How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

Your furnace can overheat if it doesn’t have enough space. It also makes it hard for our technicians to accomplish furnace repair.

Routine furnace maintenance is crucial to keep your equipment operating well. A regularly serviced furnace may heat more efficiently, which could decrease your energy expenses.

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

Maintenance often helps us discover problems before they begin. This could help reduce future repair costs and possibly lengthen the life of your system.

So how much area should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re remodeling your basement or enclosing your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer specifications and Elk River statutes for clearance rules.

As a general suggestion, your furnace should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This lets our service experts to conveniently repair 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 draws combustion air from the nearby area. If there’s insufficient air, dangerous gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could back draft into your home.

If your furnace is placed in a small room with a gas water heater, you may need to install extra openings. This could consist of 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 system uses one pipe as an exhaust vent and the other to add air.

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms function 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, place your litter box elsewhere. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could deteriorate your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could circulate the unpleasant odors around your home.

You should also regularly clean around 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 annual maintenance in Elk River, Home Comfort Heating & Air can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 763-276-0617 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment now.