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What’s Really Bugging Calgary Homeowners?

23 April 2013

Air conditioners. That’s the biggest beef on the minds of Calgarians this spring as we look forward to those hot, summer months. Air conditioners that are too loud, run constantly, and in some cases one resident says, is even affecting the health of the neighbours around it.

The problem is simple; whether or not the answer will be, that’s a different story.

While some Calgary homeowners are enjoying restful nights of sleep in their cool, climate-controlled homes, it seems as though they’re keeping up others up with that same climate control. The problem is loud, rattling air conditioners – especially the ones that are placed in the side yard of homes rather than in the backyard.

One Calgary resident, Wayne Wegner, shines light on just what an issue this is for the surrounding neighbours.

“It just drives you basically insane,” he says. “It makes you sick. It’s a health problem.”

He claims that his neighbour’s air conditioner was so loud that it was preventing him from sleeping last summer.

And now, Mayor Naheed Nenshi is planning on doing something about it.

“People who feel that their enjoyment of their own home, especially at night, is infringed upon, it actually is a big deal for those folks and we should do something about it.”

He proposes a mandate that requires air conditioners to be placed in backyards, and not along the side of homes where they’ll be most noisy for neighbours. And he feels so passionate about it that he’s already filed a motion with City Council.

But if this mandate were to go through, there’s no telling if it would solve any problems. Mr. Wegner had also said that his neighbour had relocated his air conditioner to the backyard, after Wegner had complained to him, and that it’s still so loud it causes him to lose sleep.

Unfortunately for those Calgary residents that are bothered by it, they’ll have to wait at least another summer before anything’s done about it. The motion calls for a full report next February, which means that the motion will have to wait even longer than that.

What do you think? Is this a reasonable complaint from the neighbours that are being bothered? Or do you think, when you have the sense of community that comes from neighbourhoods, that everyone needs to do their best to live in peace together? After all, what about barking dogs, loud cars that zip up and down streets at all hours of the night, train calls, or even police and ambulance sirens that can sometimes wake residents up at night?

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