Dangers Of Frozen Furnace Pipes
The cold weather isn't only dangerous when outside...after snowfall and major drops in temperature your home can be just as hazardous and you might not even know it.
Home heating systems represent 5% of potential carbon monoxide sources. As with anything safety related, prevention is key... schedule annual maintenance visits by a qualified technician to make sure all combustion appliances are operating properly and all chimneys and vents are free from obstruction.
"During snow and cold weather it's not uncommon to find ice and snow build up around the exhaust, especially in newer homes that don't have chimneys or ventilation that go through the roof. People should be taking a look at those periodically, cleaning any obstructions away," Mankato Public Safety Deputy Director Jeff Bengston said.
"Depending on where that freeze-up is at, sometimes you can just go outside and clean that ice out of the pipe, other times it can be pretty major. It's not an easy task sometimes, especially in an attic," President of Davis Comfort System, Tom Davis added.
That's why it's so important to know where your pipes are and what you should be looking for.
"Take a look at the flue, take a look at your duct work that is carrying those gases outside...you can feel for any air that may be escaping, even light a match next to the intake for that exhaust and when you blow the match out that smoke should be carried up into the exhaust as well," Bengston said.
Just like smoke alarms, carbon monoxide detectors are critical and required by law for people to alert them if there is carbon monoxide in the home.
"There's safety devices in the furnaces that will sense those plugged up chimney vents or exhaust pipes but it can also be a dangerous situation, nobody wants to come home to frozen pipes either and have all that damage," Davis said.
Carbon monoxide poisoning has a cumulative effect on the body so even small amounts that you're exposed to for hours or days accumulates in your system...if your detector goes off or you believe there is a leak in your home, call 911.
--KEYC News 12