Furnace Installation

How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

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

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

Routine furnace maintenance is crucial to keep your equipment running trouble-free. A routinely serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could reduce your heating costs.

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

Maintenance often helps us spot troubles before they start. This could help lessen future repair bills and possibly prolong the life of your unit.

So how much room should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or enclosing your furnace room, you should consult manufacturer instructions and McHenry statutes for clearance requirements.

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

You also need to make sure the area 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 kind of furnace pulls combustion air from the nearby area. If there’s insufficient air, dangerous gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could back draft 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 assist you!

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You don’t need to consider airflow and ventilation as much if you have a newer, high-efficiency furnace with PVC piping. Your furnace 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 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 elsewhere. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could spread the unpleasant odors all over your home.

You should also regularly clean near your furnace to prevent dust from building up.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you need furnace replacement or annual maintenance in McHenry, Jett's Heating & Air Inc. can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 815-410-1128 or use our online scheduler to get an appointment right away.

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