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

October 04, 2019

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

Your air conditioner draws in outdoor air to cool and lets out warm air as it runs. But it can promptly overheat if it can’t pull in enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.

An AC system that runs hot normally doesn’t last as long. And it doubtlessly will cost more to cool your Brookfield home.

Central Air LLC can help when your air AC isn’t working right. Or keeping your Brookfield house cool enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

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

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 interference, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit clear of grass clippings and leaves. Yard scraps 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 203-357-5913 for help or schedule 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 rather than an air conditioner. This outdoor unit provides both heat and air conditioning for your home.

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, switch it off. Use warm water to melt snow and ice and give the water a few minutes to drain before turning your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Central Air LLC

Overdue for annual air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 203-357-5913 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 find small issues before they become costly problems.