Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should I Leave Open Near My Shelby 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 changed the thermostat.

Your air conditioner draws in the surrounding air to cool and lets out warm air as it works. 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 usually won’t last as long. And it doubtlessly will cost more to cool your Shelby home.

Hopper Heating and Air can help when your air AC isn’t running right. Or keeping your Shelby house cold enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

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

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 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 interference, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit clear of grass clippings and leaves. Yard debris can congest 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 higher near the coil, your system may have an issue. Call us at 704-233-7363 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 mild climate, you may have a heat pump instead of an air conditioner. This outdoor unit provides both heat and air conditioning for your home.

It needs open space all year, especially if it snows. Clear away snow that builds up on the top and near the sides of the unit.

If your heat pump fills with wintry precipitation, turn 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 Hopper Heating and Air

Overdue for annual air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 704-233-7363 today!

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

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