At work, the air conditioning grid is quite noisy (55 Db), too much air pressure. I asked to solve this to the technician but he told me there was not a solution since he cannot control air pressure.

The only solution I can think is to cover the AC grid. At this point I don't know if I should ask to do this or solve this by myself covering the grid one day when the office is empty.

My office colleagues haven't noticed this noise and I don't want to be the "problematic guy".

How should I approach resolving this? The noise is causing me difficulties in focusing and is quite annoying.

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    Hi, I made a few edits to this to help make it more on topic. If they change your intent too much feel free to edit your question and further clarify - questions just asking "what should I do" without a specific question are difficult to answer in this setting. – enderland Dec 17 '14 at 13:32
  • Similar question about shared lighting: workplace.stackexchange.com/q/20988/325 – Monica Cellio Dec 17 '14 at 17:29

My office colleagues haven't noticed this noise and I don't want to be the "problematic guy".

You don't want to be the "problematic guy", but are willing to be "the guy who covered the AC grid and broke the HVAC system"?

Ask management. Or ask the office manager.

If they are unable to make it quieter, ask to move.

If they refuse, you'll need to learn to live with the noise.

If you can't learn to live with it, you may need to find employment elsewhere.

  • "learn to live with it" might not be an option. I program and have to stay focussed. One of the PC's here is noisy, dragging my concentration down the moment it starts. – Martijn Dec 17 '14 at 12:08
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    Ear plugs, headphones ... – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 17 '14 at 12:12
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    Earbuds or headphones. – Chris E Dec 17 '14 at 12:13
  • Good noise-cancelling earbuds/headphones, in particular, can do wonders with mechanical sounds. Alas, they don't work quite as well with the co-workers who stop for half-hour chats right outside your office; the only solution to that is "hey, guys, would you mind..." – keshlam Dec 17 '14 at 14:06

As Joe notes, you want to raise this to management.

Going and fiddling with air vents can lead to Trouble, especially if you break the darn thing somehow. I don't rightly know how you plan to "cover" it, or why you think that would solve the problem.

However, that is immaterial - if they do push back, then you will want a medical certificate of some sort. Go see your doctor, preferably before you ask them about this issue. Tell the doctor the story, and that you'd like a certificate from him expressing this as a medical issue of some sort.

Which it is, of course. This is adding to stress at work, and damaging your ears. I, personally, go mad when I can hear a slight whirring sound, and I know how much it distresses me. My sympathies for your current plight.

You can use the medical certificate if they push back, labeling this as a medical issue. Companies typically bend over to solve things like this.

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    You really don't want to be the guy who broke the air conditioner, Corporate air conditionsers are quite expensive. – HLGEM Dec 17 '14 at 15:00

The problem is not the air comnditioner. The problem is you. You need to learn to concentrate when there is noise present. Period. There will never be a noise-free environment. You need to get noise cancelling headphones or you need to stop being distracted. That fact that you program for a living is an excuse not a reason. Everyone has to concentrate at work and everyone finds noise to be disturbing. Life is unfair and noise will always be present. You have to accept what cannot be changed.

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    Downvoted because unreasonable and unnecessary noise in a work environment is a solvable problem. If the OP talks to the office manager and finds out that there's no fixing it, he can't be moved, and noise-cancelling headphones aren't allowed, then he's hit the point of needing to deal with it or find another job, but there are still a lot of avenues to pursue before that point. – Kelly Tessena Keck Dec 18 '14 at 13:27
  • Air conditioning noise is hardly unreasonable noise. – HLGEM Dec 18 '14 at 14:09
  • Usually, no. But f it's running really high, or something's wrong with it, particularly if he has to sit right next to it, it certainly could be. – Kelly Tessena Keck Dec 19 '14 at 12:59
  • +1 I can concentrate next to a jackhammer on full power. Mind over matter - I don't mind and it doesn't matter. – Vietnhi Phuvan Dec 21 '14 at 15:22

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