Air Conditioner

How Much Space Should I Leave Open Surrounding My Rapid City 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 works. But it can easily overheat if it can’t pull in enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.

An AC system that runs hot generally can’t last as long. And it likely will cost more to cool your Rapid City home.

Street Heating & Sheet Metal Inc can help when your air AC isn’t running right. Or keeping your Rapid City house cold 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 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 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 interference, like a deck or roof overhang.

While doing yardwork, keep your unit clear of 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 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 higher near the coil, your system may have something wrong with it. Call us at 605-342-5107 for assistance 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 mild climate, you may have a heat pump instead of an air conditioner. This outdoor unit provides both heat and air conditioning for your home.

It needs open space at all times, 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, switch 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 Street Heating & Sheet Metal Inc

Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 605-342-5107 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 locate small issues before they become costly problems.

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