Can snow block furnace vents? You Must Know This!

One thing that everyone dreads during winter day is for their heating to stop functioning. And as dreadful as it is, it happens all the time. Why? It is because of snow. Can snow block furnace vents? It absolutely can. Snow, ice, or frosts are the factors that can block your vents.


And it is part of safety mechanism that your heaters or furnaces shut off when snow block its vents. If snows block its vents, it cannot perform proper ventilation. Without appropriate ventilation, carbon monoxide can develop inside the house bringing harmful and deadly results. That is one reason why numerous heater producers structure their units to shut off when snow blocks its vents.

There are also some cases that a portion of your vents are blocked, even though it still runs. Throughout the winter months, frost can develop gradually in and around the vent, lessening your heater’s effectiveness. Building up of snow and ice can likewise block your furnace vents. So it is imperative to keep your vents clear. It should be whether the reason is for ideal proficiency or assurance from carbon monoxide.

How can snow block your vents?

Snow can block your heater’s air absorption


Your heater is always taking in air from outside to replace the air it utilizes. It has the purpose to appropriately treat and cycle air all through your home. If snow hinders your heater’s air admission, it leads to your furnace forceful operation and breakdown.

Snow can hinder your heater’s fumes


If a furnace does air intake, it also drives air outside of your home. The used air should be vented out of your home. But if the piles of snow block its passage, the pressure and heat cannot go out. And as a result, it may cause a fire.

Snow causes rusts and deterioration


Your heater and its relative parts are regularly made of metal. And metal gets rusty when it gets a lot of dampness. The snow piling up over your heat pump outside or other HVAC unit causes your system to erode and deteriorate.

Snow can twists system fans

If snow becomes ice, it proves to be heavy. And such heaviness can without much effort bend or twist your unit’s fans. And thus, it leads to fix and repairs. The unnecessary repairs of only you clear the ice and snow earlier.

Therefore, when you scoop snow on your carport and walkways, make time to clear the snow you’re your system. Clear the snow from any areas of exhaust that your heater utilizes. The same thing goes with your outdoor units. And surely, you will be grateful that you did.

Why is it important to clear your vents from Snow?

Regardless of whether your heater burns oil or gas, your framework has a fumes pipe. Furthermore, numerous systems have pipes for air intake. And these pipes start or end someplace outside off your home. For the old model systems, the passage of fumes goes up in the chimney. Such process diminishes the likelihood of vents snow blockage. Yet, in new system models, the vents are outside the walls or sill. Thus, it is more likely to be prone to snow and ice blockage. However, what do these vents and pipes do, and for what reason is it essential to keep them clear?

There are three things that a heater or boiler needs to work. Those things are the fuel, the oxygen, and the sparks. For older house structure, the heaters or other heating systems are inside an enormous cellar. Thus, it can get all the oxygen it needs from that wide area. On the other hand, modern houses have tight and well-insulated structures. That is why homeowners put their heating systems in little spaces. And because of this, the source of combustion air and oxygen it needs are not enough. That is why there are air-intake pipes outside of the house.

And then, when the fuel, oxygen, and spark are present, the system operates. It generates two products which are the heat and carbon monoxide. Heat is the purpose why we install a heater, thus, it is important. However, the latter is deadly. That is why it important to drive out that gas outside through exhaust pipes.

The Pipes

There are two pipes that snows can possibly block. These are the air-intake pipe of the system and the exhaust pipe. And if the snow blocks the vents, the system will halt working. It is either because of oxygen insufficiency or the system shuts off. If the snow blocks the air-intake pipe, the system will automatically shut down. And it will not function again unless you remove the blockage.

But if in case the snow blocks the exhaust pipe, it is more alarming. The blockage may be sufficient to make the framework shut down. Yet, before that happens a snow cavern can conform to the vent blocking the fumes exhaust including the carbon monoxide.  What happens next is that these combustion gases will have no choice but to return and spread inside the house. The carbon monoxide gas is unnoticeable – it has no odor, taste, and color. But, it is strong enough to kill human and animals. Therefore, if you truly don’t need your warming framework to bomb in the profundities of winter, clear your vents.

How to deal with Snow blockage?


  1. If the temperature outside continues to be freezing, it’s wise to review the heater pipe vent outside of your home. It’s typically a white plastic pipe that is on the side of a house.
  2. On the off chance that you locate a slender layer of frost on the pipe, you can scratch it off with a plastic putty blade.
  3. Next, investigate the pipe vent to see whether there’s any frost within, using your flashlight.
  4. When you see a heavier frost buildup, you will need to melt it with heat and dispose of it.
  5. Connect a hairdryer to an outdoor electrical cord. Turn up the dryer to its maximum and utilize it to dissolve ice inside the pipe. Make sure to keep your hands safe and wear defensive gloves while you utilize the hairdryer.
  6. Indeed, a hairdryer is a convenient instrument for clearing ice.  Yet, never use it during downpour or snowfall, as it represents a hazard for electric shock.


  1. Keep an eye on your heater vent during and after overwhelming snowfalls.
  2. If snows are piling in your vent, clean it up from the vent’s opening.
  3. If ever you do see a hill of snow obstructing your heater vent, gather it up by hand. Don’t utilize a scoop or a snowblower, as either could make harm the heater vent pipe.


Snow, ice, or frost can also damage the gas and electric meters. A breaking down meter can make your furnace run less effectively. Or worse, it shuts down through and through. While you keep an eye on your heater vent, do the same with your gas or potentially electric meter too. And guarantee that is clear.


On the off chance that your heater shut off because of a blocked vent, restart it. Do so as indicated by the manual after you’ve managed the blockage.

Check your vents from Snow Blockage

You have protected your pipes. And you are already done with customizing your indoor regulator. You are also done with replacing your heater filters and sealing your doors and windows. Everything seems to do just fine. But then, the first snowfall hits and your radiator aren’t working productively. What could not be right? Did you make sure to check your outside condenser and heater vents to ensure there is no blockage?

Vent Blockages

Have a high-proficiency gas heater warming your home? At that point, you need to ensure that the vents to the outside are clear of any blockages. In the event that your heater vent isn’t through a chimney, search for a horizontal vent for air-intake and fumes.

After every overwhelming snowfall or windstorm that may cause snow floats to move around, try to check these vents for all blockages.

Heat Pumps Blockages

Having heat pumps to warm your home? If so, you’ll have to check and ensure the outdoor unit isn’t canvassed in a hill of snow and ice. Or ensure that there isn’t compressing snow in the grill.  It will obstruct the refrigerant curl from retaining heat.


At this point, you’re most likely very much aware that the chilly climate is here. And the snow is going to reside in your place for the following couple of months. Indeed, snowfall can be very beautiful. Yet, it may bring dire circumstances, especially to your heating systems at home. Snow can damage your heaters. It causes repairs which can be costly. And above all, it may harm all your family and pets inside your home. But you can avoid such threats by following what you learn from the information above.

On the off chance that you have a high-proficiency gas heater or a warmth siphon, twofold watching and cleaning snows is a must.




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