Stay Safe This Winter With Clear Vent Pipes

Posted: January 11, 2021

heating vent pipe rhode islandThere’s still quite a way to go with winter, so we’re here to share some tips about keeping your vent pipes clear and why doing so is so important.

Airflow plays a critical role in keeping your heating system running at maximum efficiency. This is true whether you have a new, high-efficiency furnace or your unit is a few years old. With that in mind, it’s important that you maintain a clear path for your vent pipe whenever it snows.

Some vent pipes are in the chimney—particularly in the case of older homes—and for those, the snow is not an issue. However, many home heating systems’ vent pipes (also called exhaust pipes) are air intake pipes that reach outside via an exterior wall. In these cases, the snow can quickly block the airflow. This puts your family at risk of carbon monoxide (CO) poisoning and compromises your furnace’s effectiveness, potentially causing it to shut down.

Vent Pipes and Safety

Fuel, a spark and oxygen are the three components necessary to keep a furnace running. When it snows, it’s important to keep the vent pipe clear to give the CO a way out. In addition to the risk of CO poisoning, a blocked vent pipe can lead to a system shutdown.

In the event of a shutdown, these furnace troubleshooting suggestions may be helpful to you, but you should also contact us immediately.

Be Proactive

These suggestions will help you avoid vent pipe issues in the event of snow—or any disruptive conditions that could affect your system.

  1. Locate your vents. If you have a system that vents through an exterior wall of your home, you’ll see the intake and exhaust vents. They are PVC pipes, about three inches around. (If your system vents through the chimney, then you’ll see an aluminum pipe on the back of your equipment instead.)
  2. Make sure the location of each vent is clear, so you can find it later. Regardless of weather conditions, you need to be able to find the vents.
  3. Keep that area clear! When it snows, clear the area around the vents as soon as you can. Be careful not to damage the vents themselves—you can use a broom to clear the vents more gently.

We are here to help. If you have questions about how to take care of your furnace or vent pipes, please contact us. And if you are looking for heating oil delivery for your Rhode Island home, please reach out and we’ll get you set up.