Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should I Leave Open Surrounding My Air Conditioner?

You more than likely don’t think too much about your air conditioner until it’s not working right. Or until your utility bills are suddenly climbing, even though you haven’t changed the thermostat.

Your air conditioner draws in outdoor air to cool and expels 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 normally can’t last as long. And it likely will cost more to cool your Moline home.

J.L. Brady Company LLC can help when your air AC isn’t working correctly. Or keeping your Moline house cool 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 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 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 higher near the coil, your system may have a problem. Call us at 309-517-7511 for help or make an appointment online.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

How Much Space Does a Heat Pump Have to Have?

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 year round, especially if it snows. Remove snow that builds up 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 a few minutes to drain before putting your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with J.L. Brady Company LLC

Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 309-517-7511 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 pinpoint small issues before they become costly problems.

Back To Blog