Whether you adore snow, or are counting the days until your next beach vacation, there’s something about snowfall that a lot of Massachusetts homeowners overlook: checking the vent pipes on the side of your home. Read on to learn about why this is an important task to remember when the weather gets snowy, and how you can protect your high-efficiency heating equipment, home and family after a snowstorm.
Air intake and exhaust pipes from your furnace should be checked periodically throughout the year to make sure there is nothing in the pipe that shouldn’t be there. Obstructed pipes can be dangerous, especially if they become fully obstructed, causing carbon monoxide exhaust to build up, and waft back inside your home – potentially causing deadly carbon monoxide poisoning.
Of course, the furnace pipes could become blocked at any time of year. In the fall, for instance, leaves and tumbleweeds could blow into the flue. A creative squirrel, a child’s ball, or an errant mini drone could theoretically find its way into one of your furnace pipes as well! But winter snow brings the biggest risk, and here’s why:
So, what happens if your furnace intake or exhaust pipes become clogged and you do exactly nothing to remedy the situation? It isn’t pretty. Furnace pipes obstructed with snow and other debris can easily overheat or backup, resulting in:
Fortunately, it’s easy to prevent these disasters by simply checking your pipes and using a broom or small brush to sweep the pipes clear of any blockages. If something is stuck inside your pipes that cannot be removed with a brush, you can use a shop vac to dislodge the debris. If your pipes are located closer to your roof, you may need a ladder to access them.
If checking your pipes feels overwhelming, just give us a call and one of our Needham Oil Complete Heating & Cooling expert technicians can inspect and clear them for you. For added peace of mind, it’s a good idea to have your entire heating system, including your external furnace flues, inspected each year. These regular tune-ups – included in all of our service plans – reduce the risk of breakdowns and extend the life of your equipment.