How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

Natural gas furnaces need enough space and airflow to run right.

Your furnace can get too hot if it doesn’t have enough space. It also makes it difficult for our technicians to perform furnace repair.

Annual furnace maintenance is important to keep your system operating trouble-free. A routinely serviced furnace may heat more efficiently, which could reduce your heating costs.

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

Maintenance often helps us spot issues before they begin. This could help lower future repair expenses and possibly extend the life of your furnace.

So how much room should your equipment really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re remodeling your basement or enclosing your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer specifications and Genoa laws for clearance requirements.

As a general rule of thumb, your heater should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This lets our service experts to easily work on it.

You also need to ensure the area has ample airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This model of furnace pulls combustion air from the surrounding area. If there’s insufficient air, hazardous gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could back draft into your home.

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

Unsure if your furnace or water heater has proper ventilation? We can take a look!

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

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms function as laundry and storage space, you should keep yours free of clutter 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, put your litter box in another room. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could create wear on your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the smelly odors all over your home.

You should also regularly sweep by your furnace to stop dust from developing.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you want furnace replacement or routine maintenance in Genoa, Assured Appliance and Heating & Air can expertly take care of your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 847-306-8990 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment right away.