How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

Your furnace can overheat if it doesn’t have enough room. It also makes it hard for our technicians to perform furnace repair.

Regular furnace maintenance is crucial to keep your system operating smoothly. An annually serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could reduce your energy bills.

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

Maintenance often helps us discover troubles before they start. This could help lessen future repair bills and possibly lengthen the life of your unit.

So how much clearance should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re updating your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer directions and Carpentersville laws for clearance requirements.

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

You also need to make sure the area 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 kind of furnace draws combustion air from the nearby location. If there’s not enough air, dangerous gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

If your furnace is located in a small room with a gas water heater, you may need to put in supplemental openings. This could involve a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

Uncertain if your furnace or water heater has enough ventilation? We can help!

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You don’t need to think about airflow and ventilation as much if you have a newer, high-efficiency furnace with PVC piping. Your furnace 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, situate your litter box somewhere else. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could deteriorate your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the unpleasant odors all over your home.

You should also regularly vacuum near 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 Carpentersville, Controlled Comfort HVAC Inc can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 224-412-8308 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment now.