Education Hub

Here’s why your furnace isn’t working after a large snowfall

Man outside after snowfall with snowblower

Large snowfalls aren’t quite as fun as they used to be. No more going out to build forts, and throw snowballs. As an adult, snow can be a pain.

After battling your winter enemy all you want to do is get inside and warm up. Understandably, nothing could be worse than finding that your furnace has shutdown without so much as a hint of a prior issue. While it is entirely possible that this could be a larger issue, especially if you have an older furnace, there is one thing you should definitely check before you call a service technician… Ensure your intake and exhaust pipes are clear of snow!

Some furnaces – especially new, high efficiency furnaces – have exhaust or intake pipes that run to the exterior of the house. When there are large snowfalls or snowfalls with high winds, snow can clog up these pipes. As a result, your furnace will hit the emergency stop button. Some furnaces recognize that more costly issues can develop without proper airflow. So in essence, the shutdown function is intended to prevent this from happening.

So, before you cost yourself a service call, here is a walk through of the troubleshooting process:

First off, you should find where the exhaust/intake pipes are connected to your furnace. These pipes will be non-metallic (likely plastic) and they will attach to your furnace and end on an exterior wall. Once you have located them, find where they lead to outside and get your snow gear ready!

Once you’re all bundled up and have your shovels ready, find where you think the pipes lead to and start digging. You’ll want to clear all snow from around the area to ensure you don’t have a continuing issue. Once done, check and see if there is anything clogging the pipe(s).

When you’re done clearing the snow, your furnace should begin running on its own. If it doesn’t begin running immediately, you may need to start it yourself (using the starting instructions attached to your furnace).

If this doesn’t work, call A1 immediately at 905-844-2949 as there may be a larger issue to deal with.


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