How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

Your furnace can get too hot if it doesn’t have enough room. It also makes it difficult for our technicians to accomplish furnace repair.

Regular furnace maintenance is crucial to keep your system working smoothly. A routinely serviced furnace may heat more efficiently, which could reduce your heating expenses.

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

Maintenance often helps us notice problems before they start. This could help lower future repair bills and likely prolong the life of your system.

So how much area should your system really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re updating your basement or enclosing your furnace room, you should research manufacturer instructions and Lawrence laws 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 technicians to easily work on 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 model of furnace draws combustion air from the nearby area. If there’s inadequate air, hazardous gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could leak into your home.

If your furnace is located in a tiny room with a gas water heater, you may need to install extra openings. This could involve a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

Not sure if your furnace or water heater has adequate ventilation? We can take a look!

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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 system uses one pipe as an exhaust vent and the other to draw in 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, situate your litter box in another room. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the smelly odors around your home.

You should also frequently sweep around your furnace to prevent dust from accumulating.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you need furnace replacement or annual maintenance in Lawrence, Scott Temperature can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any heating equipment model or brand.

Call us at 785-269-0465 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment today.