For the Basement
Shoveling snow away from your home and clearing it from the foundation will help to keep the basement dry (think of snow melt) and that’s important.
Clearing snow from the gutters and pointing the downspouts away from the foundation, to allow free movement of snow melt, is also important to help keep the basement dry.
More importantly, shoveling snow away from the home and from the foundation will also help to keep air intakes free of blockages. You must remove snow from any outside vents that may be buried, no matter what type of heating system your home may have. This could be a matter of life and death.
Clear those Vents
Keep snow and ice away from a furnace’s fresh-air intake pipes. These pipes are usually the two white plastic pipes that come out of the side of a house. Removing snow and/or ice from these pipes is important to ensure proper airflow and operation and also to guard against the possibility of carbon monoxide poisoning. Don’t forget to clear the dryer vent too; a blocked dryer vent could cause a fire.
NStar has some wonderful tips for those who may have natural gas running into their homes:
Simply using a broom to keep gas service equipment clear during the winter can help ensure safe use of natural gas. Chimneys and vents for gas appliances should also be cleared following a major snow or ice storm to enable proper venting and prevent carbon monoxide poisoning.
Here are some more winter gas safety tips from NStar:
- Remove snow and ice from the meter or appliance vent pipe carefully with a broom. Meters have vents too! Do not use a shovel because it can damage the meter.
- Do not shovel snow up against the meter or vent pipe.
- Remove icicles from overhead eaves and gutters to assure dripping water does not splash and freeze on the meter or vent pipes.
- Do not kick your gas meter to break or clear ice.
- If you cannot safely remove the snow and ice yourself, contact a qualified roofing vendor.
Don’t Forget Your Vehicles
Even if you keep your car in a garage, be sure to sweep any snow or ice from the tailpipe. Snow and ice may build up during the course of travel to and from any destination. If you start your car in the garage and let it warm before you drive off, checking for ice and snow build-up becomes more important; carbon monoxide can come up from your vehicle and the garage and enter the home.