Building Safety Month Resources

Mechanical Room Safety

Your mechanical room is the workhorse of your home's heating, cooling, and often electrical systems.   The comfort and function of the home are directly correlated to the inner workings of the mechanical room; however, they are often neglected to a point that hazards become present.   Without being properly maintained a mechanical room can create carbon monoxide hazards, fire hazards, and even mold and quality of air hazards. Here are some things to check for to make sure your mechanical room is safe and efficient:

  • Ventilation- Fuel-burning appliances will have a source of intake air and exhaust air. For natural draft systems, the intake air will be a duct directly from the outside into the room. It is very important to make sure that this air intake opening is unobstructed for the proper operation of the appliances.

  • Clearances around equipment- It is important to make sure that the furnace, water heater, and electrical panels have proper clearance around them. These appliances generate heat or spark and are designed to contain the hazards, however, if proper clearances are not provided it could result in a fire. Proper clearances will also ensure that appliances are operating efficiently. Your equipment manuals will tell you the proper clearances. For electrical panels, you will want to provide 30”x36” of clearance.

  • Service the equipment- The operation manuals for your furnace and water heater will provide the maintenance items and timelines that should be followed. Typically, you will want to change filters every 6 months and service as recommended.
  • Clean the room- It is important to keep the mechanical room clean and free from debris. The dirt and debris present in the room have the potential to cause problems with your mechanical systems.
  • No storage- It may seem like a good place to store items; however, these rooms are typically built for the minimum clearances and that space should not be used for storage.