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 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 get 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 Hudsonville home.

West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services can help when your air AC isn’t working correctly. Or keeping your Hudsonville house comfortable enough.

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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 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 waste 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 warmer near the coil, your system may have a problem. Call us at (616) 669-3961 for help or schedule 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 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 house.

It needs open space at all times, especially if it snows. Remove 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 a few minutes to drain before putting your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services

Overdue for regular air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at (616) 669-3961 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 pricier problems.

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