How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Regular furnace maintenance is essential to keep your system working trouble-free. A regularly serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could reduce your utility expenses.

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

Maintenance often helps us discover troubles before they begin. This could help lower future repair bills and likely extend the life of your unit.

So how much room should your equipment really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re updating your basement or closing off your furnace room, you should research manufacturer directions and Suffolk/Nassau County statutes for clearance requirements.

As a general suggestion, your system should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This permits our service experts to conveniently replace it.

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

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This type of furnace pulls combustion air from the adjacent space. If there’s inadequate air, hazardous gas fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide could leak into your home.

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

Not sure if your furnace or water heater has proper ventilation? We can take a look!

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You don’t need to think about airflow and ventilation as much if you have a up-to-date, high-efficiency furnace with PVC piping. Your furnace 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 corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the stinky odors around your home.

You should also frequently sweep by your furnace to block dust from building up.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you want furnace replacement or regular maintenance in Suffolk/Nassau County, Airmax Long Island Inc can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any heating equipment model or brand.

Call us at 631-737-5566 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment right away.