How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Routine furnace maintenance is important to keep your system working well. A regularly serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could reduce your utility bills.

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

Maintenance often helps us notice problems before they start. This could help lessen future repair expenses and potentially lengthen the life of your unit.

So how much room should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer instructions and Hudsonville statutes for clearance requirements.

As a general rule of thumb, your system should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This allows our service experts to easily work on it.

You also need to ensure the space has enough airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This type of furnace needs combustion air from the nearby area. If there’s inadequate air, unsafe gas fumes and poisonous 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 put in more openings. This could consist of a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

Uncertain if your furnace or water heater has adequate 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 system uses one pipe as an exhaust vent and the other to add air.

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms double as laundry and storage space, you should keep yours free of things 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 deteriorate your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could circulate the unpleasant odors around your home.

You should also routinely vacuum around your furnace to block dust from developing.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you need furnace replacement or annual maintenance in Hudsonville, West Michigan Heating & Air Conditioning Services can expertly take care of your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any heating equipment model or brand.

Call us at (616) 669-3961 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment right away.