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

October 04, 2019

You most 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 lets 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 usually won’t last as long. And it probably will cost more to cool your St. Cloud home.

Osceola Air, LLC can help when your air AC isn’t functioning right. Or keeping your St. Cloud house comfortable enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

So how much room does your air conditioner really require?

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 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 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 Find Out 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 hotter near the coil, your system may have something wrong with it. Call us at 407-477-6319 for help 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 moderate 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 year round, especially if it snows. Get rid of snow that builds up 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 some time to drain before turning your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Osceola Air, LLC

Overdue for regular air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 407-477-6319 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 pinpoint small issues before they become pricier problems.