How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Air Conditioner?

October 04, 2019

You most likely don’t think too much about your air conditioner until it’s not working suddenly. Or until your energy bills are suddenly climbing, even though you haven’t touched the thermostat.

Your air conditioner draws in outdoor air to cool and expels warm air as it works. But it can easily overheat if it can’t get enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.

An AC system that runs hot normally won’t last as long. And it probably will cost more to cool your Abilene home.

Abilene Air-Tech Inc can help when your air AC isn’t running properly. Or keeping your Abilene house comfortable enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

So how large of an area does your air conditioner really call for?

Here’s what we recommend:

  • 1-foot minimum on all sides, including the rear. 
  • 1.5-foot minimum for the sides and an alcove or adjacent wall. 
  • 2 feet between the sides of the unit and thick shrubs or solid fences. 
  • 6 inches between the sides and leafy plants, with a few extra inches left for growth.
  • 8 feet between the top and interference, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit out of contact with grass clippings and leaves. Yard debris can congest your air conditioner and cause it to overheat.

Related: How to Clean Your Air Conditioner

How to Find Out if Your Air Conditioner is Overheating

  1. Turn the air conditioner on.
  2. Check the temperature a few inches from the coil. This is the metallic grate that surrounds your unit.
  3. Measure the temperature 10 feet away.

If the temperatures are the same, your system is working properly.

If the temperature is warmer near the coil, your system may have something wrong with it. Call us at 325-200-4667 for help or request an appointment online.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

How Much Space Does a Heat Pump Require?

If you live in a temperate climate, you may have a heat pump instead of an air conditioner. This outdoor unit gives both heat and air conditioning for your space.

It needs open space year round, especially if it snows. Remove snow that gathers on the top and near the sides of the unit.

If your heat pump fills with wintry precipitation, shut it off. Use warm water to melt snow and ice and give the water some time to drain before putting your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Abilene Air-Tech Inc

Overdue for regular air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 325-200-4667 today!

A routine AC tune-up means your air conditioner is likely more efficient—and less likely to overheat. And it also lets our skilled technicians to locate small issues before they become costly problems.

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