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

October 04, 2019

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

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

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

Tri County Climate Control LLC can help when your air AC isn’t working properly. Or keeping your Bend house comfortable enough.

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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 the rear. 
  • 1.5-foot minimum for the sides and an alcove or adjacent wall. 
  • 2 feet between the sides of the unit and tight 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 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 an issue. Call us at 541-238-2797 for help or schedule 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 rather than an air conditioner. This outdoor unit gives both heat and air conditioning for your home.

It needs open space all year, especially if it snows. Get rid of snow that accumulates 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 little while to drain before switching your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Tri County Climate Control LLC

Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 541-238-2797 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 locate small issues before they become costly problems.