Written on: January 11, 2021
Throughout the winter, it’s important to make sure that your heating system’s airflow has a clear, safe path. In the event of a serious snowfall, you’ll need to be proactive and act quickly to keep your system running properly—even if it’s a new, high-efficiency unit. Here’s a bit of background:
Your home’s heating system has a vent pipe, aka exhaust pipe. Newer homes have an air intake pipe, while the vent for older homes, in many cases, is in the chimney.
Now, if your vent pipe is in your chimney, there’s no risk of it being blocked by the snow. On the other hand, air intake pipes are affected by the snow as they reach the outside through an exterior wall. Once snow is causing a blockage, your family’s safety could be compromised.
To function effectively, a furnace needs three things: fuel, a spark and oxygen. Furnaces in newer homes rely on air intake pipes to get the oxygen they need. As they heat our homes, furnaces produce carbon monoxide (CO), which needs a way out. A blocked vent pipe puts a household at risk for CO poisoning.
In addition, the system could shut down entirely as the result of a blocked air intake pipe. Here are a few troubleshooting tips you can try if this happens, but we also encourage you to contact us to let us know right away if your system stops working.
Following these three steps will help ensure that your intake and exhaust vents are clear—and safe:
If you have questions about your furnace and how to care for it in the winter—or any time of year—please contact us. We want you to be safe and comfortable every day in your Western New York home, around the clock. If you need to set up propane delivery or heating oil delivery, please let us know!