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 suddenly. Or until your electric bills are suddenly climbing, even though you haven’t touched the thermostat.

Your air conditioner draws in the surrounding air to cool and expels warm air as it function. But it can quickly overheat if it can’t draw in enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.

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

Climate Control Systems can help when your air AC isn’t running right. Or keeping your Hickory house comfortable 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 rear. 
  • 1.5-foot minimum for the sides and an alcove or adjacent wall. 
  • 2 feet between the sides of the unit and dense 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 clog your air conditioner and cause it to overheat.

Related: How to Clean Your Air Conditioner

How to Check 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 828-283-0369 for a helping hand or make 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 at all times, 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 turning your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Climate Control Systems

Overdue for regular air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 828-283-0369 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 expensive problems.

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