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 get too hot if it doesn’t have enough clearance. It also makes it hard for our professionals to perform furnace repair.

Annual furnace maintenance is essential to keep your equipment working well. A routinely serviced furnace may heat more efficiently, which could reduce your heating 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 expenses and possibly prolong the life of your unit.

So how much clearance should your equipment really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re updating your basement or enclosing your furnace room, you should consult manufacturer directions and Lincoln ordinances for clearance rules.

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

You also need to make sure 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 kind of furnace draws combustion air from the adjacent area. If there’s insufficient air, dangerous gas fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide could back draft into your home.

If your furnace is located in a little room with a gas water heater, you may need to put in extra 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 take a look!

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You don’t need to consider airflow and ventilation as much if you have a up-to-date, 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 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 somewhere else. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the stinky odors throughout your home.

You should also frequently sweep around your furnace to block dust from developing.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you need furnace replacement or routine maintenance in Lincoln, AW Heating & Air Conditioning can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 402-318-5351 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment today.