Air Conditioner

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

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

Your air conditioner draws in outdoor air to cool and lets out warm air as it runs. But it can promptly overheat if it can’t draw in 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 Clackamas home.

Central Air Inc can help when your air AC isn’t running properly. Or keeping your Clackamas 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 the rear. 
  • 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 interference, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit out of contact with grass clippings and leaves. Yard waste 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 hotter near the coil, your system may have a problem. Call us at 503-389-5307 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 moderate climate, you may have a heat pump rather than an air conditioner. This outdoor unit gives both heat and air conditioning for your house.

It needs open space year round, especially if it snows. Remove 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 putting your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Central Air Inc

Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 503-389-5307 today!

A routine AC tune-up means your air conditioner is likely more efficient—and less likely to overheat. And it also allows our skilled technicians to locate small issues before they become costly problems.

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