Citizens Reminded to Make Sure High Efficiency Furnace Vent Pipes Are Clear of Snow
Drifts Can Block Side Wall Ventilation Pipes Critical for Safe Operations of Modern Gas Appliances
El Paso County, CO., February 3, 2015 – El Paso County joins with the Pikes Peak Regional Building Department in reminding area residents with modern high efficiency furnaces in their homes and businesses to make sure the outside vent pipes for those appliances are not blocked by snow and ice.
High efficiency furnaces are not installed using the old style metal vent pipes that extend through the roof. Instead, they use shorter PVC (plastic) pipes typically vented through a side wall near the ground. While these installations offer great efficiency, the side vent pipes can be covered by snow drifts or clogged by snow and ice, leaves, animal nests or other debris. Obstructed vent pipes can result in the furnace shutting itself down, or in the worst scenario, deadly carbon monoxide could be released into to your home or business.
Side wall vent kits that provide added protection against vent obstructions are readily available through local HVAC contractors and online suppliers. But even with a vent kit in place it’s a good idea to check to make sure that snow has not drifted up against the outside wall where the vent pipes come out.