You probably don’t think too much about your air conditioner until it’s not working right. Or until your utility bills are suddenly sky-high, even though you haven’t moved the thermostat.
Your air conditioner draws in outdoor air to cool and expels warm air as it runs. But it can quickly overheat if it can’t pull in enough surrounding air or flush out hot air.
An AC system that runs hot normally can’t last as long. And it doubtlessly will cost more to cool your Portland home.
Three Rivers Heating & Cooling can help when your air AC isn’t running correctly. Or keeping your Portland house cool enough.
Space Guidelines for Air Conditioners
So how large of an area 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 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 obstructions, like a deck or roof overhang.
While doing yardwork, keep your unit free 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 Check if Your Air Conditioner is Overheating
- Turn the air conditioner on.
- Check the temperature a few inches from the coil. This is the metallic grate that surrounds your unit.
- 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 an issue. Call us at 503-213-4433 for help 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 rather than an air conditioner. This outdoor unit provides both heat and air conditioning for your house.
It needs open space all year, especially if it snows. Remove 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 some time to drain before turning your system back on.
Related: Heat Pumps Year-Round Comfort
Schedule Annual Maintenance with Three Rivers Heating & Cooling
Overdue for yearly air conditioner maintenance? Give us a call at 503-213-4433 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 costly problems.