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How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

November 05, 2019

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

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

Annual furnace maintenance is crucial to keep your equipment operating trouble-free. An annually 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 spot problems before they start. This could help lower future repair expenses and potentially prolong the life of your furnace.

So how much room should your equipment really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or closing off your furnace room, you should consult manufacturer instructions and Sacramento ordinances for clearance rules.

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

You also need to check the space has enough airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an aging furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This kind of furnace needs combustion air from the nearby space. 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 put in supplemental openings. This could involve a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

Unsure if your furnace or water heater has enough 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 modern, high-efficiency furnace with PVC piping. Your unit 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 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, place your litter box elsewhere. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could deteriorate your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the stinky odors throughout your home.

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

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you want furnace replacement or annual maintenance in Sacramento, American HVAC Inc can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any heating equipment model or brand.

Call us at 916-243-6714 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment right away.