Furnace Installation

How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

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

Your furnace can get too hot if it doesn’t have enough space. It also makes it hard for our specialists to complete furnace repair.

Annual furnace maintenance is important to keep your equipment running smoothly. An annually serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could reduce your energy costs.

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

Maintenance often helps us discover issues before they become expensive. This could help lower future repair costs and possibly lengthen the life of your unit.

So how much area should your system really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re updating your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should consult manufacturer instructions and Cedar Rapids statutes for clearance guidelines.

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

You also need to check the space has ample 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 pulls combustion air from the surrounding space. If there’s not enough air, hazardous gas fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

If your furnace is positioned in a little room with a gas water heater, you may need to install more openings. This could involve a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

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

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You don’t need to assess 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 add 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 somewhere else. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could create wear on your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could circulate the smelly odors around your home.

You should also routinely sweep 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 routine maintenance in Cedar Rapids, Ilten's Incorporated can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 319-208-3295 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment today.

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