relatively cold evenings here in Calgary, I can't justify AC.

ken0042
07-22-2009, 01:02 PM
I'm at least partially in favor of the article. I've got a neighbor with (what I beleive to be) a ridiculously loud AC unit, and I can't leave my windows open at night because I can't sleep through the noise of it (and i'm not a particularly light sleeper). I'm not the type to call the city and complain, but I think i'm going to try and find a device to measure the decibels that it's pumping out, and then talk to him about it if they're way outside of the bylaw limits.

And that's where it should end. Check the sound levels, and see if it's outside the existing noise by-laws.

Or, go and talk to the guy. If one of my neighbours had an issue with the noise of my A/C unit, we could see what we could work out.

Raekwon
07-22-2009, 01:04 PM
Well the best way to solve the noise problem is to just get A/C of your own. I can't help it if you need to have your window open to stay cool, I sure as hell don't. :eek:

Gobsgraham
07-22-2009, 01:21 PM
I doubt the airplanes flying over my house every 15 minutes make less noise than my AC. Can I call bylaw to see if they can not allow planes to fly after 10:00?

fotze
07-22-2009, 01:21 PM
Well the best way to solve the noise problem is to just get A/C of your own. I can't help it if you need to have your window open to stay cool, I sure as hell don't. :eek:
Plus using all this energy is good for the economy, especially gas prices, use that energy.

MarchHare
07-22-2009, 01:28 PM
Or the #%@$ who loves to gun his motorbike down the back lane at 6am most mornings?


This. Oh god, this.

In my 7+ years of living in Calgary, I've never once been disturbed by a noisy air conditioner. I didn't even realize this was an issue. Those $!#*ers who make a completely unreasonable amount of noise on their bikes, though, can bite my shiny metal ass. I'm shocked that there isn't already some form of anti-nuisance bylaw against excessive vehicle noise.

urban1
07-22-2009, 01:31 PM
A/Cs can be annnoying and hence why, whenever possible, people will put them at the side of their house and away from any of their own windows. My folks live out east where summers are hotter and more people have AC than not so that eases the problem somewhat. You can have your windows closed and AC on so you dont have to listen to your neighbours. It still can get annoying listening to a neighbours old noisy AC when your sitting out in your yard and especially is your neighbour has relative peace and quiet because his AC is far away from his usable backyard space.

Many municipalities have passed bylaws that require minimum distance from your neighbours house for your AC installation. Hey, if you say its not an issue, then you shouldnt have a problem putting it in your own back yard or under your own bedroom window. This works well. Existing units can be grandfathered and left alone. Any new or replacement units needs to adhere to the new rules.

Having a rule that you can only have it on until a certain hour is ridiculous.

The other problem in Calgary is that few people have AC. Thats somewhat ridiculous on its own. Look at all the $400k+ homes that have been built in the past few years. Whats an extra $3k on that mortgage for an AC?
What compounds the problem is all these tiny lots which leave little space or separation from your neighbour.

I'm at least partially in favor of the article. I've got a neighbor with (what I beleive to be) a ridiculously loud AC unit, and I can't leave my windows open at night because I can't sleep through the noise of it (and i'm not a particularly light sleeper). I'm not the type to call the city and complain, but I think i'm going to try and find a device to measure the decibels that it's pumping out, and then talk to him about it if they're way outside of the bylaw limits.

To me, it's not an easy question to answer... If I can't sleep at night because of the sound of my neighbor’s A/C unit, should I have to spend the money to install a unit in my own place (I don't otherwise have troubles sleeping with the windows open and a fan going on the hottest days of our summer)? Or should he have to spend the money to put in a new quieter unit, repair the unit, or do some other noise-dampening enhancements to the unit etc?

Also, the unit is at the side of his house, which I know to be the opposite side of the house to his master bedroom, kids' rooms, etc. However, it directly faces what's soon to be my 2-year-old's bedroom window, and in a direct line with our master bedroom windows. So, their sleep-time comfort has unquestionably come at the expense of ours.

I probably sound whiny, but i'm really against the idea that because I live in a city the size of calgary, i shouldn't expect to be able to leave my windows open at night.

ken0042
07-22-2009, 01:39 PM
Whats an extra $3k on that mortgage for an AC?

That's what always gets me. People say there are only a couple of weeks per year that you need A/C; yet they own a quad, jet ski, boat, or RV that also gets used a couple of week per year, and cost so much more.

My personal favourite is the people who spend $30K to develop their basement to have a cool place to sleep; instead of $3-5K on A/C.

calculoso
07-22-2009, 01:46 PM
That's what always gets me. People say there are only a couple of weeks per year that you need A/C; yet they own a quad, jet ski, boat, or RV that also gets used a couple of week per year, and cost so much more.

My personal favourite is the people who spend $30K to develop their basement to have a cool place to sleep; instead of $3-5K on A/C.

The problem with this is that it is not only a one-time $3-5K. The on-going electricity bills (etc) make it a much more difficult decision.

ken0042
07-22-2009, 01:51 PM
I figure mine costs about $20 in electricity to operate per month. It's about $1 per 8 hours of usage.

So $60-80 per year.

Boblobla
07-22-2009, 01:52 PM
The problem with this is that it is not only a one-time $3-5K. The on-going electricity bills (etc) make it a much more difficult decision.

And having like 6 fans as well as the furnace running all night doesn't increase the electricity use?

Esoteric
07-22-2009, 02:22 PM
Not everyone can do that. I can only open my windows if it isn't very windy because of dust from nearby construction.

Bingo. I live in Cranston, and there is construction going on in every direction. Before I got A/C I opened my windows, and everything would be covered in dust. In my room I have roughly $6K in electronics, that I definitely don't want dust to settle in those.

urban1
07-22-2009, 02:23 PM
One of the arguements in the fire pit debate was that if youre allergic to smoke you should get AC and shut your windows. So now you can still have your firepit until 1am but have to have your AC off by 10pm. That makes a whole lot of bylaw sense! Yeehaw!

Boblobla
07-22-2009, 02:31 PM
Bingo. I live in Cranston, and there is construction going on in every direction. Before I got A/C I opened my windows, and everything would be covered in dust. In my room I have roughly $6K in electronics, that I definitely don't want dust to settle in those.

I am in Chaparral so I feel you pain with the dust.

calculoso
07-22-2009, 02:37 PM
And having like 6 fans as well as the furnace running all night doesn't increase the electricity use?

Of course it does.

My house doesn't have that either. Open windows is what we do.

fotze
07-22-2009, 02:55 PM
I am in Chaparral so I feel you pain with the dust.At least you can pop over the border and get cheap liquor and smokes whenever you want.