How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Regular furnace maintenance is crucial to keep your equipment running well. A regularly serviced furnace may heat more efficiently, which could lower your utility expenses.

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

Maintenance often helps us discover troubles before they start. This could help reduce future repair costs and likely 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 closing off your furnace room, you should consult manufacturer directions and Rocky Mount laws for clearance requirements.

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

You also need to check the room has plentiful airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an aging furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This kind of furnace draws combustion air from the nearby area. If there’s inadequate air, hazardous gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could back draft into your home.

If your furnace is placed in a small 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 enough ventilation? We can help!

Contact us

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 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, put your litter box somewhere else. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could create wear on your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the unpleasant odors around your home.

You should also routinely sweep by your furnace to block dust from accumulating.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you have to have furnace replacement or routine maintenance in Rocky Mount, Davis Heating & Air Conditioning can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 540-369-3790 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment today.