How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

Natural gas furnaces need adequate space and airflow to work correctly.

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

Routine furnace maintenance is important to keep your system operating well. A routinely 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 troubles before they become expensive. This could help lessen future repair bills and likely prolong the life of your system.

So how much clearance should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer specifications and Brookfield statutes for clearance guidelines.

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

You also need to check the area 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 kind of furnace pulls combustion air from the nearby location. If there’s inadequate air, unsafe 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 supplemental openings. This could include a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

Unsure if your furnace or water heater has proper ventilation? We can take a look!

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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 system 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 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, place your litter box elsewhere. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could circulate the unpleasant odors all over your home.

You should also regularly clean by your furnace to prevent dust from building up.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you need furnace replacement or routine maintenance in Brookfield, Central Air LLC can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any heating equipment model or brand.

Call us at 203-357-5913 or use our online scheduler to get an appointment right away.