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 overheat if it doesn’t have enough clearance. It also makes it hard for our specialists to perform furnace repair.

Annual furnace maintenance is essential to keep your system working trouble-free. An annually 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 notice issues before they begin. This could help lessen future repair bills and likely prolong the life of your unit.

So how much area should your equipment 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 directions and Moline statutes for clearance guidelines.

As a general suggestion, your system should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This permits our service technicians to conveniently work on it.

You also need to ensure the area has enough airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.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 type of furnace needs combustion air from the surrounding location. If there’s not enough air, dangerous gas fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide could leak into your home.

If your furnace is placed 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.

Not sure 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 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 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, put your litter box somewhere else. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the smelly odors all over your home.

You should also frequently vacuum near your furnace to stop dust from building up.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you want furnace replacement or annual maintenance in Moline, Freed Heating & Air Conditioning can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 309-323-9584 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment today.