Air Conditioner

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

You more than likely don’t think too much about your air conditioner until it’s not working correctly. Or until your electric bills are suddenly sky-high, even though you haven’t moved the thermostat.

Your air conditioner draws in outdoor air to cool and forces out warm air as it function. 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 normally can’t last as long. And it probably will cost more to cool your Midlothian home.

Daniel's Heating & Refrigeration Corp. can help when your air AC isn’t working properly. Or keeping your Midlothian house cold enough.

I Need AC Service

Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

So how much room 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 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 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 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 hotter near the coil, your system may have an issue. Call us at 804-372-0313 for a helping hand or request 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 rather than an air conditioner. This outdoor unit creates both heat and air conditioning for your house.

It needs open space at all times, especially if it snows. Clear away 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 Daniel's Heating & Refrigeration Corp.

Overdue for annual air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 804-372-0313 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