Homeowners should remove snow, ice from meters and vents - KWWL - Eastern Iowa Breaking News, Weather, Closings

Homeowners should remove snow, ice from meters and vents

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With the latest snowfall, and now the warmer temperatures, utility companies are asking property owners to carefully remove snow and ice away from natural gas meters and furnace vents.

Crews with Alliant Energy have reported finding several meters covered in snow and ice across the region.and say the build up can cause the meter or gas appliance, like a furnace or hot water heater, to malfunction.

They also say a blocked vent can cause your furnace and hot water heater to stop working and could lead to carbon monoxide building up in your home.

Alliant Energy recommends using a broom or your hands to remove snow from a meter. They say you should not use a shovel because the hard tip could break the meter.

They also say furnace and water heater vents on the side or roof of the house can become clogged with snow. They say customers should safely make sure sidewall vents and the roof top vents are clear of snow and ice.

Alliant Energy also wants customers to be aware that the risk of illness or death from carbon monoxide increases in the winter. They say every home or business should have at least one working CO detector.

Here are some safety tips from Alliant Energy:

- Don’t pile snow on or near the meter when shoveling or using a snow blower.
- Use your hands or a brush, not a shovel, to clear snow and ice from the meter.
- Never bang on the meter or pipes.
- Don’t let dripping water or freezing rain build up on the meter. The vent can become plugged when ice and snow melts during the day and refreezes at night.
- Carefully remove icicles hanging above the meter.
- Check furnace and water heater exhaust pipes. If an exhaust pipe is blocked, the furnace or water heater could malfunction or stop working.

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