Outdoor AC Unit Clearance: Tempe Obstruction Types
In part one of this two-part blog series, we went over some of the basics on clearance for your outdoor AC condenser unit. This unit requires space around it to properly take in and expel air while conditioning your home, and failure to leave it the requisite clearance may lead to several issues.
At Accurate Air, we’re happy to help with a variety of air conditioning installations, repairs and other services in Tempe, including assistance with clearance surrounding the outdoor unit itself. While part one of our series went over the general guidelines here and how much space you need, today’s part two will dig into the various kinds of obstructions that might be present on your property, what you should do about them if action is necessary, and a few additional tips.
Your property may contain a variety of landscaping obstructions, from grass and shrubs to plants, trees and even hardscape or paver elements. Generally speaking, you should confirm that your AC unit will be placed at least two feet away from any of these items, including those that may move around during the day like branches or leaves.
In some cases, homeowners actually place the unit close to these obstructions intentionally to try and maintain a good aesthetic. We recommend strongly against this, however, as it risks restricting airflow. If you have any significant plant growths or other issues encroaching into the clearance space here, we recommend you cut or move them back.
In other cases, your AC unit may be somewhat close to one of a few different construction obstruction types. These include walls, fences, home siding and related areas, hard and solid items that will not allow any airflow past them at all. There should be at least two feet between the AC unit and any such obstructions, and perhaps more in some cases. If an exhaust vent is near a window or entry door where it might be shot back into the home, the distance should be even greater.
Finally, mechanical obstructions refer to things like exhaust vents, outlet vents and others that might stick out of your home in certain areas. Not only is there a risk of airflow challenges at play here, certain vents – like gas vents or oil tank fill valves – also create dangerous fire hazards if they’re installed too close to an outdoor AC unit.
For this reason, distances here are even greater for recommended clearance. A minimum of four feet should be maintained between the outdoor unit and any such vent system, and we often recommend up to eight feet of clearance.
For more on the importance of clearance for your outdoor AC unit, or to learn about any of our heating or air services, speak to the staff at Accurate Air today.