How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Routine furnace maintenance is essential to keep your equipment running trouble-free. A regularly serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could reduce your energy expenses.

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

Maintenance often helps us spot troubles before they start. This could help reduce future repair bills and potentially extend the life of your furnace.

So how much room should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re updating your basement or enclosing your furnace room, you should research manufacturer specifications and Keokuk statutes 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 professionals to comfortably repair it.

You also need to ensure the area has enough airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This kind of furnace pulls combustion air from the nearby space. If there’s not enough air, hazardous gas fumes and poisonous 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 add extra 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 assist you!

Contact us

You don’t need to consider 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, put your litter box in another room. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could create wear on your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the stinky odors all over your home.

You should also frequently clean around your furnace to block dust from building up.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you have to have furnace replacement or regular maintenance in Keokuk, WM J Kraus & Son can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any heating equipment model or brand.

Call us at 319-229-2318 or use our online scheduler to get an appointment right away.