Refrigeration equipment noise | Brisbane City Council

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

Time Day Noise 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 still be deemed a nuisance when assessed against certain noise criteria. In this situation the responsible person may be issued a Direction Notice.


If a development condition is inconsistent with a noise level detailed in the Environmental Protection Act 1994 the person/company must comply with the development condition. In some cases you may need to comply with requirements imposed by the development condition and the noise levels detailed in the table.

These noise limits do not apply if Council has issued an approval for specific equipment or activities under a local law and conditions regarding noise have been placed on the approval.  

Ways to reduce noise

To help reduce noise from refrigeration equipment, you can:

  • select quieter refrigeration equipment
  • 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 a nuisance issue.


01 March 2019