How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

Natural gas furnaces need sufficient space and airflow to heat right.

Your furnace can get too hot if it doesn’t have enough space. It also makes it hard for our professionals to complete furnace repair.

Routine furnace maintenance is crucial to keep your system operating trouble-free. A routinely serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could decrease your energy expenses.

Related: How Does Furnace Maintenance Impact the Energy Efficiency of Your Home?

Maintenance often helps us discover problems before they begin. This could help lower future repair bills and potentially lengthen the life of your unit.

So how much clearance should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re updating your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should research manufacturer instructions and Thedford ordinances for clearance rules.

As a general suggestion, your heater should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This permits our service experts to conveniently work on it.

You also need to check the space has enough airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an aging furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This type of furnace needs combustion air from the nearby location. If there’s inadequate air, hazardous gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

If your furnace is positioned in a tiny room with a gas water heater, you may need to put in supplemental openings. This could involve a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

Not sure if your furnace or water heater has proper ventilation? We can take a look!

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You don’t need to think about airflow and ventilation as much if you have a newer, high-efficiency furnace with PVC piping. Your system uses one pipe as an exhaust vent and the other to draw in air.

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms are often also used for laundry and storage space, you should keep yours free of things that could be fire hazards.

This includes:

  • Clotheslines
  • Cleaning or laundry products
  • Gasoline, paint or paint thinner
  • Rags and papers
  • Wood scraps and sawdust
  • Used filters

If you have a cat, place your litter box elsewhere. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could deteriorate your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could circulate the stinky odors all over your home.

You should also frequently vacuum by your furnace to prevent dust from accumulating.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you want furnace replacement or routine maintenance in Thedford, Taylor's Heating & Air Conditioning can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any heating equipment model or brand.

Call us at 519-296-4437 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment today.