How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Regular furnace maintenance is crucial to keep your system working well. An annually serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could reduce your heating bills.

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

Maintenance often helps us discover issues before they begin. This could help lower future repair costs and potentially extend the life of your system.

So how much area should your equipment really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re remodeling your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should research manufacturer specifications and Hamilton laws for clearance requirements.

As a general rule of thumb, your system should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This permits our service experts to comfortably work on it.

You also need to check the area has plentiful airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.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 model of furnace pulls combustion air from the nearby area. If there’s not enough air, dangerous gas fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

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

Not sure if your furnace or water heater has adequate ventilation? We can help!

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You don’t need to assess airflow and ventilation as much if you have a newer, high-efficiency furnace with PVC piping. Your unit 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 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 in another room. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could circulate the smelly odors around your home.

You should also frequently vacuum around 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 annual maintenance in Hamilton, Carefree Heating and Cooling, LLC can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 513-268-5164 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment today.