How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Air Conditioner
You most likely don’t think too much about your air conditioner until it’s not working correctly. Or until your energy bills are suddenly sky-high, even though you haven’t moved the thermostat.
Your air conditioner draws in outdoor air to cool and lets out warm air as it runs. But it can quickly overheat if it can’t get enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.
An AC system that runs hot generally can’t last as long. And it likely will cost more to cool your Irvine home.
True Home Heating and Air Conditioning can help when your air AC isn’t running correctly. Or keeping your Irvine house comfortable enough.
Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners
So how much room does your air conditioner really call for?
Here’s what we recommend:
- 1-foot minimum on all sides, including behind the unit.
- 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 blockage, like a deck or roof overhang.
While doing yardwork, keep your unit clear of grass clippings and leaves. Yard scraps can congest your air conditioner and cause it to overheat.
How to Find Out if Your Air Conditioner is Overheating
- Turn the air conditioner on.
- Check the temperature a few inches from the coil. This is the metallic grate that surrounds your unit.
- Measure the temperature 10 feet away.
If the temperatures are the same, your system is working properly.
If the temperature is warmer near the coil, your system may have an issue. Call us at 949-288-2024 for a helping hand or request an appointment online.
How Much Space Does a Heat Pump Need?
If you live in a mild climate, you may have a heat pump in place of an air conditioner. This outdoor unit gives both heat and air conditioning for your space.
It needs open space at all times, especially if it snows. Get rid of 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.