Natural gas vent warning in deep snow.

Natural gas is a popular choice for heat in Baltimore homes, as it often heats a home well.

When we get a snow storm of this magnitude, though, homeowners with natural gas need to be aware they may have extra steps they need to take.

The vents to the outside sometimes only have clearance of 5-12″ off the ground. When we are predicted to get 24-26″ of snow, with wind gusts making even higher piles of snow, that means that the vents may get blocked — so you need to make a few trips outside with your shovel to clear about 3′ (recommended) around the vent, otherwise your furnace may shut off, or, if it does not, harmful carbon monoxide may leak into your home.

Your meter also has a vent that needs to be cleared, if it is outside. Here is an example of one:

Gas Meter Vent

I was told to have it cleared out at the bottom.
Gas Meter Close Up

Also, please keep in mind, clear out around your dryer vent if you plan to run that, if it has low clearance, AND an update: If you have an electric heat pump, you need to clear around that, since it needs to be cleared to run properly as well!

Here is a link to a google search of photos of gas vents, so you can see what they look like, to find out what yours may look like! The ones shown in the photos in this post are only the newer type — there are others that just look like pipes coming out of the house without the cover over them.

Be careful out there, everyone!