Outside vents are a commonly overlooked part of homeownership, but without proper oversight and maintenance, a malfunction on their part can have deadly ramifications, from mold/mildew propagation up to and including carbon monoxide poisoning. With winter coming up, outside vents can easily become plugged with snow and quickly freeze, becoming blocked. Not only will this potentially cause your indoor air quality to plummet, but it can also lead to appliance inefficiency and structural damage.
To keep your indoor environment healthy and your home running safely and efficiently this winter, here are some ways you can monitor and keep your exhaust vents running their best.
Identify Your Home’s Exhaust Vents
Before the weather buries everything under a blanket of snow, walk around your home this autumn and identify your home’s exhaust vents. Foundation vents are typically metallic, free-flowing, and situated in the concrete base of the home. Dryer vents typically have slats that move up and down as exhaust is expelled. Make note of their location as you will need to know where they are in case they get buried in snow.
Replace Broken Vents Before Winter
Should you find any broken or malfunctioning dryer or foundation exhaust vents, be sure to get them replaced before winter. Some of these replacements may require drilling into the home’s foundation, which may not be tenable in the cold season. Take the leap before the snow flies for maximum efficiency and safety.
Do Not Allow Snow to Accumulate
Should a flurry hit, it will be important to keep them clear of any and all obstructions, including snow. If left unattended, snow can melt and turn to ice, which will make removal more difficult, all while not allowing your basement/dryer/etc. to not vent properly, which can cause a plethora of problems deepening on what vent is blocked.
Check your foundation vents if…your basement is unusually damp or humid.
Check your dryer vents if…your dryer is not drying properly and/or your laundry room gets unusually humid while drying.
Check Your Furnace Vent for Ice Accumulation
A visual inspection of your furnace before the snow flies is also a good idea. Part of that includes checking both the intake and exhaust for your furnace. Snow and fallen leaves can occasionally clog the openings, reducing your furnaces efficiency and/or making it difficult to start.
How FAMCO Can Help
We are FAMCO, one of the largest manufacturers and distributors of HVAC supplies and accessories in the Pacific Northwest. We pride ourselves on crafting high-quality dryer and foundation vents that help keep you and yours safe and healthy all-year round. If you have any questions about our products or services, feel free to give us a call. We will be more than happy to help.