Winter will be here before you know it, and with it, a lot of snow and ice. As snow accumulates and ice hardens, you’ll want to be wary of the exhaust vents and make sure they’re not blocked with snow. Snow-covered furnace vents can be dangerous to anyone in the home.
High-efficiency furnaces, dryers, water heaters, and other appliances may have exhaust vents that exit through an exterior wall rather than your chimney. Now, before it snows, is a great time to familiarize yourself with these exhaust vents and pipes.
The HVAC experts at Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning want you to be safe this winter. Proper ventilation is key to keeping your family safe and your furnace working great.
A Snow-covered Furnace Vent Is Dangerous
Proper airflow is essential to keeping your furnace working efficiently and effectively. This is why it’s so important to change your air filter every 90 days and have your ducts inspected and cleaned regularly as well. When gaseous air can’t escape the home, and new air can’t come in, your furnace shuts down.
A snow-covered furnace vent pipe prevents your furnace from venting properly. This can cause carbon monoxide to build up in your home. Carbon monoxide is a poisonous, colorless, odorless, and tasteless gas that is incredibly toxic. Carbon monoxide poisoning can lead to sickness and even death if exposed for long enough.
To prevent this dangerous situation from happening in your home, it’s best to make sure your furnace is in great shape and has proper ventilation before winter comes. It’s a good idea to check your furnace vents, dryer vents, and chimneys for things that could cause a potential blockage. Having your fall furnace tune-up from Thiele Heating & Air Conditioning can test to make sure your furnace is ventilating properly and watch out for any signs of potential blockage.
How to Keep Your Vents Clear of Snow and Ice
It’s always a good idea to be prepared in case of an a storm, and when your furnace goes out because of snow- or ice-covered furnace exhaust pipes, that counts as a major problem. You could be risking your life by staying inside a house that is filling up with poisonous gas.
This fall, if you don’t have one already, get a carbon monoxide detector. This will alert you if there is an issue so you can get out of the house. When it does start snowing, check the vents periodically and remove any accumulating snow. Do not bang on the pipes. Simply scrape any snow and ice away with a scraper or a shovel.
If you get a lot of snow accumulation, or your furnace vents are difficult to reach, creating a structure around your vents is a smart and easy idea. Get a few pieces of plywood and connect them with some hinges to make an A-frame around your vents.
If you notice ice buildup on the exterior vents, get a hairdryer to melt the ice. Make sure the dryer is plugged into a GFCI-equipped outlet and that the cord is not exposed to water. It’s a smart idea to monitor ice build-up around the pipes as well. Icicles will melt and the water could freeze in your vents. Knockdown any icicles to prevent potential blockages.
Call Thiele to Stay Warm and Safe This Winter
Whenever your furnace goes out, even if it’s because of snow-covered furnace exhaust vents, it’s time to call Thiele. Time is running out to schedule your fall furnace tune-up. Our technicians will clean and service your furnace as well as inspect the vents for any blockages or potential hazards. Thiele is prepared with prompt service so we can respond as fast as possible. Don’t risk it this winter; make sure your furnace is in top shape with a tune-up from Thiele.