Air Conditioner

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

You most likely don’t think too much about your air conditioner until it’s not working correctly. Or until your electric bills are suddenly sky-high, even though you haven’t moved the thermostat.

Your air conditioner draws in ambient air to cool and expels warm air as it works. But it can quickly overheat if it can’t pull in enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.

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

Southern Heating & Cooling Inc. can help when your air AC isn’t functioning correctly. Or keeping your Scottsboro house comfortable enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

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

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 clear of grass clippings and leaves. Yard debris can obstruct 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 hotter near the coil, your system may have something wrong with it. Call us at 256-574-1300 for a helping hand 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 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 all year, especially if it snows. Remove 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 little while to drain before turning your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Southern Heating & Cooling Inc.

Overdue for annual air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 256-574-1300 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 pricier problems.

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