Snow build-up around furnace pvc venting pipe could be deadly

By WEEK Reporter

February 2, 2011 Updated Feb 2, 2011 at 7:42 PM CDT

At the height of the storm more than 35-thousand ameren illinois customers lost power across the state.

Tonight a few thousand people are still in the dark and cold...but crews are working round the clock to bring everyone back on line. meantime some of you may have spent time in the cold when your high-efficiency furnaces shut down.

Chances are it was because snow piled up around the pvc pipe that vents the furnace out the side of your house.

It's actually a good thing if it shuts down on its own. Otherwise, the snow build-up around the pipe could trap deadly carbon monoxide in your home.

So, emergency personnel say its important that you take precautions.

Assistant Peoria Fire Chief Greg Walters says, "It's necessary that residents go around the outside of the house and make sure that the pipe is clear. Otherwise, it's gonna pack it full and the carbon monoxide that builds up will go back into the building."

Walters says once you clear the snow away from the pipe, your furnace should operate as normal.