Air Conditioner

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

You probably 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 changed the thermostat.

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

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

McNatt Inc can help when your air AC isn’t functioning properly. Or keeping your Robstown house cold enough.

I Need AC Service

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 back. 
  • 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 free of 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 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 something wrong with it. Call us at 361-247-0605 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 mild climate, you may have a heat pump in place of an air conditioner. This outdoor unit gives both heat and air conditioning for your home.

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 some time to drain before putting your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with McNatt Inc

Overdue for annual air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 361-247-0605 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 pinpoint small issues before they become expensive problems.

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