CEDAR RAPIDS- As heavy snowfall and high winds hit the area, Alliant Energy reminds customers not to forget about clearing snow and ice from their gas meter as well as their furnace vents and other vents around their home.
It's important to remember heavy snow accumulation can cover natural gas meters as well as other vents around your home. Natural gas meters have regulators and a vent to allow gas to escape. If the vent is blocked, your gas system could malfunction.
New energy-efficient furnaces and water heaters vent out the side of a home, instead of the top. If either the side wall vent or the roof top vent becomes blocked, the appliances could stop working and create a build-up of carbon monoxide.
Customers should also be aware of the dangers and risks of carbon monoxide (CO). The risk of illness or death from carbon monoxide increases in the winter. Every home should have at least one working CO monitor in the home.
High winds and ice or snow can affect power lines and poles. If you see a downed line, stay away and call Alliant Energy, or your local power provider.
Important safety tips:
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 melt during the day and refreeze 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
Heavy snowfall can also affect electric service. If a tree branch falls on a power line, or a power line comes down, stay away and call Alliant Energy right away. Keep others away from downed power lines until our crews arrive.
To report an emergency, please call 1-800-ALLIANT (800-255-4268). Customers can also find more information at alliantenergy.com/safety.