If that is the case, here is another tip.
Your natural gas furnace may vent to the side of your house, and it may also intake air from the side of your home.
Winds in a blizzard can cause light flaky snow, like I see here in Vienna, to blow up against your walls building snow drifts that cover these critical furnace pipes.
If the intake or exhaust pipes get covered with snow then your system will shut down ~ and that may be your heating issue.
So, note where the pipes exit your home and go outside to make sure they are completely clear.
Last winter this exact situation happened to one of my clients who had bought a new home in Vienna late in the summer.
In his situation, snow had built up over the air intake pipe which was located about two feet off the ground at his house.
After spending an hour flipping switches and checking circuit breakers, he ventured outside to discover the snow drift that was covering the fresh-air intake pipe to his furnace.
Most new homes have two heating systems, one for the basement and main level, and one for the bedroom level(s). The lower level heating systems are the ones most prone to shut down by snow drifts.
New natural gas furnaces are extremely energy efficient and work differently that older style gas furnaces.
- First, they don’t require a metal chimney as the exhaust is cool enough to be carried through special PVC pipes.
- Second, they draw fresh air through an intake pipe into the combustion chamber rather than use the air from inside your home.
The system will sense when airflow isn’t correct and shut down to prevent a carbon monoxide problem.
New home construction, especially here in Vienna Virginia, seems to be focused on making homes super energy-efficient. One technique is using advanced insulation products like spray foam insulation, known as Icynene, which is commonly sprayed where floor joist meet exterior walls.
Icynene is sprayed into these joints where the Icynene expands before it hardens in place creating a very solid barrier that allows virtually no air flow.
And that is a reason why natural gas furnaces have air intake pipes since new homes here are designed to be air-tight, ~ during events like the historic #Blizzard2016 or during one of our world famous heat waves in July.