Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should I Keep Open Near My Air Conditioner?

You probably don’t think too much about your air conditioner until it’s not working correctly. 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 runs. But it can promptly overheat if it can’t get enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.

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

WM J Kraus & Son can help when your air AC isn’t working properly. Or keeping your Keokuk house cool enough.

I Need AC Service

Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

So how much space does your air conditioner really need?

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 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 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 hotter near the coil, your system may have a problem. Call us at 319-229-2318 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 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. Clear away snow that accumulates 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 turning your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with WM J Kraus & Son

Overdue for annual air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 319-229-2318 today!

A routine AC tune-up means your air conditioner is likely more efficient—and less likely to overheat. And it also lets our skilled technicians to find small issues before they become costly problems.

Back To Blog