How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

Natural gas furnaces need sufficient space and airflow to heat properly.

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

Annual furnace maintenance is crucial to keep your unit working trouble-free. A routinely 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 discover issues before they become expensive. This could help lessen future repair costs and likely lengthen the life of your furnace.

So how much clearance should your equipment really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re updating your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should research manufacturer instructions and Heflin statutes for clearance rules.

As a general rule of thumb, your heater should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This permits our service professionals to comfortably repair it.

You also need to make sure the area 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 kind of furnace needs combustion air from the adjacent area. If there’s inadequate air, hazardous gas fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

If your furnace is located in a little room with a gas water heater, you may need to install more openings. This could involve 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 newer, high-efficiency furnace with PVC piping. Your system 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, put your litter box in another room. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could create wear on your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the smelly odors all over your home.

You should also regularly sweep by your furnace to prevent dust from developing.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you need furnace replacement or regular maintenance in Heflin, Bain Heating & Air Conditioning, Inc can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any heating equipment model or brand.

Call us at 256-270-1196 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment now.