Air Conditioner

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

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

Your air conditioner draws in the surrounding air to cool and expels 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 normally doesn’t last as long. And it doubtlessly will cost more to cool your Libertyville home.

Toptec Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical can help when your air AC isn’t working right. Or keeping your Libertyville house cold enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

So how much space does your air conditioner really call for?

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 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 blockage, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit out of contact with grass clippings and leaves. Yard waste 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 hotter near the coil, your system may have a problem. Call us at 847-362-0262 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 Require?

If you live in a mild climate, you may have a heat pump in place of an air conditioner. This outdoor unit creates both heat and air conditioning for your space.

It needs open space year round, especially if it snows. Clear away 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 few minutes to drain before switching your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Toptec Heating, Cooling, Plumbing & Electrical

Overdue for annual air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 847-362-0262 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 find small issues before they become expensive problems.

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