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 energy bills are suddenly skyrocketing, even though you haven’t changed the thermostat.

Your air conditioner draws in outdoor air to cool and expels warm air as it function. But it can easily overheat if it can’t draw in enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.

An AC system that runs hot normally can’t last as long. And it probably will cost more to cool your Florissant home.

B & B Heating & Cooling can help when your air AC isn’t working right. Or keeping your Florissant house comfortable enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

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

Here’s what we recommend:

  • 1-foot minimum on all sides, including the back. 
  • 1.5-foot minimum for the sides and an alcove or adjacent wall. 
  • 2 feet between the sides of the unit and tight 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 scraps 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 warmer near the coil, your system may have something wrong with it. Call us at 314-325-7552 for assistance 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 temperate climate, you may have a heat pump in place of an air conditioner. This outdoor unit provides both heat and air conditioning for your space.

It needs open space all year, especially if it snows. Remove snow that accumulates on the top and near the sides of the unit.

If your heat pump fills with wintry precipitation, switch 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 B & B Heating & Cooling

Overdue for annual air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 314-325-7552 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 pricier problems.

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