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 room. It also makes it challenging for our specialists to complete furnace repair.

Annual furnace maintenance is crucial to keep your unit working smoothly. A regularly serviced furnace may heat more efficiently, which could lower your utility costs.

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

Maintenance often helps us notice troubles before they become expensive. This could help lower future repair bills and possibly lengthen the life of your furnace.

So how much area should your equipment really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

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

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

You also need to ensure the area has plentiful airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This model of furnace pulls combustion air from the adjacent space. If there’s not enough air, unsafe gas fumes and toxic 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 add more openings. This could consist of a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

Uncertain if your furnace or water heater has proper ventilation? We can assist you!

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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 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 double as laundry and storage space, you should keep yours free of clutter 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 in another room. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could create wear on your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the stinky odors around your home.

You should also routinely clean around your furnace to stop 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 take care of your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any heating equipment model or brand.

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