24/7 Emergency Support

How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Annual furnace maintenance is important to keep your system operating well. An annually serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could reduce your utility 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 lower future repair expenses and likely extend the life of your system.

So how much clearance should your equipment really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer specifications and Plainfield ordinances for clearance guidelines.

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

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

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This model of furnace pulls combustion air from the adjacent space. If there’s not enough air, unsafe gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

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

Uncertain if your furnace or water heater has enough ventilation? We can take a look!

Contact us

You don’t need to think about airflow and ventilation as much if you have a newer, high-efficiency furnace with PVC piping. Your furnace uses one pipe as an exhaust vent and the other to pull in air.

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms double as 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, 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 throughout your home.

You should also routinely sweep around your furnace to stop dust from developing.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you have to have furnace replacement or regular maintenance in Plainfield, PWA Heating & Cooling Inc can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 815-410-1231 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment right away.