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Snowstorms and Furnaces

March 17, 2016

Winter in the Bay Area isn’t done yet. Mother Nature can often be unpredictable. While it might be nice one day, the next day could surprise us with snow. When this happens, you can help elude the need for unforeseen furnace service by taking a couple precautions.

The exhaust from both conventional furnaces and high-efficiency furnaces is directed outside of your home. However, there is a difference between these two. High-efficiency furnaces also pull fresh air from outside the home into your house, which means it’s vital for air to be able to move freely to ensure correct and safe operation.

Once in a while the intake and exhaust pipes of high efficiency units depart through the side of your house or vertically through the roof. When this happens, you’re susceptible to having heavy snowfall bury them, which will block the free flow of air your high-efficiency furnace needs. (Don’t panic, though. High efficiency furnaces are designed to automatically shut off if these pipes are blocked.) To avoid air flow obstruction during a heavy snowfall, be sure to:

  • Ensure there’s a 3-foot/1-meter clearance near your intake and exhaust pipes.
  • Examine the area regularly and move any snow that has fallen into the cleared area.

We realize the weather in the Bay Area can change frequently during the last few weeks of winter and that weather can effect the operation of your furnace. If you want us to look at any areas around your residence or if you have questions, call Contra Costa Heating & AC in the Bay Area at 510-343-9841. Your family’s safety and comfort are high priorities for us.