GE Appliance - General List of Minimum Air Clearance Requirements

For proper air circulation and correct installation, some appliances must have air clearances around them. Installations can vary, so checking the installation instructions to determine space requirements for your specific model is recommended.


The following are the minimum air clearances required by product lines, in general:


Chest Freezers:

  • 3 inches of clearance on all sides.

  • 3 inches of clearance at the back.

Upright Freezers (less than 9 cubic feet capacity):

  • 4 inches of clearance on the top.

  • 4 inches of clearance at the back.

  • 1/2 inch of clearance on each side.

Upright Freezers (9 cubic feet capacity and larger):

  • 3 inches of clearance on the top.

  • 2 inches of clearance at the back.

  • 3 inches of clearance on each side.


  • 1/8 inch to 1 inch of clearance on each side.

  • 1 inch on the top (this is above the case).

  • 2 inches in the back.

  • Please note, Top-Freezer refrigerator air clearances vary depending upon the cubic feet capacity of the model. For Top-Freezer models, it is best to check the air clearance listed in the owner's manual.


Note: After the above requirements have been met, there are no other restrictions or limitations concerning location when installing a refrigerator. For example, they can be installed by a dishwasher, range or a wall-oven.


Dryers (In an Alcove or Closet installation):

Top Load Dryers -

  • 0 inches on the sides.

  • 1 inch at the top, front and rear. (When the exhaust duct is located at the rear of the dryer, the configuration of the ducting may require greater than 1" of rear clearance.)

Front Load Dryers -

  • 0 inches at the top, front, sides and rear. (For improved performance, a 1/2” clearance is suggested on each side.)

Countertop Microwaves:

  • 3 inches on each side.

  • 3 inches on the top.

  • 1 inch in the rear.


Note: The installation of a countertop microwave within a cabinet is not recommended without the use of a built in kit. If a built in kit is available for use with a specific model, the kit will be listed for the model in the product specifications. If a built in kit is not available for use with the microwave, the above air clearances are necessary.


Note: If the countertop microwave is located near a range, 2 feet of clearance on the side adjacent to the range will be necessary. Microwaves cannot be mounted over a range unless they are specifically made to be an over-the-range model with a vent included.


Hanging Microwaves (mounted under a cabinet with an optional hanging kit, not over the range):

  • 2 inches on each side.

  • 2 inches underneath.


Over the Range Microwaves and Advantium Ovens:

  • Over the range microwaves and Advantium ovens require a minimum 66" mounting height from the floor to top of the unit. The 66" from the floor dimension will allow approximately 13" between the cooktop surface below and the bottom, front of the microwave.

  • All current over the range microwaves and Advantium ovens can be installed over gas cooking products up to and including 5 burner stoves. As long as the 66" minimum from the floor to the top of the unit is followed there will be no performance or warranty concerns.


Note: Over-the-range microwaves and Advantiums should not be installed above any gas range or cooktop that has a combined BTU rating over 60,000 BTUs, not including the oven/broiler BTUs.




Download a copy of the Installation Instructions