How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Regular furnace maintenance is essential to keep your equipment running smoothly. An annually serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could reduce your utility costs.

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

Maintenance often helps us notice issues before they begin. This could help lower future repair costs and likely prolong the life of your furnace.

So how much room should your equipment really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re updating your basement or enclosing your furnace room, you should consult manufacturer instructions and Marshalltown statutes for clearance rules.

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

You also need to ensure the room has plentiful airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an older furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This type of furnace draws combustion air from the adjacent space. If there’s insufficient air, hazardous gas fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide could leak into your home.

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

Not sure if your furnace or water heater has proper ventilation? We can take a look!

Contact us

You don’t need to think about 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 items 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 somewhere else. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could create wear on your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the smelly odors around your home.

You should also frequently clean near your furnace to block dust from developing.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you have to have furnace replacement or regular maintenance in Marshalltown, B & G HVAC can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 641-323-1210 or use our online scheduler to get an appointment right away.