Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should I Keep Open Surrounding 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 energy bills are suddenly skyrocketing, even though you haven’t touched the thermostat.

Your air conditioner draws in the surrounding air to cool and lets out 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 normally doesn’t last as long. And it doubtlessly will cost more to cool your Opelika home.

Farnell Mechanical, Inc. can help when your air AC isn’t working correctly. Or keeping your Opelika 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 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 interference, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit out of contact with grass clippings and leaves. Yard scraps can obstruct your air conditioner and cause it to overheat.

Related: How to Clean Your Air Conditioner

How to See 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 334-245-4748 for help or request 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 rather than an air conditioner. This outdoor unit provides both heat and air conditioning for your space.

It needs open space year round, especially if it snows. Remove snow that accumulates 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 Farnell Mechanical, Inc.

Overdue for annual air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 334-245-4748 today!

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

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