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How Much Space Should Stay Open Surrounding My Air Conditioner?

October 04, 2019

You probably don’t think too much about your air conditioner until it’s not working right. Or until your utility bills are suddenly climbing, even though you haven’t changed the thermostat.

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

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

Aggressive Mechanical can help when your air AC isn’t running right. Or keeping your Neptune City house cool enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

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

Here’s what we recommend:

  • 1-foot minimum on all sides, including behind the unit. 
  • 1.5-foot minimum for the sides and an alcove or adjacent wall. 
  • 2 feet between the sides of the unit and tight 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 out of contact with grass clippings and leaves. Yard debris can obstruct 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 hotter near the coil, your system may have a problem. Call us at 732-806-5536 for help or schedule an appointment online.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

How Much Space Does a Heat Pump Need?

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

It needs open space all year, 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, switch it off. Use warm water to melt snow and ice and give the water a little while to drain before putting your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Aggressive Mechanical

Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 732-806-5536 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 pinpoint small issues before they become expensive problems.