Air Conditioner

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

You more than likely don’t think too much about your air conditioner until it’s not working right. Or until your utility bills are suddenly skyrocketing, even though you haven’t moved the thermostat.

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

An AC system that runs hot generally can’t last as long. And it probably will cost more to cool your West Jefferson home.

West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc. can help when your air AC isn’t running right. Or keeping your West Jefferson house cool enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

So how much room does your air conditioner really need?

Here’s what we recommend:

  • 1-foot minimum on all sides, including the back. 
  • 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 blockage, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit clear of 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 See 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 hotter near the coil, your system may have a problem. Call us at 614-450-1575 for a helping hand or request an appointment online.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

How Much Space Does a Heat Pump Have to Have?

If you live in a mild climate, you may have a heat pump in place 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. Get rid of snow that builds up on the top and near the sides of the unit.

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

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with West Jefferson Plumbing and Heating, Inc.

Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 614-450-1575 today!

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

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