Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should Stay Open Around My Oxford Air Conditioner?

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

Your air conditioner draws in ambient 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 doesn’t last as long. And it doubtlessly will cost more to cool your Oxford home.

Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc. can help when your air AC isn’t working correctly. Or keeping your Oxford house comfortable enough.

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Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

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

Here’s what we recommend:

  • 1-foot minimum on all sides, including the rear. 
  • 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 obstructions, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit out of contact with grass clippings and leaves. Yard debris can obstruct 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 something wrong with it. Call us at 662-350-0343 for help 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 house.

It needs open space at all times, especially if it snows. Get rid of 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 little while to drain before switching your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Franklin's Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc.

Overdue for annual air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 662-350-0343 today!

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

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