How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

Natural gas furnaces need enough space and airflow to heat correctly.

Your furnace can shut down if it doesn’t have enough space. It also makes it hard for our specialists to perform furnace repair.

Routine furnace maintenance is crucial to keep your unit running well. A regularly serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could lower your heating bills.

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

Maintenance often helps us spot troubles before they become expensive. This could help reduce future repair expenses and possibly lengthen 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 research manufacturer directions and York laws for clearance guidelines.

As a general rule of thumb, your heater should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This allows our service technicians to comfortably replace 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You also need to ensure the area has enough airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.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 model of furnace pulls combustion air from the nearby space. If there’s insufficient air, unsafe gas fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

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

Uncertain if your furnace or water heater has adequate ventilation? We can assist you!

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You don’t need to assess 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 draw 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 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, situate your litter box elsewhere. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could create wear on your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the smelly odors around your home.

You should also frequently sweep around your furnace to stop dust from accumulating.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you have to have furnace replacement or routine maintenance in York, Strine's Heating & Air Conditioning can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any heating equipment model or brand.

Call us at 717-383-4479 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment today.