Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should I Keep Open Surrounding 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 climbing, even though you haven’t changed the thermostat.

Your air conditioner draws in the surrounding air to cool and lets out warm air as it function. But it can quickly overheat if it can’t get enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.

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

KDM Service Corporation can help when your air AC isn’t running right. Or keeping your Tuscaloosa 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 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 obstructions, 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 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 higher near the coil, your system may have an issue. Call us at 205-208-8090 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 home.

It needs open space all year, 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, turn 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 KDM Service Corporation

Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 205-208-8090 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 locate small issues before they become costly problems.

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