How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

Natural gas furnaces need enough space and airflow to heat correctly.

Your furnace can shut down if it doesn’t have enough room. It also makes it challenging for our professionals to complete furnace repair.

Annual furnace maintenance is important to keep your equipment working trouble-free. A regularly serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could reduce your heating bills.

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

Maintenance often helps us notice problems before they begin. This could help lessen future repair costs and likely prolong the life of your unit.

So how much clearance should your system really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or closing off your furnace room, you should consult manufacturer specifications and Perry statutes for clearance guidelines.

As a general suggestion, your system should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This allows our service professionals to conveniently replace it.

You also need to ensure the area has plentiful airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This type of furnace pulls combustion air from the surrounding space. If there’s inadequate air, dangerous gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

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

Not sure if your furnace or water heater has enough ventilation? We can help!

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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 unit uses one pipe as an exhaust vent and the other to pull in air.

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms double as 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 create wear on your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the unpleasant odors all over your home.

You should also regularly sweep near your furnace to prevent dust from accumulating.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you need furnace replacement or annual maintenance in Perry, Gillman Heating and Air can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any heating equipment model or brand.

Call us at 478-202-3076 or use our online scheduler to get an appointment today.