Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should I Leave 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 electric bills are suddenly skyrocketing, even though you haven’t changed the thermostat.

Your air conditioner draws in the surrounding air to cool and forces out 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 generally doesn’t last as long. And it likely will cost more to cool your Wisconsin Rapids home.

Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc can help when your air AC isn’t functioning properly. Or keeping your Wisconsin Rapids 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 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 interference, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit clear 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 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 higher near the coil, your system may have a problem. Call us at 715-301-0256 for assistance or request 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 gathers 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 little while to drain before putting your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Rapids Sheet Metal Works Inc

Overdue for annual air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 715-301-0256 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 locate small issues before they become costly problems.

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