As Iowans dig out from the heavy snowfall, utility officials are reminding us to make sure snow and ice are removed from around our homes’ furnace vents and utility meters. Alliant Energy spokesman Scott Drzycimski says vents for newer furnaces need to be checked since most of them are three or four feet off the ground.
He says it’s a lot easier for snow to drift up against that sort of vent and it can cause a protective device to trigger and shut off the furnace to prevent carbon monoxide poisoning in the home. Drzycimski says you also need to clear snow away from gas and water meters to keep them properly running, too.
He says there is a device called a regulator on the gas meter that allows gas to escape and properly regulates the flow of gas going into the home. If it’s covered, it can cause gas to stop going into the house or other problems with service. Drzycimski says if there is snow and ice around the meter, don’t use a shovel or bang on the meter pipes as you may cause bigger problems.
He suggests you should put gloves on and use your hands to clear around the meter as you don’t want to damage anything. Drzycimski says just taking a few minutes to check the areas around the vents and meters can prevent a lot of trouble. For more information, visit: “alliantenergy.com” or call 800-ALLIANT.
By Bob Fisher, KRIB, Mason City