How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

Your furnace can get too hot if it doesn’t have enough clearance. It also makes it challenging for our specialists to perform furnace repair.

Routine furnace maintenance is important to keep your unit working well. A routinely serviced furnace may heat more efficiently, which could lower your utility bills.

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

Maintenance often helps us spot problems before they begin. This could help reduce future repair costs and potentially lengthen the life of your unit.

So how much clearance should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or closing off your furnace room, you should research manufacturer directions and Williamsport statutes for clearance requirements.

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

You also need to make sure the space 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 model of furnace needs combustion air from the nearby location. If there’s not enough air, dangerous gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could back draft into your home.

If your furnace is placed in a small room with a gas water heater, you may need to add extra openings. This could consist of a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

Not sure if your furnace or water heater has proper ventilation? We can help!

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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 are often also used for laundry and storage space, you should keep yours free of things 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 in another room. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could create wear on your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the unpleasant odors around your home.

You should also frequently sweep by your furnace to stop dust from accumulating.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you have to have furnace replacement or regular maintenance in Williamsport, Lycoming Heating Company can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any heating equipment model or brand.

Call us at 570-244-2510 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment right away.