A couple of years ago, one of our employees noticed the smell of natural gas in his house. So, he went outside to take a look. His gas meter was clear, but his furnace vent was completely covered within a four-foot drift against the back of his house. He dug it out and cleared the pipe and then checked on it throughout the day because of continued drifting.
Here's a picture of the back of an employee's house after snow was cleared from furnace vents.
Keeping furnace intake and exhaust vents clear of snow and ice is an important safety precaution to prevent build up of carbon monoxide inside homes and buildings. A blocked vent also can affect the performance of the furnace, which may not run properly or at all when the intake or exhaust vent is blocked.
As for natural gas meters, you may not think about that often, but we always remind customers to keep their meter clear of snow and ice for safety. Accumulated snow and ice place stress on meter piping that can damage equipment and cause a gas leak. Keeping the meter clear also allows our employees to properly service the meter in case of emergency and keeps it visible to snowplows when those meters are in close proximity to alleys or other areas subject to plowing.
To avoid meter problems:
- Keep meters clear of snow and ice; make sure snow isn't covering meter.
- Always shovel away from meter.
- Take care when using snow thrower or plow near meter.
- Use a broom to clear snow and ice from equipment.
- Avoid kicking or hitting meter to break away built-up snow or ice.
- Remove icicles that may drip water onto meter.