How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Regular furnace maintenance is essential to keep your equipment running smoothly. An annually serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could decrease your heating expenses.

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

Maintenance often helps us discover issues before they start. This could help lower future repair costs and likely extend the life of your unit.

So how much room should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re updating your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer directions and Rapid City laws for clearance rules.

As a general recommendation, your system should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This allows our service technicians to easily work on it.

You also need to check the room has ample airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.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 adjacent location. If there’s not enough air, unsafe gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

If your furnace is placed in a little room with a gas water heater, you may need to put in more 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 pull in air.

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms function 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, situate your litter box somewhere else. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could deteriorate your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the unpleasant odors throughout your home.

You should also routinely sweep near your furnace to prevent 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 Rapid City, Precision Mechanical can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 605-206-2564 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment now.