How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

Your furnace can shut down if it doesn’t have enough room. It also makes it challenging for our specialists to accomplish furnace repair.

Regular furnace maintenance is essential to keep your system working well. A routinely serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could lower your utility costs.

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

Maintenance often helps us notice troubles before they start. This could help lessen future repair costs and potentially lengthen 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 sealing off your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer specifications and Racine ordinances for clearance requirements.

As a general recommendation, your furnace should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This allows our service experts to conveniently work on it.

You also need to check the space has ample airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an aging furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This kind of furnace pulls combustion air from the surrounding location. If there’s inadequate air, unsafe gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could leak into your home.

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

Uncertain if your furnace or water heater has proper 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 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, place your litter box elsewhere. 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 vacuum near your furnace to block dust from building up.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you need furnace replacement or annual maintenance in Racine, Keystone Heating & Air Conditioning Co., Inc can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 262-358-9468 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment right away.