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 shut down if it doesn’t have enough space. It also makes it difficult for our professionals to perform furnace repair.

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

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

Maintenance often helps us spot problems before they become expensive. This could help lessen future repair bills and likely lengthen the life of your unit.

So how much area should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re updating your basement or closing off your furnace room, you should consult manufacturer specifications and Paxinos statutes for clearance guidelines.

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

You also need to make sure the area 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 type of furnace draws combustion air from the surrounding space. If there’s insufficient air, unsafe gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

If your furnace is placed in a little 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.

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

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You don’t need to assess 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 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, put your litter box somewhere else. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could deteriorate your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the smelly odors around your home.

You should also regularly sweep near your furnace to block dust from developing.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you have to have furnace replacement or routine maintenance in Paxinos, LTS Plumbing & Heating Inc. can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 570-648-0748 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment today.