How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

Your furnace can overheat if it doesn’t have enough space. It also makes it difficult for our specialists to complete furnace repair.

Annual furnace maintenance is essential to keep your equipment working smoothly. An annually serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could lower your heating expenses.

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

Maintenance often helps us spot troubles before they begin. This could help reduce future repair expenses and likely lengthen the life of your system.

So how much area 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 take a look at manufacturer specifications and the Rio Grande Valley laws for clearance rules.

As a general recommendation, your heater 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You also need to make sure the room has plentiful airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.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 type of furnace draws combustion air from the nearby location. If there’s not enough air, hazardous gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

If your furnace is positioned in a tiny 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.

Not sure if your furnace or water heater has adequate ventilation? We can help!

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You don’t need to consider airflow and ventilation as much if you have a up-to-date, high-efficiency furnace with PVC piping. Your unit uses one pipe as an exhaust vent and the other to pull 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 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, situate your litter box elsewhere. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could deteriorate your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the smelly odors throughout your home.

You should also routinely clean by your furnace to prevent 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 the Rio Grande Valley, Cytech Heating & Cooling L.C. can expertly take care of your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 956-381-1162 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment right away.