Furnace Installation

How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

Natural gas furnaces need sufficient space and airflow to run properly.

Your furnace can overheat if it doesn’t have enough clearance. It also makes it difficult for our professionals to perform furnace repair.

Routine furnace maintenance is essential to keep your system running well. An annually serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could lower your utility expenses.

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

Maintenance often helps us spot issues before they become expensive. This could help lower future repair bills and likely lengthen the life of your system.

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 directions and the Bay Area laws for clearance guidelines.

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

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

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This type of furnace pulls combustion air from the surrounding location. If there’s not enough air, unsafe gas fumes and deadly carbon monoxide could back draft into your home.

If your furnace is positioned in a small room with a gas water heater, you may need to put in supplemental openings. This could include 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 think about 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 pull in air.

Keep Combustible Materials Away from Your Furnace

Although furnace rooms function as 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, place your litter box elsewhere. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the unpleasant odors throughout your home.

You should also routinely vacuum 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 routine maintenance in the Bay Area, Contra Costa Heating & AC can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any furnace model or brand.

Call us at 510-343-9841 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment right away.

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