Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should Stay Open Around My Des Moines Air Conditioner?

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

Your air conditioner draws in outdoor air to cool and lets out warm air as it function. 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 generally won’t last as long. And it doubtlessly will cost more to cool your Des Moines home.

Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling can help when your air AC isn’t functioning correctly. Or keeping your Des Moines house cold enough.

I Need AC Service

Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners

So how much room does your air conditioner really need?

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 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 interference, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit free of grass clippings and leaves. Yard waste 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 a problem. Call us at 515-207-6569 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 temperate climate, you may have a heat pump rather than an air conditioner. This outdoor unit creates both heat and air conditioning for your house.

It needs open space year round, 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 putting your system back on.

Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort

Schedule Annual Maintenance with Kohles & Bach Heating & Cooling

Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 515-207-6569 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 find small issues before they become costly problems.

Back To Blog