Officials warn residents to clear outside vents

Chester County fire officials want to remind residents that snow may block an outside furnace vent.

A spokesperson for the Chester County Department of Emergency Services said fire officials responded to a home in East Bradford Township after a carbon-monoxide alarm sounded, and they want to ensure that others don't have a similar experience.

Snowdrifts or a large snowfall can block your furnace or hot water heater exhaust pipe and cause it to stop working. A blocked vent could cause a buildup inside of carbon monoxide, an odorless, colorless gas that can overcome a person in minutes, said a press release from the Department of Emergency Services.

High efficiency furnaces, water heaters and other energy-saving appliances may have exhaust vents that exit a home through an exterior wall rather than through a chimney.  These vents can become blocked in the winter months by snow and ice, which can affect the safe operation of the appliance, the release said.

Make sure that all snow, ice and other obstructions are removed from your venting systems until the storm is over and the winds subside.  Drifting snow blocking an outside vent can cause a buildup of carbon monoxide inside of the house, the release said.



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