Keep meters and exhaust vents clear of ice and snow
Take simple steps this fall to ensure your driveway and sidewalks aren’t the only things that get cleared after a winter storm, whether you’re home or not. Snow and ice buildup around your gas meter and external appliance vents can become dangerous for homeowners and their property.
Accumulating snow and ice buildup can interfere with the natural gas flow to and from your meter. Frozen gas meters can disrupt heating, potentially causing water pipes inside the home to freeze and burst.
Exhaust vents for natural gas appliances such as water heaters, furnaces, stoves, and fireplaces should also be cleared of snow and ice. The vents provide a clear opening for exhaust gases to vent to the outside and prevent the buildup of carbon monoxide, a dangerous gas that can cause death.
Follow these tips to help keep you, your family, renters, and your property safe during the winter.
- Gently remove snow or ice with a brush from the natural gas meter, any associated piping and external appliance vents.
- Carefully shovel around a meter and then remove the snow to create a clear path to the meter for quick access in an emergency.
- Avoid using a snow blower near a meter.
- Accumulating snow on the roof can fall and bury meters and clog vent openings. Use precautions to safely clear snow from the roof or hire a professional.
If you notice ice on your meter or are concerned that the meter's regulator vent may be blocked, contact Xcel Energy at 800-895-2999.
Anytime you experience a natural gas outage, please don’t try to relight gas appliances yourself. Xcel Energy will check your gas meter, service lines and appliances, and then relight them for you free of charge.
If you have guests or renters in your home this winter, please help them stay safe by printing this Winter Safety Guide (PDF) and putting it in a visible spot.