How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Regular furnace maintenance is crucial to keep your unit working well. A routinely serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could reduce your energy costs.

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

Maintenance often helps us spot issues before they become expensive. This could help lower future repair costs and possibly lengthen the life of your furnace.

So how much room should your equipment really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should research manufacturer directions and Derby statutes for clearance requirements.

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

You also need to make sure the space 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 type of furnace draws combustion air from the adjacent location. If there’s inadequate air, hazardous gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

If your furnace is positioned in a small room with a gas water heater, you may need to install extra openings. This could consist of a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

Unsure 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 up-to-date, 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 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, situate your litter box elsewhere. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could deteriorate your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the smelly odors around your home.

You should also regularly sweep around your furnace to stop dust from developing.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you have to have furnace replacement or routine maintenance in Derby, Giordanos Heating and Air Conditioning can expertly take care of your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 203-772-8319 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment right away.