Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should Stay Open Near My the Bay Area Air Conditioner?

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

Your air conditioner draws in outdoor air to cool and forces 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 usually can’t last as long. And it likely will cost more to cool your the Bay Area home.

Contra Costa Heating & AC can help when your air AC isn’t functioning properly. Or keeping your the Bay Area house cold 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 dense 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 out of contact with grass clippings and leaves. Yard debris can congest your air conditioner and cause it to overheat.

Related: How to Clean Your Air Conditioner

How to Find Out 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 510-343-9841 for assistance or schedule 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 moderate 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 year round, especially if it snows. Remove 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 some time to drain before putting your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Contra Costa Heating & AC

Overdue for annual air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 510-343-9841 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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