Blocked Furnace Venting
The anticipated heavy snowfall and drifting brings one more thing that Medford homeowners need to keep an eye on. Home owners with High Efficiency, direct vent furnaces and water heaters need to check to see that the venting has not been drifted over with snow or blocked. These systems typically vent through the sill plate of the home, close to ground level through a white PVC piping like in the photo above. Drifting snow has the potential to block these vents, causing your furnace or water heater to not operate. These systems have sensors that will detect blockage which will shut down the system. Simply got out and check to make sure these vents have adequate clearance. If they are blocked, simply clear the snow out of and away from the vents, and you should be good to go. If there are still problems, call your heating contractor to resolve the issue.
Ice and Snow Covered Natural Gas Meters
The anticipated heavy snows have potential to damage gas meters, creating the potential for natural gas leaks. If your home has an outside natural gas meter, check it routinely for any accumulation of ice or snow. A plugged regulator vent on a natural gas meter can lead to a dangerous buildup of natural gas inside a building and/or prevent the meter from operating properly, stopping the flow of natural gas. Customers need to gently remove snow or ice from the natural gas meter and any associated piping. Carefully shovel around a meter and move snow away from it. Avoid using a snow blower near a meter. A covered meter, in addition to being potentially dangerous, can also lead to a loss of service and freezing of inside pipes as a result of lost heat. If you smell a strong and persistent odor similar to sulfur, you may have a natural gas leak. If you suspect a leak, leave your home immediately and when you are at a safe distance away call 911.