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 get too hot if it doesn’t have enough clearance. It also makes it hard for our professionals to complete furnace repair.

Routine furnace maintenance is crucial to keep your unit running well. An annually serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could reduce your heating costs.

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

Maintenance often helps us spot problems before they start. This could help lessen future repair expenses and possibly extend the life of your furnace.

So how much clearance should your system really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

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

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

You also need to check the room has plentiful airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.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 type of furnace draws combustion air from the adjacent location. If there’s insufficient air, hazardous gas fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide could leak into your home.

If your furnace is positioned in a small room with a gas water heater, you may need to add more 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 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 system uses one pipe as an exhaust vent and the other to add 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 things 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 in another room. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the unpleasant odors throughout your home.

You should also frequently vacuum around your furnace to block dust from accumulating.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you need furnace replacement or regular maintenance in Katy, Goode Bros AC & Heating can expertly take care of your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any furnace model or brand.

Call us at (833)-466-3322 or use our online scheduler to get an appointment now.