Officials warn keeping natural gas exhaust vents clear after heavy snowfall

COLONIE, N.Y. (NEWS10) – Natural gas exhaust vents can become blocked after heavy snowfall, which can push carbon monoxide into homes causing serious harm.

Mary Nardolillo has lived on Margeret Drive in Colonie for over 30 years. She and her daughter, Amy, are used to frigid February temperatures.

“We spend most of our time in this room, and usually it’s in front of the fireplace,” she said.

But when the snow comes down, Nardolillo has to keep an eye on the door. If her natural gas exhaust vent gets covered, she and her daughter could be in trouble.

“When it gets plugged up, it gets backed up, and that could put carbon monoxide back into your home and give you poisoning from it,” Selkirk Fire Chief Bill Asprion said.

Asprion said there are signs to look out for.

“You can’t really smell it, but it certainly can make you feel lightheaded, dizzy, sick to your stomach,” he said. “You actually could just pass out and pass on from the gas that gets into your blood.”

Asprion said you should always be aware of the snow near your heating vents.

“If you sense anything at all that’s not right, call 911, and we will respond,” he said.

For Nardolillo and her daughter, staying safe in their home is their number one priority.

“Being safe in the house is our most important thing here,” Amy said.

In addition to snow, you should also look out for ice. Even though it may not look like snow is covering the vent, ice could build up inside, which can also be dangerous.


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