Refrigeration equipment noise

If noise from refrigeration equipment can be heard at a neighbour's premises at the following times, the owner or operator may be issued with a fine.

Permitted refrigeration equipment noise levels

Permitted refrigeration equipment noise levels
TimeDayNoise limit

7am to 10pm

Every day

Noise no louder than five decibels (A) above background noise

10pm to 7am

Every day

Noise no louder than three decibels (A) above background noise

In some circumstances, activities and equipment operating within the prescribed levels and times may also be assessed against the general emission criteria and noise emission criteria identified within the Environmental Protection Act 1994. If the noise is deemed a nuisance when assessed against these criteria, the responsible person may be issued a Direction Notice.


These noise limits do not apply if Council has prescribed a limit in a development approval or local law approval for specific equipment or activities for refrigeration equipment at a property. In this circumstance, the person/company must comply with the conditions placed on the approval.  

Ways to reduce noise

To help reduce noise from refrigeration equipment, you can:

  • select quieter refrigeration equipment, consider the type and capacity of the unit for your needs
  • limit hours of use
  • locate the equipment as far away as possible from neighbours and away from sensitive areas, such as bedroom windows
  • regularly service your refrigeration equipment
  • erect a solid fence or barrier
  • install an acoustic enclosure around the unit
  • modify the fan or compressor unit - discuss this option with the manufacturer or installer.

How to lodge a complaint

Find out how to lodge a complaint about an environmental nuisance issue.

Last updated:

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