With our recent cold snap, it's important always to check any exhaust vents to help prevent carbon monoxide from getting into your house.

James Kostuk, Deputy Chief of Fire Prevention and Public Education with the Airdrie Fire Department stated it is important to check these exhaust systems multiple times through the winter months and clear them of any snow or ice:

  • Gas meter
  • water heater exhaust
  • furnace exhaust
  • dryer vent

"Carbon monoxide is a gas we cannot see, taste or smell. It's often called the silent killer, we want to ensure people are safe."

According to Kostuk, they get plenty of calls during the winter months with carbon monoxide alarms going off.

"Typically the levels are very low and it's manageable within the home. But, it is a concern if you don't have a carbon monoxide alarm in your home."

If snow or ice were to build up in front of these vents or exhaust pipes, it would cause the motor to exhaust inside your home instead of outside.

"The best thing you can do is have a carbon monoxide detector in your home."

When Airdrie gets the extreme cold temperatures like we did two weeks ago, it's important to to check the exhaust pipes and vents almost weekly.

"We've seen an increase in ice buildup on the exhaust pipes with high-efficiency furnaces and water tanks. They seem to produce a little bit more moisture than the old traditional systems."

If the exhaust pipes are turning a different colour than what they normally are, It could be a problem that leads to overheating. This could lead to carbon monoxide venting into your home. If you notice this, it is important to contact a professional that would be able to fix the problem as soon as possible.

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