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AC unit in relation to fence

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[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 10, 2009
2034 posts
1428 upvotes
Hamilton

AC unit in relation to fence

Hello
Looking for some advice if possible.
I have an AC unit in my back that I would like to look into moving to the side of my house. For reference the side of my house is NOT side by side with another property, but actually the other yard BACKS onto my walkway, the fence is not up yet but the grading will be approved any day.

Assuming im ok with the cost to move the unit, is there a clearance amount that I have to stick to by a fence? I know I will not have room to walk around it once its in place, but I don't care because I have the other side of the house to use as a walkway, I only own approx. 3.5 feet on the side in question.

Looking for 2 types of feedback, whether or not it will affect the AC unit, and whether there are bylaws (Hamilton) that I have to adhere to.

Thanks
14 replies
Deal Addict
Dec 17, 2007
2394 posts
1364 upvotes
Alliston, ON
I went through this last fall with my a/c. I originally had it installed on the side of the house and needed to move it to the back. I was getting quotes of $700-1000 to move it.
In my town, they have a by-law that the edge of the a/c must be 1.2m from a property line. Luckily the company I had install it originally has on there quote/invoice that it well be installed according to local by-laws, which it wasn't, so I got it moved for free.

Just google city of Hamilton air conditioner by-law and you'll find your answer
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 10, 2009
2034 posts
1428 upvotes
Hamilton
schade wrote: I went through this last fall with my a/c. I originally had it installed on the side of the house and needed to move it to the back. I was getting quotes of $700-1000 to move it.
In my town, they have a by-law that the edge of the a/c must be 1.2m from a property line. Luckily the company I had install it originally has on there quote/invoice that it well be installed according to local by-laws, which it wasn't, so I got it moved for free.

Just google city of Hamilton air conditioner by-law and you'll find your answer
Thanks, believe it or not I couldn't find it. City put me through to an answering machine, im also wondering how big of a deal it would be if I just move it and it breaks by law. Would they actually make me move it back.
Unfortunately sometimes that's the best way to do it.
Deal Addict
Jan 5, 2003
4328 posts
3774 upvotes
Toronto
Look up the installation manual for your A/C and it will have recommended clearances in it. Regardless of the bylaw, you don't want to make it too tight as your A/C will have to work harder, shortening its life. It needs to suck in a lot of air along the sides, although some sides may have different clearances than others. I'm not 100% understanding your situation, but if you're trying to fit a typical A/C into 3.5 feet of space, I would guess that's too tight, unless you have a really small A/C, but again, look up the installation manual.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Jun 9, 2003
24795 posts
1908 upvotes
Markham, ON
Markham is so ghetto...we have some newer homes where the 2 houses agreed to place the air conditioners on the side of the house with the 4 ft spacing (total width combined ie. 2ft each side for each home)...and the a/c on each house overlaps into the other property...

im pretty sure if there is a new owner...they can tell the other house to move the ac...but that would also mean the new owners would also have to move their a/c :lol:
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 10, 2009
2034 posts
1428 upvotes
Hamilton
The ac unit is 30 inches including clearance from the wall and the property line is actually 4 ft.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 10, 2009
2034 posts
1428 upvotes
Hamilton
Found the code for hamilton. 0.6m so essentially 2 feet.
Upon further inspection I will have about 1 ft 3 inches.
I'm thinking this is a "do it and deal with the consequences" situation
Deal Addict
Jan 6, 2015
2860 posts
778 upvotes
Toronto, ON
All the new houses now a days have hardly any clearance next to each other but people put their a/c between houses anyways. Only one complaint will have a domino effect.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 10, 2009
2034 posts
1428 upvotes
Hamilton
foodyforlife wrote: All the new houses now a days have hardly any clearance next to each other but people put their a/c between houses anyways. Only one complaint will have a domino effect.
Agrees but If you see my first post the side of my yard is actually the back of my neighbours so really it wouldn't bother them at all
Sr. Member
Jul 7, 2010
805 posts
107 upvotes
burbs
you'll probably be fine, unless some nosy neighbor calls the city and they come out and measure.
Deal Fanatic
Apr 20, 2011
7747 posts
2706 upvotes
ON
What by-law was it classified under?
I vaguely remember reading something about it for my municipality, but can't find it now.
Mine is to the side of the house and well clear of the lot line. I just remember something about having to be hidden from view of the street (i.e. behind a fence) or some other BS like that?
Another thing to check on.
Deal Addict
User avatar
Oct 26, 2008
2474 posts
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CaptainCrash wrote: Found the code for hamilton. 0.6m so essentially 2 feet.
Upon further inspection I will have about 1 ft 3 inches.
I'm thinking this is a "do it and deal with the consequences" situation
Why would you take a chance like that? You'll end up having unnecessary holes in the side of the house if you were forced to move it again. You think your neighbors won't notice your AC running when they are trying to enjoy their BBQ in the backyard? Will your AC be installed on brackets or on the ground? If on the ground please take note that your AC will be sitting only inches away from the swale where storm water runs off.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 10, 2009
2034 posts
1428 upvotes
Hamilton
Si98 wrote: Why would you take a chance like that? You'll end up having unnecessary holes in the side of the house if you were forced to move it again. You think your neighbors won't notice your AC running when they are trying to enjoy their BBQ in the backyard? Will your AC be installed on brackets or on the ground? If on the ground please take note that your AC will be sitting only inches away from the swale where storm water runs off.
Because if you saw the land it's going to be about 30-40 feet from a neighbour, and behind a fence.
I can't see anyone complaining as we all get along well.
It will be on brackets.
Deal Addict
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Oct 26, 2008
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CaptainCrash wrote: Because if you saw the land it's going to be about 30-40 feet from a neighbour, and behind a fence.
I can't see anyone complaining as we all get along well.
It will be on brackets.
The close proximity of your AC unit to the wall of your house and the fence will actually amplify the sound. Add about 6 decibels of sound to your AC unit for each wall or structure that your unit is close to. Everyone can get along well until someone does something annoying.
[OP]
Deal Addict
Apr 10, 2009
2034 posts
1428 upvotes
Hamilton
Just an update. Spoke to the neighbour who it would technically affect. He told me he didn't care what I did and it was my property anyways.
Went ahead and had it moved.
Building inspector from the city was by helping me with my deck drawings and plan, saw it and didn't say a word.
Code is 2 feet. I ended up 1ft 4 inches from lot line.

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