How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

Your furnace can shut down if it doesn’t have enough space. It also makes it hard for our professionals to perform furnace repair.

Annual furnace maintenance is important to keep your unit running well. A routinely serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could lower your utility costs.

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

Maintenance often helps us spot troubles before they become expensive. This could help reduce future repair costs 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 remodeling your basement or enclosing your furnace room, you should research manufacturer instructions and Alice laws for clearance rules.

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

You also need to make sure the area has ample 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 needs combustion air from the surrounding space. If there’s inadequate air, hazardous gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could back draft into your home.

If your furnace is placed in a little 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.

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

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

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms are often also used for 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 elsewhere. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could deteriorate your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the stinky odors all over your home.

You should also regularly sweep by your furnace to block 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 Alice, Rescue Heating & Air can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 361-265-4371 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment right away.