If you have a high-efficiency furnace or water heater, it’s likely that you have one or more vents coming through the exterior wall closest to their location. If your systems are in your basement, the vents are probably fairly close to the foundation of your home. These vents take in fresh air to produce heat. They also exhaust fumes such as carbon dioxide.
During the winter, it’s important to keep the vents — as well as your gas meter — free of snow and ice. Otherwise, the operation of your systems could be impaired. In addition, exhaust fumes such as carbon dioxide could get into your home.
Clear any snow around the vents at least 48 inches in all directions, using a broom or your hands on the vent itself. If heavy snow is forecast, do not cover the vents or the area around them with a plastic tarp or anything else that could obstruct the airflow. Also make sure no bushes are growing in the vicinity of the vents.
It’s also important to keep your meter free of obstructions. Ice and snow can interfere with meter operation. The regulator on the meter, for example, must be able to release gas in the event of a malfunction. Remove large icicles and snow, using a broom. If your meter is near a driveway or sidewalk, remain mindful of the location when you’re removing snow, as you don’t want to hit it with a plow or blower. If your entire meter becomes encased in ice, call your utility provider.
For more information on keeping your home-comfort systems in good working order this winter, contact Apollo Home Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We’ve provided HVAC and plumbing services to Cincinnati-area homeowners since 1910.
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