With winter in full swing here in Pittsburgh, the last thing you want is for your furnace to stop working. One of the reasons it may stop is because the furnace pipe vent can become blocked by ice and snow. Many furnaces shut off if the vents are blocked to protect you from carbon monoxide getting inside of your home.
Even if your furnace is currently running, despite the snow and ice, it may be partially blocked. As the winter months continue, frost can build up in and around the pip vent. This can cause your furnace to work less efficiently.
At Jacob Heating & Cooling, we’ve put together some tips for dealing with frost and keeping your furnace running smoothly all winter long.
If the temperatures have been below freezing for a few consecutive days, you should inspect the furnace pipe vent outside of your home. This pipe is typically the white plastic pipe that protrudes from your home. Inspect the pipe for frost and if you find some frost, use a plastic putty knife to remove it from the pipe.
After inspecting the outside of the pipe, you will want to use a flashlight to check the inside for ice or snow buildup. If the buildup is more significant, you will need to utilize a heat source to resolve the issue. We recommend using a hairdryer on the highest setting to melt the frost inside of the pipe. Be sure to wear protective gloves while using the hairdryer, and do not use this method if it is raining or snowing to avoid electrocution.
You also need to check your pipe vent during and after heavy snowfall. Check the vent and clear away any snow that has built up in front of the vent’s opening. We recommend clearing the snow away by hand to avoid damaging the pipe with a shovel or snow blower.
It is also important to make sure your dryer vent is clear of snow so that the exhaust fumes can properly exit the home to further prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
We recommend that you also check your meter during the winter to ensure it is functioning properly. Both gas and electric meters can malfunction due to snow, ice, and frost buildup. If your meter isn’t working properly, it can cause your furnace to run inefficiently or cause it to shut down. Be sure to keep your meter free of ice, snow, and frost.
If a blockage occurs, that shuts off your furnace, safely clear the blockage from the pipe vent and restart the furnace using the manufacturer’s instructions. If the issue persists, contact Jacob Heating and Cooling to have your furnace serviced by a professional.
At Jacob Heating & Cooling, you can count on us for your furnace repair needs in Pittsburgh. We also provide 24/7 emergency furnace repair to ensure that you are not left out in the cold this winter. Contact us today to learn more!