How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Regular furnace maintenance is essential to keep your system working trouble-free. A regularly serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could reduce your energy expenses.

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

Maintenance often helps us notice issues before they start. This could help lessen future repair costs and potentially prolong the life of your system.

So how much room should your equipment really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or closing off your furnace room, you should consult manufacturer directions and Abilene statutes for clearance rules.

As a general rule of thumb, your heater should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This permits our service experts to conveniently repair it.

You also need to ensure the room has enough 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 adjacent space. If there’s inadequate air, unsafe gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could back draft into your home.

If your furnace is positioned in a small room with a gas water heater, you may need to install extra openings. This could involve 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 consider airflow and ventilation as much if you have a modern, high-efficiency furnace with PVC piping. Your unit uses one pipe as an exhaust vent and the other to add air.

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms function 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, put your litter box elsewhere. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the unpleasant odors throughout your home.

You should also routinely sweep around your furnace to block 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 Abilene, Abilene Air-Tech Inc can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any heating equipment model or brand.

Call us at 325-200-4667 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment today.

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