Gas furnaces need a good supply of air to work efficiently and safely. In addition, as your furnace should be checked regularly, and at least once a year for servicing, the engineer will need space in which to work around your furnace. Restrict airflow and your furnace will cost more to run, will not run as safely as it should (which could void your household insurance policy), and will be impossible to maintain properly.
So, what is a good space to leave between your furnace and the walls surrounding it. While the manufacturer will provide specific guidelines for each individual furnace, the normal rule is 18 inches at the back and sides, and as much room as is possible at the front. Clearly putting the boiler in an 18-inch cube would not work!
Depending on the size of the space in the room where your furnace has been installed, you may need to have a louvered door or additional wall vents to allow for sufficient circulation of air.
In the winter, it can be tempting to use the furnace as a means for drying clothes, but putting clothes directly on the furnace will create a fire hazard, while placing them too close will restrict air flow.
Additionally, many furnaces are located in garages or storage rooms, and without really noticing what you are doing, all of a sudden you can find that the furnace has become covered with all sorts as you move things around the space to make room for more items. It can even reach the point where you forget that you actually have a furnace in that space!
Because your gas furnace gets hot, here at A&E Air Conditioning and Heating we strongly recommend that wherever your gas furnace is located , you keep that room/space free from fire hazards, such as a clothes line, cleaning products, gasoline, paint thinners or oil-based paint, loose rags and newspapers, wood shavings, sawdust and, of course, old used filters.
If you are unsure whether or not your current gas furnace is safe to operate within the space it currently occupies, please don’t be afraid to give us a call and ask us to come and check for you. Peace of mind costs very little these days!