Air Conditioner

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

You more than likely 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 moved the thermostat.

Your air conditioner draws in the surrounding air to cool and forces out warm air as it runs. But it can promptly overheat if it can’t get enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.

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

Jett's Heating & Air Inc. can help when your air AC isn’t functioning properly. Or keeping your McHenry house comfortable enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

So how large of an area does your air conditioner really need?

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 obstructions, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit out of contact with grass clippings and leaves. Yard scraps can congest 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 warmer near the coil, your system may have an issue. Call us at 815-410-1128 for help or make 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 moderate climate, you may have a heat pump in place of 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. Clear away 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 few minutes to drain before turning your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Jett's Heating & Air Inc.

Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 815-410-1128 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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