Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should Stay Open Surrounding My Air Conditioner?

You probably don’t think too much about your air conditioner until it’s not working right. Or until your electric bills are suddenly sky-high, 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 quickly overheat if it can’t draw in enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.

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

Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning can help when your air AC isn’t working properly. Or keeping your Savage 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 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 interference, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit free of grass clippings and leaves. Yard debris can clog 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 higher near the coil, your system may have a problem. Call us at 952-373-0377 for assistance or request 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 rather than an air conditioner. This outdoor unit provides both heat and air conditioning for your space.

It needs open space at all times, especially if it snows. Remove 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 some time to drain before putting your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Gopher Heating and Air Conditioning

Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 952-373-0377 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.

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