How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Routine furnace maintenance is essential to keep your system running smoothly. A routinely serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could reduce your energy bills.

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

Maintenance often helps us notice problems before they begin. This could help lower future repair bills and possibly lengthen the life of your furnace.

So how much clearance should your equipment 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 directions and St. Louis statutes for clearance requirements.

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

You also need to ensure the space 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 draws combustion air from the surrounding space. If there’s insufficient air, dangerous gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could back draft into your home.

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

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

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You don’t need to think about airflow and ventilation as much if you have a newer, 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 function 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 create wear on your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could circulate the stinky odors throughout your home.

You should also regularly vacuum by your furnace to prevent dust from accumulating.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you have to have furnace replacement or annual maintenance in St. Louis, Morgner Inc. Air Conditioning & Heating can expertly take care of your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 314-262-4541 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment right away.