How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

Natural gas furnaces need sufficient space and airflow to run properly.

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

Regular furnace maintenance is essential to keep your equipment working well. A regularly serviced furnace may heat more efficiently, which could decrease your heating costs.

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

Maintenance often helps us discover issues before they become expensive. This could help lessen future repair bills and possibly extend the life of your unit.

So how much clearance should your system really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re remodeling your basement or enclosing your furnace room, you should consult manufacturer specifications and Huntsville ordinances for clearance requirements.

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

You also need to ensure the space 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 kind of furnace needs combustion air from the nearby location. If there’s not enough air, unsafe gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could leak into your home.

If your furnace is positioned in a tiny room with a gas water heater, you may need to install extra openings. This could include 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 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 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 deteriorate your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the unpleasant odors around your home.

You should also routinely sweep by your furnace to prevent dust from developing.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you have to have furnace replacement or routine maintenance in Huntsville, All Weather Heating & Air Conditioning Inc can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 256-801-4701 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment right away.