Got A High-Efficiency Furnace? Here’s How To Maintain The Outdoor Sidewall Vent Piping Termination

Got A High-Efficiency Furnace? Here's How To Maintain The Outdoor Sidewall Vent Piping TerminationA high-efficiency furnace can save your family substantially on your heating bills, depending on where you live and what you pay for natural gas, propane or fuel oil. These furnaces also provide improved home comfort, with even and reliable heating. However, these furnaces use a different process for venting combustion gases and by-products.Maintaining your sidewall vent piping

A high-efficiency or condensing furnace does a much better job of extracting heat from fuel, as well as exhaust gases, during and after the combustion process. As a result, the exhaust isn’t as hot as in a traditional furnace, and can be safely vented through an outdoor sidewall vent, as opposed to the customary rooftop vents. The air intake vent also can be run through the side of the house. In addition, the sidewall vents are made of PVC (plastic) rather than metal. They don’t take a lot of maintenance, but a little bit is required to keep your furnace running smoothly. Preventing your furnace pipes from getting blocked by ice and snow also keeps dangerous carbon monoxide from backing up into your living area. Adding one or more carbon monoxide detectors, as a precaution, is also a sound idea.

Since these PVC pipes are located near ground level (usually around 12 inches above the grade), snow and ice can cover the pipes during and after a heavy winter storm. It’s important to keep snow and ice from blocking the exhaust pipe as this could cause your furnace to shut down and toxic gases to accumulate. Just gently remove any ice and keep the area clear of snow. Removing the screen that fits inside the piping can also help in preventing icicles from forming. Just remember to put it back when there’s no longer an issue with snow and ice.

If you have questions about your high-efficiency furnace, or if you’ve decided it’s time to upgrade to a high-efficiency heating system, please contact us at Overland Park Heating and Cooling. We’ve been helping Kansas City area homeowners like you with their heating and cooling needs since 1983.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Overland Park, Kansas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). 

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