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Snowstorms and Furnaces

March 17, 2016

Winter in Portland isn’t quite over yet. Mother Nature can typically be unpredictable. While it could be nice one day, the next day could surprise us with snow. When this occurs, 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 pushed outside of your home. Nonetheless, there is a difference between the two. High-efficiency furnaces also bring fresh air from outside the home into your house, which means it’s important for air to be able to move freely to ensure correct and safe operation.

Sometimes the intake and exhaust pipes of high efficiency units leave through the side of your house or vertically through the roof. When this is the situation, you’re at risk of having heavy snowfall bury them, which will obstruct the free flow of air your high-efficiency furnace needs. (Don’t panic, though. High efficiency furnaces are meant to automatically shut off if these pipes are blocked.) To stop air flow problems during a heavy snowfall, be sure to:

  • Make sure there’s a 3-foot/1-meter clearance around your intake and exhaust pipes.
  • Take a look at the area occasionally and move any snow that has fallen into the cleared area.

We know the weather in Portland can change every day during the last few weeks of winter and that weather may impact the operation of your furnace. If you want us to check out any areas around your house or if you have questions, call Three Rivers Heating & Cooling in Portland at 503-213-4433. Your family’s safety and comfort are our top priorities.