How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

Natural gas furnaces need adequate space and airflow to work right.

Your furnace can overheat if it doesn’t have enough clearance. It also makes it hard for our specialists to complete furnace repair.

Routine furnace maintenance is important to keep your unit operating well. A routinely serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could decrease your energy expenses.

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

Maintenance often helps us spot troubles before they begin. This could help reduce future repair expenses and possibly lengthen the life of your system.

So how much clearance should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re updating your basement or enclosing your furnace room, you should research manufacturer instructions and Ellsworth ordinances 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 technicians to comfortably replace it.

You also need to check the room has plentiful airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an older furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This model of furnace needs combustion air from the nearby space. If there’s insufficient air, unsafe gas fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

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

Uncertain if your furnace or water heater has adequate ventilation? We can help!

Contact us

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

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms double 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, situate your litter box elsewhere. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could deteriorate your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the smelly odors around your home.

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

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you need furnace replacement or routine maintenance in Ellsworth, Walter's-Eaton's Electric, Plumbing, Heating & AC can expertly take care of your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 715-318-6728 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment now.