The performance of the air conditioner depends on efficient outdoor heat dispersal, which relies upon adequate air circulation into and out of the condenser coil. Nearby walls, fences or vegetation may interfere with the free flow of air into the unit. Decks or other overhanging structures above the unit may hinder the dispersal of exhausted air. These can degrade the air conditioner’s performance and efficiency and even affect its service life. Allow 1 to 3 feet of open horizontal space next to intake grilles of the outdoor unit to allow optimum air intake. To avoid excessive heat buildup inside the condenser coil and ensure proper heat dispersal, leave 4 to 6 feet of vertical clearance above the unit.