How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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 important to keep your system working smoothly. A regularly serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could lower your energy bills.

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

Maintenance often helps us notice troubles before they become expensive. This could help lower future repair costs and potentially extend the life of your furnace.

So how much area should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re remodeling your basement or closing off your furnace room, you should consult manufacturer specifications and Monroe statutes for clearance guidelines.

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

You also need to make sure the room has plentiful airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.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 kind of furnace draws combustion air from the surrounding location. If there’s not enough air, hazardous gas fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide could leak into your home.

If your furnace is located in a tiny room with a gas water heater, you may need to install more 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 up-to-date, 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 are often also used for 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, put your litter box in another room. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could create wear on your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could circulate the stinky odors all over your home.

You should also routinely clean around your furnace to block dust from building up.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you want furnace replacement or regular maintenance in Monroe, Lanz Furnace and Fireplace can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any heating equipment model or brand.

Call us at 608-291-3606 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment today.