How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

Natural gas furnaces need enough space and airflow to work right.

Your furnace can get too hot if it doesn’t have enough clearance. It also makes it difficult for our specialists to perform furnace repair.

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

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

Maintenance often helps us notice problems before they begin. This could help lower future repair expenses and potentially extend the life of your system.

So how much area should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re updating your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should consult manufacturer specifications and Ballwin and St. Charles ordinances for clearance requirements.

As a general rule of thumb, your system 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You also need to make sure the area has enough airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This kind of furnace pulls combustion air from the nearby space. If there’s inadequate air, hazardous gas fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

If your furnace is placed in a small room with a gas water heater, you may need to put in extra openings. This could consist of 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 assess airflow and ventilation as much if you have a newer, 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 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, place your litter box elsewhere. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the unpleasant odors around your home.

You should also regularly clean near your furnace to block dust from accumulating.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you want furnace replacement or regular maintenance in Ballwin and St. Charles, Air Alliance Team can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 636-206-4250 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment right away.