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Drifting snow causes problems with furnace vents

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- In these extreme weather conditions, your furnace is going to be working overtime. And while you're worried about clearing your driveway or digging your car out, one thing you might forget to clear is your furnace vent.  


"When we have heavy snow combined with this much wind and we get that drifting, that's when the snow is going to pile up," says James Olesen, a heating a cooling expert with Great Lakes Heating and Air Conditioning.


But remembering to clear your furnace vent, could save your life.  Furnaces that are working properly usually have a safety valve that will switch off if enough oxygen isn't getting through.  But if the furnace isn't working properly, carbon monoxide could leak into your home.  


So what can you do to keep your home safe?  When a furnace fires up, it needs two things - a way to exhaust the gas from the furnace, and a way to bring in fresh air for combustion.  


So make sure these vent pipes are cleared.  


Olesen suggests during these extreme conditions, clear the snow away from the pipes about once an hour, to make sure your furnace doesn't shut off, or worse, leak carbon monoxide.  


 

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