The heavy snow that we’re getting right now can mean problems for the efficiency of your furnace. Many furnaces shut off in the winter when their air intake pipes are blocked by heavy snow.
Before panicking and calling a technician for what is sure to be an expensive call, here are the steps to take yourself.
Locate Your Air Intake Pipe
Look for a black or white pipe coming out of your furnace and trace where it goes to the outside wall. Then go outside and look for the pipe. Knock the snow off of the top and build a small shelter out of wood or sheet metal to keep snow from accumulating over the top. Be sure to look down the pipe to see if ice or snow are clogging it – if they are, heat tape will clear up the problem quickly. This is available from your local hardware store and it is advisable to install this on all outside pipes just to be safe in the winter.
Restart Your Furnace
Once the pipe is clear, most furnaces will restart in a few minutes. You may have a model that requires you to manually relight the pilot. If this is the case, instructions for doing this are usually printed right on the furnace. If you are unclear on this, contacting a service technician to relight your furnace is a lot less expensive than paying for them to clear snow out of your pipe as well.
Change Your Filter
Changing a dirty furnace filter can save you 5% on your energy use from your furnace. For more see this helpful article from Green$avers.
Even more helpful is this video which explains how to take care of your furnace vents from The Backyard Man.