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 suddenly. 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 forces out warm air as it function. But it can promptly overheat if it can’t pull in enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.

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

PWA Heating & Cooling Inc can help when your air AC isn’t working correctly. Or keeping your Plainfield house comfortable 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 blockage, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit free of grass clippings and leaves. Yard debris can congest 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 higher near the coil, your system may have something wrong with it. Call us at 815-410-1231 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 Require?

If you live in a temperate climate, you may have a heat pump in place of an air conditioner. This outdoor unit gives both heat and air conditioning for your house.

It needs open space year round, especially if it snows. Remove snow that builds up 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 PWA Heating & Cooling Inc

Overdue for regular air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 815-410-1231 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 find small issues before they become expensive problems.

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