How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Routine furnace maintenance is essential to keep your equipment running trouble-free. A regularly serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could lower your heating expenses.

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

Maintenance often helps us notice troubles before they become expensive. This could help lessen future repair bills and likely extend the life of your unit.

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 take a look at manufacturer directions and Huffman statutes for clearance rules.

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

You also need to check the room has ample 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 pulls combustion air from the nearby space. If there’s not enough air, hazardous gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could leak 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 include a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

Unsure if your furnace or water heater has enough ventilation? We can assist you!

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

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms are often also used for 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, situate your litter box somewhere else. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could deteriorate your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the stinky odors throughout your home.

You should also frequently vacuum near your furnace to prevent dust from accumulating.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you have to have furnace replacement or annual maintenance in Huffman, Air Houston Mechanical LLC can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 832-224-3887 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment right away.