How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Regular furnace maintenance is important to keep your unit running well. An annually serviced furnace may work more efficiently, which could reduce your energy bills.

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

Maintenance often helps us spot issues before they begin. This could help reduce future repair expenses and potentially prolong 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 sealing off your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer specifications and Lafayette ordinances for clearance rules.

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

You also need to check the space has plentiful 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 draws combustion air from the surrounding area. If there’s inadequate air, unsafe gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could leak into your home.

If your furnace is located in a little room with a gas water heater, you may need to install supplemental openings. This could include 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!

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You don’t need to think about airflow and ventilation as much if you have a up-to-date, high-efficiency furnace with PVC piping. Your unit uses one pipe as an exhaust vent and the other to pull 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, 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 all over your home.

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

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you need furnace replacement or regular maintenance in Lafayette, AC Sales can expertly take care of your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any furnace model or brand.

Call us at (337) 234-2345 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment now.