Natural gas furnaces need sufficient space and airflow to work correctly.

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

Routine furnace maintenance is important to keep your system running well. A routinely serviced furnace may run more efficiently, which could lower your heating expenses.

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

Maintenance often helps us notice problems before they become expensive. This could help lower future repair costs and likely extend the life of your unit.

So how much area should your furnace really have?

How Much Space Does My Furnace Need?

If you’re finishing your basement or sealing off your furnace room, you should research manufacturer specifications and Erie laws for clearance requirements.

As a general recommendation, your heater should be 30 inches away from furnace room walls on all sides. This permits our service experts to comfortably work on it.

You also need to make sure the room 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 type of furnace draws combustion air from the adjacent space. If there’s not enough air, unsafe gas fumes and poisonous carbon monoxide could back draft into your home.

If your furnace is positioned in a tiny room with a gas water heater, you may need to install extra openings. This could include a fully louvered door or vents in the walls.

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 pull in air.

Keep Flammable Items Separate 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, situate your litter box somewhere else. Cat urine contains ammonia, which could deteriorate your furnace’s heat exchanger. Plus, the furnace could circulate the stinky odors all over your home.

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

Related: Is it Time for Furnace Service or Replacement?

Request a Free Quote for Furnace Service

Whether you want furnace replacement or routine maintenance in Erie, Patterson & Stirling can expertly meet your needs. Our highly trained technicians can work on any HVAC model or brand.

Call us at 814-308-0416 or use our online scheduler to set up an appointment right away.