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 skyrocketing, even though you haven’t moved the thermostat.

Your air conditioner draws in the surrounding air to cool and lets out warm air as it function. But it can easily overheat if it can’t get 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 Odessa home.

Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning can help when your air AC isn’t working correctly. Or keeping your Odessa house cool 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 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 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 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 warmer near the coil, your system may have something wrong with it. Call us at 432-237-0168 for a helping hand or make 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 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. Get rid of 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 few minutes to drain before turning your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Redhawk Heating & Air Conditioning

Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 432-237-0168 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 pricier problems.

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