Outdoor HVAC

Clearance for Outdoor HVAC Units: Why Does It Matter?

For your heat pump or air conditioning system to work effectively, its outdoor unit, which houses the compressor, must have enough clearance on all sides. The ideal distance between it and the exterior wall, fence or shrubbery is at least 24 inches. Local HVAC service contractor Schmitt Heating & Air Conditioning explains its importance in today’s blog.

Outdoor HVAC

Reasons to Ensure Adequate Clearance

Observing proper clearance for the compressor cabinet of your HVAC system is imperative for two reasons. One is that it ensures air circulation. Not giving it enough space to breathe will lead to inefficient operation and unnecessary strain on the equipment.

Expect the heat pump or air conditioner to encounter problems as soon as there’s a restriction of airflow through the outdoor unit. It will run hotter than normal during operation, which can shorten its lifespan. Because of this added strain, the system will also consume more energy, reducing your home’s energy efficiency and causing your utility bills to soar. Worse, the risk of debris and other unwanted matter entering the outdoor unit will increase.

Another reason why clearance matters for your heat pump or air conditioning system has to do with regular maintenance. Your local technician needs to access the working parts of your equipment’s outdoor unit, and with proper clearance it will be easier for them to inspect it thoroughly and perform any necessary repairs.

How to Protect Your Outdoor Unit

Your HVAC system’s outdoor unit might have enough clearance, but that doesn’t mean you should no longer keep an eye on it. Dust, leaves and other obstructions can be found lying around, so make sure to remove them to keep the area debris-free. Also, protect it from foliage by trimming leaves and branches from shrubs and trees and pulling weeds from grass.

Schmitt Heating & Air Conditioning specializes in heating and air conditioning installation and replacement. We make sure that there’s plenty of space between the outdoor units we install and the house. Call (415) 689-7849 or fill out our contact form to learn more about our Carrier® HVAC products. We serve homeowners in San Francisco and surrounding areas.

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