- By jillb
- In HVAC tips, Life Tips, Maintenance, News
- Tags gas furnaces, heat pumps, vent pipes, winter storm
Winter weather is on its way and ACE has a few tips to keep your equipment up and running.
Homeowners with high-efficiency gas furnaces should make sure their fresh air intake pipes are free of snow. They’re usually white plastic pipes that come out of the side of a home. Blocked vents can cause furnaces and water heaters to shut down, a potential build-up of carbon monoxide or a costly service call. Use a long screwdriver to clear snow and ice from the end of the pipes. Carefully move snow and ice by hand to avoid damaging equipment.
Washington Gas recommends that you also clear snow from your gas meter. To avoid the possibility of an interruption in gas service, Washington Gas would like to remind its customers to clear any accumulated snow from their natural gas meters and regulator vents as well as any appliance exhausts using hands, a brush or broom. NEVER use a shovel or other hard object to clear the snow from the gas meter, regulator vents or appliance exhausts.
Heat pumps draw air from the areas surrounding them (all four sides and the top of the outdoor unit). It is important to clear these areas of snow and ice build up in order to allow air to freely reach the heat pump. This will allow the heat pump to operate as efficiently as possible and will alleviate strain on the heat pump. If you cannot clear the heat pump of snow and ice for any reason, switch the system to “Emergency Heat” at the thermostat. This will turn the heat pump off and engage electric resistance heaters that are located inside in order to provide heat for your home. This is a more expensive mode of operation for a heat pump system, so we do not advise continuing in this mode for more than a few days.
As always, feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns at 703-691-0095.