How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

Natural gas furnaces need adequate space and airflow to run right.

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

Routine furnace maintenance is essential to keep your unit running smoothly. A routinely serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could decrease your utility costs.

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

Maintenance often helps us spot troubles before they begin. This could help lessen future repair costs and possibly prolong the life of your system.

So how much clearance should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or closing off your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer specifications and Arlington laws for clearance requirements.

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

You also need to ensure the area has plentiful airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an aging furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This kind of furnace needs combustion air from the surrounding location. If there’s inadequate air, dangerous gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

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

Uncertain if your furnace or water heater has proper ventilation? We can help!

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You don’t need to assess 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 function as 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 move the unpleasant odors all over your home.

You should also regularly clean by your furnace to stop dust from building up.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you need furnace replacement or regular maintenance in Arlington, Service Max Heating & Air Conditioning can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 360-255-5857 or use our online scheduler to get an appointment today.