How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

Your furnace can get too hot if it doesn’t have enough clearance. It also makes it difficult for our professionals to accomplish furnace repair.

Regular furnace maintenance is important to keep your unit operating smoothly. An annually serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could lower your heating bills.

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

Maintenance often helps us discover troubles before they begin. This could help lessen future repair bills and potentially lengthen the life of your system.

So how much clearance should your system really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re remodeling your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should research manufacturer specifications and Tuscaloosa ordinances for clearance guidelines.

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

You also need to ensure the space has ample 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 needs combustion air from the nearby location. If there’s inadequate air, unsafe gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

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

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

Contact us

You don’t need to assess airflow and ventilation as much if you have a modern, high-efficiency furnace with PVC piping. Your system uses one pipe as an exhaust vent and the other to pull 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 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 create wear on your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the stinky odors throughout your home.

You should also frequently vacuum around 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 routine maintenance in Tuscaloosa, KDM Service Corporation can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 205-208-8090 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment today.