Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should Stay Open Around My Air Conditioner?

You probably don’t think too much about your air conditioner until it’s not working correctly. 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 forces out warm air as it runs. But it can easily overheat if it can’t pull in enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.

An AC system that runs hot usually won’t last as long. And it likely will cost more to cool your Murrieta home.

Cool Air Solutions can help when your air AC isn’t working correctly. Or keeping your Murrieta house cold enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

So how much space 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 obstructions, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit clear of 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 higher near the coil, your system may have something wrong with it. Call us at 951-299-9853 for assistance 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 temperate 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 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, shut 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 Cool Air Solutions

Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 951-299-9853 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 costly problems.

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