How Far From a Wall Should a Furnace Be?


The Type of Furnace Matters

  • Spacing may be adjusted depending on your type of furnace. Hot water furnaces, according to, supply "radiant heat through pipes" and can be "inlaid in a concrete slab floor" away from a wall. Wall furnaces are actually installed within "a partition or in an outside wall."

Distance is Important

  • No matter what type of furnace you have, they should be placed a safe distance from structural walls. Because distance is so important, standard inspection codes, according to, indicate that furnaces must be placed in an open mechanical room "if the room contains at least 50 cubic feet of volume for each 1,000 BTUs of fuel input."

Bottom Line

  • Twelve inches is a standard distance for a furnace to be placed from a structural wall. Many different varieties of furnace exist and some are even designed to sit within walls. Inspection codes, according to, indicate that "gravity warm-air or fan-assist furnaces" are also required to be "12 inches off the floor and 12 inches off the ceiling."

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  • Photo Credit apartments block image by JCVStock from wall image by Tomasz Plawski from building inspector,woman image by Greg Pickens from tape measure ruler image by MichMac from
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