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 right. Or until your utility bills are suddenly sky-high, even though you haven’t touched the thermostat.

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

An AC system that runs hot normally doesn’t last as long. And it likely will cost more to cool your Omaha home.

The Frazier Company can help when your air AC isn’t running properly. Or keeping your Omaha house cool enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

So how much space 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 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 obstructions, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit clear of 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 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 a problem. Call us at 402-896-5900 for a helping hand or schedule 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 temperate climate, you may have a heat pump rather than an air conditioner. This outdoor unit creates both heat and air conditioning for your home.

It needs open space year round, especially if it snows. Get rid of 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 switching your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with The Frazier Company

Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 402-896-5900 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 find small issues before they become expensive problems.

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