Homeowners: Clear snow from vents and utility meters

As Nebraskans dig out from this week’s heavy snow, we’re reminded to make sure snow and ice are removed from around our homes’ vents and meters. Home heating expert Scott Drzycimski says vents for newer furnaces especially need to be checked since most of those vents come out three or four feet above the ground.
He says it’s a lot easier for snow to drift up against that vent, causing 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 meters to keep them properly running. 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 the gas service.
If there is snow and ice around the meter, Drzycimski says don’t use a shovel or bang on the meter pipes as you may cause major damage. He suggests you should put gloves on and use your hands to clear around the meter as you don’t want to damage the meter or the regulator.
Drzycimski says just taking a few minutes to check the areas around the vents and meters can prevent a lot of problems.