Furnace Installation

How Much Space Should I Leave Open Around My Furnace?

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

Your furnace can get too hot if it doesn’t have enough clearance. It also makes it hard for our professionals to perform furnace repair.

Routine furnace maintenance is important to keep your system operating well. An annually serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could lower your energy bills.

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 reduce future repair costs and possibly lengthen the life of your system.

So how much clearance should your system really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should take a look at manufacturer instructions and West Columbia ordinances for clearance requirements.

As a general suggestion, your system should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This lets our service technicians to easily repair it.

You also need to make sure the room has enough airflow and ventilation, especially if you have an outdated furnace with a metal flue.

Related: Furnace Service or Furnace Replacement: What to Consider

This type of furnace draws combustion air from the surrounding space. If there’s not enough air, unsafe gas fumes and toxic carbon monoxide could leak into your home.

If your furnace is located in a tiny room with a gas water heater, you may need to put in more openings. This could include 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 modern, high-efficiency furnace with PVC piping. Your unit uses one pipe as an exhaust vent and the other to pull 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, place your litter box in another room. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could corrode your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could move the unpleasant odors around your home.

You should also routinely clean near your furnace to block dust from developing.

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request Expert Furnace Service 

Whether you have to have furnace replacement or regular maintenance in West Columbia, Tri City Fuel & Heating Co., Inc. can expertly handle your needs. Our highly trained technicians can repair any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 803-265-4208 or use our online scheduler to request an appointment right away.

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