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“It sounds like a dying car alarm that is constantly going off and I’m slowly losing my mind.”

by Prince Of Petworth April 4, 2017 at 1:15 pm 8 Comments

slowly insane
Photo by PoPville flickr user Tim Brown

“Dear PoPville,

Is anyone else tracking the consistent noise coming from the intersection of 14th and R NW? I live in one of the apartments facing the alley behind Sette Osteria and can hear the faint drone of what appears to be an HVAC system. I am having difficulty pinpointing exactly where the noise is coming from, however it seems to be originating from either the Northern Exchange building or The Aston. I’ve tried locating the management company for the Northern Exchange building with no success. Does anyone have any recommendations as to how to end this noise? It sounds like a dying car alarm that is constantly going off and I’m slowly losing my mind. I’ve already tried the DCRA route, but I know that will go absolutely nowhere. Any suggestions are most welcome!”

  • FridayGirl

    Have you tried talking to your apartment building’s management?

  • wmm

    Sorry neighbor! I live a couple buildings down toward 15th and don’t hear anything. Could it be R St. Apartment management?

  • Anon NS

    “Faint drone of an HVAC” doesn’t really sound vexing. Just regular city noise. Am I missing something, or are you perhaps sensitive to noise/expecting suburban quiet in the middle of a bustling city area?

  • stcohi

    Is the Verizon building there still in operation? If so, it could be HVAC units on their rooftop. That machinery requires a lot of cooling, and oftentimes, there are back-up units to prevent a single burn-out from harming the equipment.

    There’s a building near my old apartment in Columbia Hts that houses an entire floor of those machines, and one of the HVAC units on the roof began making a terrible humming noise, like a bus idling. The building management had to get a hold of Verizon, which ended up getting the machine fixed. At one point I had to reach out to Verizon’s local community relations people who were, believe it or not, really helpful. Anyway, that could be it.

  • Neighbor

    I’m pretty certain it’s the air exhaust system from Sette Osteria that is on top of The Aston that is causing the noise, I have already reached out to management of the Aston and they say they have notified Sette Osteria but no action has been taken yet. I have video of the system and the noise it’s producing. It would be great if we could all apply pressure on Sette Osteria to get this fixed ASAP.

  • AdMo

    I know the type of sound you’re talking about. The HVAC for the building next to mine sounds like a 16 wheel truck shuddering to a rusty screechy stop from 100mph with an old rusty school bus breaking nearby about every 30 minutes in cycles, immediately outside my bedroom window. I haven’t had any luck fixing my situation, but I know the sound. Best of luck.

    • Rosette

      Same here. I used to live in a room that shared an alley with a restaurant about 100 yards away. The equipment would make the same noise on a hourly basis. I got used to it after 3 years. Eventually I moved to a room in front of my house facing the street then was faced with hourly sounds of speeding cars screeching to halt at the stop sign nearby. I’d recommend you get used to it or get a pair of ear plugs. Comes with living in a city. Unless proven otherwise I’d have hard time believing the tenants of the source of noise are obligated to put time & money into fixing it. Good Luck.

  • cookie

    Not sure where it is coming from but HVAC systems can and do break. Living in the city does not mean you are signing up for a life of no peace – sorry to those who love to perpetuate that nonsense. I live on 17th St. and over the years two HVAC systems on commercial building “broke” making more noise than normal driving me insane One was in the office blg across from Stead Park and the building management couldn’t have been nicer in letting me go to the rooftop with one of their engineers to identify the noise. They actually thanked me because they realized there was a problem with the system. They jokingly asked if they could hire me. The other one, on top of a famous restaurant, was awful. The rude, snotty, inconsiderate owner’s insisted it wasn’t theirs and I got the property manager involved. It finally got fixed. Be persistent.


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