How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Routine furnace maintenance is essential to keep your unit working trouble-free. A regularly serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could decrease your heating bills.

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

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

So how much clearance should your equipment really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re updating your basement or enclosing your furnace room, you should research manufacturer directions and Belton statutes for clearance rules.

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

You also need to make sure the room has ample airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.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 draws combustion air from the surrounding location. If there’s insufficient air, unsafe gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

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

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

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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 function as laundry and storage space, you should keep yours free of things 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 corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the unpleasant odors around your home.

You should also frequently clean near your furnace to stop dust from accumulating.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you need furnace replacement or routine maintenance in Belton, Bell Air Conditioning Inc. can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 254-307-9572 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment today.