How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

Your furnace can shut down if it doesn’t have enough clearance. It also makes it hard for our specialists to accomplish furnace repair.

Routine furnace maintenance is important to keep your system running smoothly. A regularly serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could reduce your utility bills.

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

Maintenance often helps us discover issues before they become expensive. This could help lower future repair bills and possibly extend the life of your system.

So how much area should your system really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re remodeling your basement or enclosing your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer instructions and Wyandotte laws for clearance rules.

As a general suggestion, your furnace should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This allows our service technicians to conveniently work on it.

You also need to ensure the area has plentiful airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.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 draws combustion air from the nearby area. If there’s inadequate air, hazardous gas fumes and toxic 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 involve a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

Not sure if your furnace or water heater has enough ventilation? We can assist you!

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You don’t need to think about airflow and ventilation as much if you have a modern, 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 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 somewhere else. 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 regularly vacuum near your furnace to stop dust from building up.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you have to have furnace replacement or routine maintenance in Wyandotte, Gee & Missler Heating & Air Conditioning can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any heating equipment model or brand.

Call us at 734-363-8907 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment today.