Homeowner associations (HOAs) exist to maintain property values and preserve the enjoyment homeowners have from their homes. In some cases, the rules HOAs adopt might unwittingly interfere with your HVAC requirements, notably for air conditioning systems.
What HOA Rules Cover
HOAs are governed by the codes, covenants and restrictions (CC&Rs) that they adopt and to which homeowners must abide. With regard to HVAC systems, there may be issues with:
- Noise. The condensers for air conditions and heat pumps make noise, and they’re always located outdoors. If you live in a high density community, your HOA may have limits regarding the noise levels the condensers make.
- Appearance. Wall or window air conditioners are likely to be prohibited.
- Shared components. Some attached communities use centralized HVAC systems similar to what large commercial buildings do. The residential units may share some parts of the ductwork or other system parts.
Before buying into a community with shared HVAC components, it’s a good idea to ask your real estate agent or lawyer what your financial liabilities will be for your portion of the system.
If your HVAC requirements have changed and you need to upgrade, read the CC&Rs to learn what they allow. Manufacturers disclose the decibel levels of their equipment on the specification sheets, online and in their packaging. Efforts over the last few years to quiet the condensers have been successful, through their engineering and design. Condensers are now available with noise levels are barely discernable indoors.
If you don’t have adequate outdoor space for a condenser or a ductwork system indoors, consider using a ductless mini-split system. These systems offer energy efficiency, compact design, and low operating noise.
HOAs have governing boards that homeowners can petition. You and your HVAC contractor can present the facts regarding the new technology HVAC systems use to gain their approval for your upgrade.
While the work the HOA does to protect your home’s value is important, so are your HVAC requirements for indoor comfort. For more information, contact Aggressive Mechanical Contractors, providing HVAC services for Monmouth County homeowners and the surrounding areas.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).