Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should Stay Open Surrounding My Carlsbad Air Conditioner?

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

Your air conditioner draws in outdoor air to cool and lets out warm air as it works. But it can promptly overheat if it can’t get enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.

An AC system that runs hot normally won’t last as long. And it likely will cost more to cool your Carlsbad home.

Banister's Heating & Air Conditioning Services can help when your air AC isn’t working properly. Or keeping your Carlsbad house cold enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

So how much space does your air conditioner really require?

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 interference, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit clear of grass clippings and leaves. Yard scraps 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 a problem. Call us at 575-446-3948 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 temperate climate, you may have a heat pump in place of an air conditioner. This outdoor unit creates both heat and air conditioning for your home.

It needs open space at all times, especially if it snows. Clear away snow that builds up on the top and near the sides of the unit.

If your heat pump fills with wintry precipitation, turn 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 Banister's Heating & Air Conditioning Services

Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 575-446-3948 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 pinpoint small issues before they become expensive problems.

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