Keep Furnace Vents, Meters Free of Snow and Ice for Safety

Posted on January 6, 2014. Filed under: Community, Natural Gas, Natural Gas Safety, Safety, storm, weather | Tags: , , , , , , |

furnaceVentFollowing last weekend’s heavy snowfall across Michigan, we’re encouraging customers to keep safety in mind and make sure your gas furnace fresh air intake pipes and gas/electric meters are free of snow and ice.

With the large amount of snow that fell over the past two days, we have received numerous no-heat calls from customers, particularly those who live in mobile homes where chimneys are located on top of flat roofs. Snow has piled up around and blocked many of these chimneys, which causes furnace pilot lights to go out. Keep safe and warm with these tips:

  • Mobile Home customers: Safely clear snow away from mobile home rooftop chimneys, preferably by using a snow rake. The furnace can then be recycled and should operate properly.
  • High Efficiency Furnace customers: Make sure the fresh air intake pipes (typically two white plastic that comes out of the side of the home – see related photo) are free from drifting snow to prevent obstructions and improper operation. 
  • Keep gas and electric meters clear of snow and ice. When snow and ice is allowed to build up it can become compacted and freeze, causing damage that interferes with proper operation of meters and related appliances. Snow should only be removed by hand, never with a shovel or power snow removal equipment.

Carbon Monoxide Safety: Safe removal of snow and ice around chimneys, intake valves and meters can help prevent possible carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning. Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that is colorless, odorless, tasteless and can be produced when appliances aren’t operating or venting properly. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning often mimic the flu and include headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath, and stinging or burning of the eyes. Learn more at www.ConsumersEnergy.com/cosafety

2 Responses to “Keep Furnace Vents, Meters Free of Snow and Ice for Safety”

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are the intakes under the skirting? there are no visible pipes like this at ground level

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On mobile homes, intakes will be only on the roof. Thanks.

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