How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Regular furnace maintenance is essential to keep your equipment running trouble-free. An annually serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could decrease your utility bills.

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

Maintenance often helps us discover troubles before they begin. This could help reduce future repair costs and potentially 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 finishing your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should research manufacturer instructions and Kutztown statutes for clearance guidelines.

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

You also need to make sure the space has plentiful airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This type of furnace pulls combustion air from the nearby location. If there’s not enough air, hazardous gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could back draft into your home.

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

Uncertain if your furnace or water heater has proper ventilation? We can take a look!

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

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms double as 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 somewhere else. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could circulate the smelly odors throughout your home.

You should also regularly vacuum around your furnace to stop dust from accumulating.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you have to have furnace replacement or regular maintenance in Kutztown, Moyer Total Indoor Comfort can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 484-646-3363 or use our online scheduler to get an appointment right away.