Safety During Winter

Exhaust from Furnace

When exhaust gases discharged from a high-efficiency furnace exhaust vent meets the cold air, the air condenses faster than conventional furnaces because it is cooler. This condensing process, along with the one that occurs within the high-efficiency furnace itself, creates moisture that can collect and freeze around and inside exhaust pipes since it can’t travel far enough away from the home before condensing. As the furnace continues running through its heating cycles, to maintain the thermostat’s set temperature in the home or business, more condensing occurs, and ice continues to build-up.

When this build-up continues occurring, the furnace will automatically shut itself down as a safety precaution, during extremely cold winter weather. If the build-up is occurring on yours, turn off the power to the furnace, clear the pipes and then turn the power back on. If there is still an issue, call a heating contractor. You do not want this to happen because it can create a potential for freezing pipes. Be careful and continue to check them.

Vent Photo

Clearing Snow and Ice from Gas Meter

During cold winter months, it is important to keep the gas meter clear of snow and/or ice outside your home. This meter records how much gas has been used and also regulates the pressure of the gas coming into your home while ensuring the pressure remains steady. If the vents on the meter become plugged by snow and/or ice, it can cause erratic pressure, which could cause the furnace or water heater to not work properly.

If the furnace or water heater pilot light will not stay on, it could be a sign the gas pressure is not stable. Check the meter to ensure it isn't covered with snow and/or ice. If it is, carefully clear it off. If the equipment is still not working properly, contact MidAmerican Energy at 888.427.5632.