Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should Stay Open Near 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 changed the thermostat.

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

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

Davis Heating & Air Conditioning can help when your air AC isn’t functioning properly. Or keeping your Rocky Mount house comfortable enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

So how much space does your air conditioner really call for?

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 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 obstructions, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit free of grass clippings and leaves. Yard scraps can clog 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 higher near the coil, your system may have something wrong with it. Call us at 540-369-3790 for help 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 instead of 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. Remove snow that gathers 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 little while to drain before turning your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Davis Heating & Air Conditioning

Overdue for regular air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 540-369-3790 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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