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How To Decide Distance Between Indoor-Outdoor Unit Of A Split Ac

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Installation plays an important role in the efficiency of a split air conditioner. 

Distance between the indoor unit and outdoor unit can have direct impact over the efficiency and maintenance of the split AC. 


There is pipe inside between the indoor and outdoor units which allow the coolant to flow through them.  When the coolant travels this distance, there is a gradual loss of cooling. Therefore, it is important to keep a minimum distance between both the units so that the loss of cooling air can be reduced. 

A distance of 15 meters or less is good. A short distance between indoor and outdoor units should save you a lot of running cost and also maintain better performance.

Moreover, all the components of both the units of an air conditioning system should be taken care of. They should be maintained properly to ensure the cooling of your AC. If in doubt, you can always contact a professional for support and guidance. 

How Does Installation Affect AC Performance?

Split AC’s are quite flexible when it comes to their installation process.  They can be installed easily along the wall in a room and provide an elegant look to your home design. 

However, sometimes you can face cooling issues due to improper installation of your split air conditioner. Therefore, it’s important to consider the spacing rules when installing an outdoor unit of AC. 

  • For proper cooling, the outdoor unit of a split AC should be properly kept on a rigid and flat surface. 
  • This unit includes some of the major components of air conditioner like condenser, fan motor, compressor etc. 
  • If these components are not placed on a flat surface, they will vibrate a lot which can also lead to leakage of coolant and breakage of copper pipes in the compressor. 
  • It is also important to place the outdoor unit on some spacious surface so that there is no obstruction in the air flow.  
  • If the outdoor component is placed too close to any other element, it can hinder the flow of the air. The unobstructed flow is important so that the air conditioner can work efficiently. 

Furthermore, mount the outdoor and indoor units at such a location so that they do not face direct sunlight or come in contact with water. 

How to Specify the Outdoor Unit’s Clearance Distances?

It is important to follow the instructions of clearance requirements which can also be called spacing rules for installation of the outdoor unit of an air conditioner. Different manufactures can have different instructions as per the product. So, you should follow the standard rules and clearance requirements mentioned in the manual.                  

If sometimes you are unable to access the installation manual, then you can also follow the thumb rule. It includes mainly clearance requirements for four types of obstructions, which are mentioned below- 

#Rule 1: For Constructional Obstruction

Here, we will tell you about the spacing rule in case of any constructional obstruction. When you are installing your outdoor unit, there can be many constructional hindrances such as a wall, fence, boundary etc. In this case, the clearance requirement is to maintain a minimum distance of 2 ft between the obstruction and the outdoor unit. 

#Rule 2: For Mechanical Obstruction

Vents coming out of the house such as kitchen exhaust vent, dryer outlet, heating equipment vent etc can prove to be a mechanical obstruction for the installation of the outdoor unit. 

In this case, it is better to install the unit at a different location. But if that is not possible then at least try to maintain the distance of 5-8 ft between the unit and the mechanical blockage. 

#Rule 3: For Landscaping Obstruction

Some people have a lovely garden outside their house. But sometimes it can become an obstruction for the outdoor unit of your air conditioner. These landscaping obstructions could be potted plants, shrubs or decorative plants.  

Remember, that these landscaping objects can become a hindrance in the flow of the air and restrict its movement across space. In this case, you can trim it or can also shift the movable plantings. The minimum distance to be maintained between the landscaping obstruction and the outdoor unit should be 2 ft.  

#Rule 4: Between Two Outdoor Units

In case you have two AC, avoid outdoor units of both AC’s to be placed close to each other. If two outdoor components are installed nearby, then it can restrict the airflow by competing with each other. In return, this can also degrade the performance of both units. 

Therefore, do not forget to uphold a minimum clearance distance of 4 ft. between both outdoor units.

Tips to Consider While Installing Indoor Unit:

Once you are done with the installation of the outdoor unit, it’s time to focus on the installation process of the indoor unit. For its effectual installation, follow the below-mentioned tips-

1. Space Between Indoor and Outdoor Unit

You should maintain a minimum distance of 15cm between the wall and the indoor unit. it is necessary to let the air flow adequately between the gap. Also, keep in mind to place the unit about 6 to 8 feet exceeding the room so that the room can get the sufficient cooling effect. 

2. Strength of the Wall

Consider the wall strength before installing the indoor unit. The wall should be strong enough to hold its weight and support the fixture.  

3. Height Placement

The indoor unit should be placed at a height of at least 7 to 10 feet from the surface or floor. This will ensure the cool air will revolve around the room rather than using the cooling effect around the hot floor.

4. Power Source

While installing an indoor unit, the power plug is also one of the important aspects. Remember, the plug of the unit should be easily reachable to the socket. If there is no such plugin in your room, you need to install a new one. Moreover, this power socket should only be dedicated to the air conditioner unit. 

5. Installation Angle

For installing the indoor unit, it is first important to fix the aluminium bracket on the wall. When you fix the bracket, remember to set it in the slightly tilted direction. This slight tilt will ensure the unobstructed flow of the condensed water from the drain pipe.

6. Cleaning Accessibility

It’s important to maintain the indoor unit and do the proper cleaning every 15 days. Therefore, place it in such a position from where it is easily accessible and you can clean it easily. 


To experience the cooling effect of your split air conditioner in the scorching summer heat, install the equipment properly. Maintain the required distance between both the outdoor and indoor units as mentioned in the article and enjoy the longevity of the unit. 

Do not forget to write to us in our comment section if you have any query or suggestions.

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