Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should Stay Open Around My Drexel Hill Air Conditioner?

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

Your air conditioner draws in ambient air to cool and lets out warm air as it runs. 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 probably will cost more to cool your Drexel Hill home.

O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning can help when your air AC isn’t functioning right. Or keeping your Drexel Hill house cool enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

So how much room does your air conditioner really call for?

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 out of contact with 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 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 hotter near the coil, your system may have an issue. Call us at 610-257-7035 for assistance or request 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 mild climate, you may have a heat pump rather than an air conditioner. This outdoor unit creates both heat and air conditioning for your home.

It needs open space all year, 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, 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 O'Brien Heating & Air Conditioning

Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 610-257-7035 today!

A routine AC tune-up means your air conditioner is likely more efficient—and less likely to overheat. And it also allows our skilled technicians to pinpoint small issues before they become pricier problems.

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