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 get too hot if it doesn’t have enough room. It also makes it difficult for our professionals to complete furnace repair.

Routine furnace maintenance is essential to keep your unit operating well. An annually serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could decrease your utility costs.

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

Maintenance often helps us spot problems before they become expensive. This could help lessen future repair bills and potentially prolong the life of your furnace.

So how much area should your equipment really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or enclosing your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer instructions and Westerville statutes for clearance rules.

As a general rule of thumb, your system 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 plentiful airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an aging furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This kind of furnace pulls combustion air from the adjacent area. If there’s not enough air, unsafe gas fumes and toxic 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 put in more openings. This could include a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

Unsure if your furnace or water heater has adequate ventilation? We can assist you!

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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 items 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 somewhere else. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the smelly odors throughout your home.

You should also frequently clean 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 regular maintenance in Westerville, Uptown Heating & Cooling can expertly take care of your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 614-344-6949 or use our online scheduler to get an appointment now.