Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should I Leave Open Near My West Columbia Air Conditioner?

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

Your air conditioner draws in outdoor air to cool and expels warm air as it works. But it can easily overheat if it can’t get enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.

An AC system that runs hot generally won’t last as long. And it doubtlessly will cost more to cool your West Columbia home.

Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. can help when your air AC isn’t functioning properly. Or keeping your West Columbia house cold 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 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 clear of grass clippings and leaves. Yard waste 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 higher near the coil, your system may have something wrong with it. Call us at 803-265-4208 for a helping hand 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 moderate climate, you may have a heat pump instead of an air conditioner. This outdoor unit gives both heat and air conditioning for your house.

It needs open space all year, especially if it snows. Clear away 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 putting your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc.

Overdue for regular air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 803-265-4208 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 locate small issues before they become pricier problems.

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