HVAC condenser clearances


I’m looking for the minimum clear area around a A/C condenser. For instance, between the condenser and house.

Thanks most kindly,

2 ft

Two feet is typical.

Typical outside air-cooled A/C compressors require a minimal clearance around the unit to provide adequate air flow so that the condenser coils will be cooled efficiently.

Air conditioning compressor/condenser units mounted too close to a wall, surrounded by shrubs, or multiple units located too closely together may not receive enough cool air flow to function properly. The result can be a shorter compressor life (expensive) and/or less efficient cooling operation (higher operation costs).

I don’t make a big deal if the unit is closer than two feet at the building side.

Except when the service panel is against the house as well.

Then it is an electrical access issue.

Depends on the manufacturer. Carrier has units that only require 12".

There were considerations that I was taught as a pup when choosing a proper location. If at all possible do not install on the west or south side of a structure: Do not install under the drip line of the roof as guttering may not always be present during the life of the structure and the overhanging soffits can create a recirulatory effect on condensers that have a upward discharge of the condenser fan. For structures that have no soffits simply apply the common sense rule.

I guess with varying clearance requirements per manufacturer, you’d have to use common sense in most installations.

If you see an issue with the installation of a condenser, simply write it up. It don’t hurt writing up existing issues as you see them.

That is the correct response. There are also “zero-clearance” units - units that can have one side against a wall.