How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Routine furnace maintenance is important to keep your system running trouble-free. A routinely serviced furnace may heat more efficiently, which could reduce your energy costs.

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 lower future repair bills and likely lengthen the life of your unit.

So how much room should your system really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or closing off your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer specifications and McMurray statutes for clearance rules.

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

You also need to ensure the space has enough 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 surrounding area. If there’s insufficient air, unsafe gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could leak into your home.

If your furnace is placed in a little 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.

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

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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 unit 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 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, place your litter box somewhere else. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the stinky odors around your home.

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

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you want furnace replacement or routine maintenance in McMurray, Kowalski Heating, Cooling & Plumbing can expertly take care of your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 724-370-0141 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment today.