How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

Natural gas furnaces need adequate space and airflow to heat properly.

Your furnace can overheat if it doesn’t have enough clearance. It also makes it hard for our technicians to complete furnace repair.

Regular furnace maintenance is important to keep your equipment working trouble-free. A routinely serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could lower your energy costs.

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

Maintenance often helps us discover problems before they become expensive. This could help lower future repair expenses and potentially lengthen the life of your unit.

So how much area should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re remodeling your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer specifications and Kearney ordinances for clearance rules.

As a general rule of thumb, your furnace should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This allows our service professionals to comfortably repair it.

You also need to make sure the area has ample airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an older furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This model of furnace pulls combustion air from the surrounding area. If there’s insufficient air, hazardous gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

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

Unsure if your furnace or water heater has proper 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 modern, 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 clutter 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 stinky odors all over your home.

You should also frequently sweep around your furnace to prevent dust from developing.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you need furnace replacement or routine maintenance in Kearney, Thurston Heating & Air Conditioning can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 308-624-3485 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment today.