Air Conditioner

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

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

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

Clean Air HVAC can help when your air AC isn’t running correctly. Or keeping your Pacheco house comfortable enough.

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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 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 obstructions, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit out of contact with grass clippings and leaves. Yard waste 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 warmer near the coil, your system may have an issue. Call us at 925-233-6238 for help or make an appointment online.

Related: How to Keep Your Air Conditioner from Failing

How Much Space Does a Heat Pump Require?

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 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, turn it off. Use warm water to melt snow and ice and give the water some time to drain before switching your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Clean Air HVAC

Overdue for regular air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 925-233-6238 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.

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