Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My New Castle 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 skyrocketing, even though you haven’t changed the thermostat.

Your air conditioner draws in ambient air to cool and expels warm air as it runs. But it can promptly overheat if it can’t pull in enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.

An AC system that runs hot normally doesn’t last as long. And it probably will cost more to cool your New Castle home.

Central Heating & Plumbing can help when your air AC isn’t running right. Or keeping your New Castle house cold enough.

I Need AC Service

Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

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

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 scraps can congest 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 724-401-1843 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 Need?

If you live in a temperate climate, you may have a heat pump rather than 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. Get rid of snow that gathers 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 turning your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Central Heating & Plumbing

Overdue for annual air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 724-401-1843 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 pricier problems.

Back To Blog