How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

Natural gas furnaces need sufficient space and airflow to heat properly.

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

Annual furnace maintenance is crucial to keep your unit operating well. A regularly serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could decrease your utility costs.

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

Maintenance often helps us spot troubles before they start. This could help reduce future repair bills and likely prolong the life of your furnace.

So how much area should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re updating your basement or enclosing your furnace room, you should consult manufacturer directions and Jefferson City ordinances for clearance guidelines.

As a general recommendation, your system should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This allows our service technicians to comfortably replace it.

You also need to ensure the area 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 type of furnace draws combustion air from the nearby location. If there’s inadequate air, hazardous gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could back draft into your home.

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

Unsure if your furnace or water heater has adequate 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 modern, 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 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 circulate the unpleasant odors around your home.

You should also frequently sweep 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 annual maintenance in Jefferson City, Stieferman Heating Company Inc can expertly take care of your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 573-203-3908 or use our online scheduler to get an appointment today.