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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 space. It also makes it difficult for our technicians to perform furnace repair.

Routine furnace maintenance is crucial to keep your equipment working well. A regularly serviced furnace may heat more efficiently, which could lower your energy bills.

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

Maintenance often helps us discover issues before they start. This could help lower future repair costs and potentially lengthen the life of your furnace.

So how much clearance should your equipment really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re remodeling your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should research manufacturer instructions and Anchorage ordinances for clearance guidelines.

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

You also need to make sure the space has ample airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This kind of furnace needs combustion air from the adjacent area. If there’s inadequate air, dangerous gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could flow back into your home.

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

Uncertain if your furnace or water heater has enough ventilation? We can help!

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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 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 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, put your litter box elsewhere. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the smelly odors all over your home.

You should also frequently vacuum by your furnace to prevent dust from accumulating.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you want furnace replacement or regular maintenance in Anchorage, Discount Mechanical Heating & Plumbing Services can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can fix any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 907-202-9798 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment right away.