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How To Keep Snow Out Of A Furnace Vent – Expert Guide

As winter descends and the snow starts to blanket the landscape, it brings along a set of challenges for homeowners, especially those with furnace vents. 

A primary concern revolves around how to keep snow out of a furnace vent. A furnace vent clogged with snow can lead to performance inefficiencies, potential health hazards, and costly repair bills. 

The question that naturally arises is: How To Keep Snow Out Of A Furnace Vent? The answer lies in effective snow diversion and regular vent maintenance.

A practical solution to prevent snow accumulation is by constructing an A-frame shelter over your furnace vent. This structure effectively diverts the snow, reducing direct accumulation on the vent. In addition, regular snow removal, installation of vent guards, or even relocating vents to less snow-prone areas can be helpful. 

Remember, proper vent maintenance is not just about preserving furnace efficiency; it’s about ensuring home safety and saving on energy costs.

How To Keep Snow Out Of A Furnace Vent – Short Review

Keeping the snow out of a furnace vent is essential for its optimal operation and overall home safety. 

The construction of an A-frame shelter, designed to be larger than the vent, provides an efficient method of snow diversion. 

The use of sturdy materials such as treated wood or metal ensures the A-frame’s durability under harsh winter conditions. 

Other preventative strategies include the installation of vent guards, vent relocation, and regular snow removal. 

Seeking expert advice and services from HVAC professionals can further assist homeowners in dealing with potential furnace issues.

Is It Necessary To Keep Furnace Vent Clean?

Yes, it is essential to keep the furnace vent clean. The importance of a clean furnace vent cannot be overstated. 

The vent is responsible for expelling the combustion gases produced by your furnace to the outside. If this vent gets blocked or is dirty, it can lead to several problems that can affect the overall functionality of the system.

The main risks associated with blocked or dirty furnace vents include the potential back drafting of dangerous gases like carbon monoxide into your home and reduced efficiency of the furnace due to restricted airflow. 

When these gases don’t vent outside as they should, they can become a silent and dangerous threat to your health, potentially leading to symptoms like headaches, dizziness, or even more severe health conditions.

Besides health hazards, a dirty or blocked vent can negatively impact the efficiency of your furnace. 

If the vent is blocked, your furnace has to work harder to expel the gases, which leads to higher energy consumption and utility bills. 

Moreover, this extra strain can shorten the lifespan of your furnace, leading to costly repairs or premature replacement. 

Consequently, the importance of maintaining clean furnace vents for optimal indoor air quality and furnace efficiency becomes undeniably clear.

What Happens If Furnace Vent Gets Covered By Snow?

When a furnace vent gets covered by snow, it can lead to possible problems and dangers that are often overlooked but quite serious. 

A snow-covered vent can block the exhaust path, causing the furnace to shut down or, worse, cause a buildup of dangerous gases such as carbon monoxide in the home.

The snow can essentially act like a plug in the vent pipe, preventing the furnace from properly venting out exhaust gases. This blockage can lead to the furnace overheating and shutting down as a safety measure. In extreme cases, if the furnace continues to operate, the backed-up gases could potentially leak into your home, posing severe health risks to the occupants.

Real-life incidents related to snow-covered furnace vents are unfortunately not uncommon. In one case study, an entire family experienced symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning due to a blocked furnace vent after a heavy snowfall. 

After the incident, the furnace vent was discovered to be located in a depression next to the house, making it highly susceptible to snow accumulation. 

It’s evident from such incidents that understanding and addressing the problem of snow-covering furnace vents is crucial.

How To Keep Snow Out Of A Furnace Vent

When the chilly winds start blowing and snow begins to fall, homeowners face the critical task of maintaining their furnace vents. 

Keeping the snow out of a furnace vent is crucial to its efficient operation and the home’s safety. Let’s explore a few reliable strategies.

1. Building an A-frame Shelter

The construction of an A-frame shelter over your furnace vent can effectively divert falling snow, preventing it from directly accumulating on the vent. This structure serves as a protective shield against heavy snowfall.

When constructing the A-frame, remember the importance of choosing robust, weather-resistant materials such as treated wood or metal. This will ensure that the structure can endure the harsh winter conditions and serve its purpose effectively.

The construction process is relatively straightforward:

  • Measure the Vent: Start by measuring the height and width of the vent. The A-frame needs to be larger than the vent to effectively divert snow away from it.
  • Cut the Material: After gathering measurements, cut two identical pieces of your chosen material in an ‘A’ shape.
  • Assemble the Frame: Attach these two pieces together at the top using screws or nails to form a solid A-frame structure.
  • Place the A-frame: Carefully place this structure over your furnace vent. Secure it to the ground to prevent it from being shifted by wind or the weight of the snow.

Remember to exercise caution while installing the A-frame. It should act as a shield against snow and not hinder the vent’s ability to expel gases.

2. Other Preventive Strategies

While the A-frame method is effective, it isn’t the only strategy you can employ. Other preventive measures include:

  • Installing Vent Guards: These specially designed covers prevent snow from entering but allow gases to escape, providing a dual benefit.
  • Relocating Vents: If possible, consider moving your vents to less snow-prone areas. This may require professional help but can be a long-term solution.
  • Scheduled Snow Removal: Regularly clearing the snow around the vent during the winter season can keep your furnace vent clean and functional.

Expert advice and services from local HVAC professionals like Browns Heating, Air & Plumbing can be highly beneficial in dealing with furnace issues. 

Numerous other service providers are also equipped to assist with furnace maintenance, depending on your location.

Benefits Of Clearing Snow-Covered Furnace Vents

Snow may create a beautiful winter landscape, but when it covers your furnace vents, it can lead to problems. Clearing snow-covered furnace vents can provide a plethora of benefits.

1. Enhanced Furnace Performance and Longevity

A clear vent allows the furnace to expel gases efficiently, enabling it to operate at peak efficiency. This efficient operation helps maintain a comfortable indoor temperature and reduces undue strain on the furnace’s components. Thus, the furnace’s lifespan can be extended, reducing the need for costly repairs or replacement.

2. Safety Measures

From a safety perspective, a clear vent drastically minimizes the risk of dangerous gases, like carbon monoxide, infiltrating your home. Carbon monoxide is a silent killer, colorless and odorless. Clear vents ensure it’s safely expelled from your home, giving you peace of mind.

3. Energy and Cost Savings

Clearing the snow from furnace vents also has economic benefits. When a furnace can vent properly, it doesn’t have to work as hard, reducing its energy consumption. Over time, this can lead to significant savings on your energy bills. You also avoid costly repairs or replacements due to a prematurely failing furnace.

Note: Since launching in 2016, Browns Heating & Cooling has been the reliable HVAC service provider across the Chicago area. We hold ourselves to a high standard with straightforward advice, reasonable fees, and the skills of our factory-trained, EPA-certified staff. Book an appointment or call us at (708) 536-8134.


As we have explored, the importance of keeping your furnace vent clear from snow is paramount. 

From boosting the furnace’s performance and lifespan to ensuring the safety of your home and significant energy savings, the benefits are manifold. 

So, when the next snowfall arrives, remember to prioritize your furnace vent maintenance. 

Whether it’s the construction of an A-frame, installation of vent guards, or simply regular snow removal, each step you take contributes to a warmer, safer, and more energy-efficient home during the winter months. Always remember, a well-maintained furnace vent is not only an investment in your home but also in your peace of mind.


How can an A-frame shelter help to keep snow out of a furnace vent?

An A-frame shelter, constructed over your furnace vent, serves as a barrier that diverts falling snow away from the vent, reducing direct accumulation and potential blockage. It is crucial to use weather-resistant materials like treated wood or metal for durability.

What other strategies can be implemented apart from constructing an A-frame to prevent snow accumulation on furnace vents?

Besides constructing an A-frame, other effective strategies include installing vent guards, relocating the vent to less snow-prone areas, and setting a regular schedule for snow removal around the furnace vent during the winter season.

How does keeping a furnace vent clear from snow impact its performance and safety?

Keeping a furnace vent clear from snow ensures the efficient expulsion of gases, promoting optimal furnace performance and longevity. Moreover, it significantly reduces the risk of harmful gases like carbon monoxide infiltrating your home, thereby enhancing safety.

Can clearing snow-covered furnace vents lead to savings on energy bills?

Yes, a furnace vent clear of snow doesn’t have to work as hard, meaning it consumes less energy. Over time, this can result in substantial savings on your heating costs while also preventing costly repairs due to a prematurely failing furnace.