Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should Stay Open Near My Air Conditioner?

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

Your air conditioner draws in outdoor air to cool and lets out warm air as it works. But it can easily 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 likely will cost more to cool your Manassas Park home.

Woody's Sudden Service Inc can help when your air AC isn’t working properly. Or keeping your Manassas Park house cool enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

So how large of an area does your air conditioner really call for?

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 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 blockage, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit clear of grass clippings and leaves. Yard debris can obstruct 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 higher near the coil, your system may have a problem. Call us at 703-278-2036 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 Require?

If you live in a mild climate, you may have a heat pump in place of an air conditioner. This outdoor unit gives both heat and air conditioning for your home.

It needs open space all year, especially if it snows. Get rid of snow that accumulates 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 some time to drain before turning your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Woody's Sudden Service Inc

Overdue for annual air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 703-278-2036 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 find small issues before they become pricier problems.

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