Keep Fresh Air Flowing into Your Home’s Heating System


Keep Fresh Air Flowing into Your Home’s Heating System

Fresh air intakes – what they are and why you must keep them snow-free

If your HVAC system has a high-efficiency furnace, it has fresh air intakes and exhausts. These vents bring in fresh outside air for combustion and exhaust the carbon monoxide by-product.

Your fresh air vents may be on the side of your house as lateral vents; or the furnace vent may be through the chimney. Either way, it’s vital that these vents remain clear of debris, keep out animals (and nests); and during North Jersey winters, that they are clear of snow buildup. If snow or debris are blocking or clogging the vents, it will cause your furnace to not work properly—or at all. Even more important, a blocked vent can lead to a dangerous buildup of carbon monoxide in the home.

Be sure to check your outdoor condenser and furnace vents after it snows. If they’re blocked by snowdrifts, clear away the snow to ensure a barrier-free flow of fresh air to your furnace. Clear any frost buildup as well. Your gas meter may also be affected and malfunction (causing your furnace to not work properly) if covered with snow and ice. If you have a heat pump, always check to make sure the outdoor unit isn’t buried under snow and that the grill is cleared of any drifts.

Importance of chimney caps

Installing a chimney cap—a steel or copper mesh at the chimney crown—is an essential part of your fresh air intake maintenance as well. It also protects you and the house. A chimney cap keeps out small animals which can block the stack or build a nest at the opening. It also:

  • Protects the chimney from water damage from rain and snow—and protects occupants
    • Rain and snow can corrode or warp the chimney damper over time, which makes it harder to open.
    • That in turn can create a carbon monoxide risk when you use the fireplace.
    • This moisture also damages mortar joints and weakens the chimney’s structural integrity. This can lead to damage to walls and the ceiling.
  • Helps prevent fires
    • The snow and rain can also weaken the flue lining, leading to greater risk of a house fire when using the fireplace.
    • Chimney caps prevent embers from coming into the chimney or going up and out (which can cause a roof fire).
  • Supports your heating system’s performance
    • When the damaged damper doesn’t close all the way or seal tightly, or if your home lacks a chimney cap, you’ll have downdrafts. This makes your heating system work harder to warm your house, driving up energy bills and reducing your system’s efficiency.

Keep your heating system working its best with maintenance from Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric

At Bloomfield Cooling, Heating & Electric, we install and maintain central HVAC systems and ductless heating and air conditioning systems throughout North Jersey. If your home, restaurant, or office needs to upgrade its HVAC capacity and efficiency, contact us for a consultation. And if you need routine maintenance, check out our maintenance plans. We also install the latest in-duct air purifiers to keep your indoor air free of allergens and pathogens, for a healthier indoor environment. Contact us at 973-237-0505 or for an appointment.


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