Check Your Intake And Exhaust Vents When The Snow Piles Up

Check Your Intake And Exhaust Vents When The Snow Piles UpChecking the air intake and exhaust vents should be included in winter maintenance for every western Colorado homeowner who owns a high-efficiency furnace. Significant snow accumulation can impede the safe venting of hazardous carbon monoxide gases, and it can affect the gas meter as well. Learn the proper care for air intake and exhaust vents, as well as keeping the meter clear of ice and snow.


The accumulation of snow and even strong winds can accumulate ice and snow around intake and exhaust vents on the side of the house. Similar issues can occur with traditional rooftop vents as well. Blocking the vent that exhausts gas causes it to back up into the home and compromise the safety of home occupants. Blocking the intake vent causes problems for the furnace itself, impeding the airflow necessary for efficiency, and may even lead to a failing system.

To prevent problems, keep an eye on the snow accumulation around the vents, and regularly remove snow and ice that builds up. You should also install carbon monoxide detectors in the home to alert you to the presence of the potentially deadly gas in your home.

Gas meters

While most utility companies are responsible for the upkeep and condition of the gas meter, homeowners can prevent problems with false meter readings and leaking gas should the meter become severely damaged, just by following a few winter maintenance tasks:

  • Just like you would remove snow from around the mailbox to ensure access, it’s necessary to keep the meter free of snow and ice accumulation so utility representatives can access the meter for readings.
  • Check the meter regularly, and remove snow from around and on top of the meter.
  • Never purposely shovel snow onto the meter; its weight may damage it.
  • When removing snow, use the right tools. Using a shovel may cause you to inadvertently damage the meter. It’s best to use a broom.
  • Don’t use force to remove ice or snow from the meter.
  • If gutters above the meter leak, repair them to prevent melting ice from dripping onto the meter, where it may refreeze.

For more expert advice regarding winter maintenance of the air intake and exhaust vents or annual service for heating systems, please contact us at Climate Control Company today. We’ve served western Colorado homeowners since 1956.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Aspen, Vail and the surrounding Western slope communities in Colorado about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).  For more information about intake and exhaust vents and other HVAC topics, please visit our website.     

Image courtesy of Shutterstock


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