Utility Warns To Clear Furnace Vents For Safety 2-03-2011 - WNEM TV 5

Utility Warns To Clear Furnace Vents For Safety 2-03-2011

With the recent blast of snow and frigid temperatures, Consumers Energy issued a release on Thursday reminding customers to keep snow and ice away from meters, furnace air intakes and exhaust pipes.
When snow is allowed to build up around those areas, it can become compacted and freeze. This can damage natural gas meters and keep carbon monoxide from properly venting.
Consumers said it has recently taken reports from customers experiencing furnace problems due to snow and ice buildup. While most fresh air intake and exhaust pipes are located on the sides of buildings, in manufactured or mobile homes, they are most often located on the roof.
“It’s important that customers keep meters, fresh air vents and exhaust pipes clear, particularly after the heavy snowfall and ice buildup our state has experienced,” said Wayne Lynn, Consumers Energy’s executive manager of energy services. “Not only can snow and ice buildup cause furnaces and appliances such as water heaters to stop operating, it can also cause potentially life-threatening carbon monoxide poisoning to develop.”
Carbon monoxide is a toxic gas that is colorless, odorless, tasteless and can be produced when appliances are not operating or venting properly. Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning often mimic the flu and include headaches, nausea, fatigue, dizziness, shortness of breath and stinging or burning of the eyes.
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