Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should I Keep Open Surrounding 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 touched the thermostat.

Your air conditioner draws in ambient air to cool and forces out warm air as it runs. But it can easily 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 doubtlessly will cost more to cool your Saint Petersburg home.

Hale's Air Conditioning Services Inc can help when your air AC isn’t functioning properly. Or keeping your Saint Petersburg 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 back. 
  • 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 obstructions, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit out of contact with 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 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 hotter near the coil, your system may have an issue. Call us at 727-369-6195 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 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 home.

It needs open space at all times, 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 little while to drain before turning your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Hale's Air Conditioning Services Inc

Overdue for annual air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 727-369-6195 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 pricier problems.

Back To Blog