How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Annual furnace maintenance is crucial to keep your unit running trouble-free. A regularly serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could decrease your energy bills.

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

Maintenance often helps us discover problems before they begin. This could help lower future repair expenses and potentially prolong the life of your furnace.

So how much clearance should your system really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should consult manufacturer directions and Excelsior Springs ordinances 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 experts to easily repair it.

You also need to make sure the area has enough airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an aging furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This type of furnace pulls combustion air from the nearby location. If there’s not enough air, unsafe gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

If your furnace is positioned in a tiny room with a gas water heater, you may need to put in more openings. This could include a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

Unsure if your furnace or water heater has adequate ventilation? We can help!

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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 add air.

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms are often also used for 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 corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the stinky odors all over your home.

You should also routinely 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 need furnace replacement or regular maintenance in Excelsior Springs, Colvin's Heating and Cooling can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 816-379-3918 or use our online scheduler to get an appointment now.