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How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Annual furnace maintenance is important to keep your system working trouble-free. An annually 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 notice issues before they begin. This could help lower future repair bills and potentially extend the life of your furnace.

So how much room should your system really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or enclosing your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer instructions and Magnolia statutes for clearance guidelines.

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

You also need to make sure the area has enough 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 pulls combustion air from the surrounding area. 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 little room with a gas water heater, you may need to install supplemental openings. This could involve a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

Unsure if your furnace or water heater has adequate ventilation? We can take a look!

Contact us

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

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms function 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, put your litter box somewhere else. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could create wear on your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the unpleasant odors all over your home.

You should also regularly clean by your furnace to prevent dust from building up.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you want furnace replacement or regular maintenance in Magnolia, JTech Mechanical can expertly take care of your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 281-231-8768 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment now.