How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

Your furnace can overheat if it doesn’t have enough clearance. It also makes it difficult for our professionals to accomplish furnace repair.

Routine furnace maintenance is essential to keep your system working smoothly. A routinely serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could reduce your utility bills.

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 costs and potentially extend the life of your unit.

So how much clearance should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re remodeling your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer directions and Columbia statutes for clearance guidelines.

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

You also need to make sure the space 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 draws combustion air from the surrounding space. If there’s not enough air, unsafe gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could leak into your home.

If your furnace is positioned in a little room with a gas water heater, you may need to install more 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 assess 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 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 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 somewhere else. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the stinky odors around your home.

You should also routinely vacuum by your furnace to block dust from accumulating.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you have to have furnace replacement or routine maintenance in Columbia, Watts Electric & A/C Inc can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 601-736-7362 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment now.