Air Conditioner

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

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

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

An AC system that runs hot generally doesn’t last as long. And it probably will cost more to cool your Plover home.

Point Heating & Cooling can help when your air AC isn’t functioning properly. Or keeping your Plover house cool enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

So how much room 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 waste 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 hotter near the coil, your system may have something wrong with it. Call us at 715-504-0533 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 moderate climate, you may have a heat pump rather than an air conditioner. This outdoor unit creates 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 few minutes to drain before putting your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Point Heating & Cooling

Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 715-504-0533 today!

A routine AC tune-up means your air conditioner is likely more efficient—and less likely to overheat. And it also helps our skilled technicians to pinpoint small issues before they become pricier problems.

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