Have you checked your vents lately?

Vermont is no stranger to larger storms that can deposit several inches if not several feet of snow! While your first thought is to make sure you maintain your driveway so that you can safety get in and out of your yard, it is also incredibly important to maintain your air vents.

The side of your home is where you may find your heating system’s vent and air intake pipes. Keeping these tubes free and clear is critical to the safe and proper function of your heating system. If you have a chimney, your vents may be located in there. When those pipes/vents are blocked, they can create problems that range from a no heat situation to a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide gas.

So how do you keep these pipes/vents clear?

Step 1: Find them!

To easily find your vents first locate your heating system. If your system vents through a chimney, you will see an aluminum pipe coming off your system. If your system vents through an exterior wall, you will see a couple of PVC pipes coming off the top. Follow those pipes to see where they go outside.

Step 2: Mark them!

Once you have found your vents mark them so they can be easily found in deep snow. Items like a grade stake or fiberglass pole are great options to mark your pipes/vents.

 Step 3: Clear them!

Clear around those vents. Shovel around your vents to make sure the air coming out of them has an easy path out. You can use a soft-bristle broom or car snow brush to gently clean off the pipes themselves.

Remember to always have a working carbon monoxide detector on each floor of your home, including your basement. Patterson Fuels sells and installs Kidde carbon Monoxide detectors and below is their official statement on the placement of the detectors in your home.

“At a minimum, industry experts recommend a CO alarm be installed on each level of the home -- ideally on any level with fuel burning appliances and outside of sleeping areas. Additional CO alarms are recommended 5-20 feet from sources of CO such as a furnace, water heater or fireplace. Alarms can alert you to a problems only after smoke or carbon monoxide reach their sensors. Choose locations free of obstructions, where the alarm will stay clean and protected from adverse environmental conditions. Do not place the unit in dead air spaces or next to a window or door.”