Venting Natural Gas Appliances Safely


Natural gas appliances such as water heaters, furnaces, and fireplaces need proper venting to operate safely. Venting allows the combustion byproducts produced by appliances such as water heaters and home heaters to be safely expelled to the outdoors, preventing the accumulation of harmful gases inside the living spaces.

It is important to keep a three-foot area clear around the vents and intake tubes, including exhaust vents for these appliances. The area around gas appliances should be kept clean, well-ventilated, and free of any items that might block normal airflow. Flammable products such as gasoline, spray paints, solvents, insecticides, adhesives, foggers, varnish, cleaning products, and other pressurized containers should never be stored or used in the same room as gas-burning or heat-producing appliances.

Natural gas dryers should always be vented outdoors, as it is a fire risk to exhaust into an attic, chimney, wall, ceiling, or concealed space. Only approved metal vent ducting material should be used, as plastic and vinyl are not approved for gas dryers.

Snow and ice should be cleared from intake, exhaust, and make-up air vents to avoid carbon monoxide buildup and operational issues with the appliances. After any snowfall, inspect the area around the furnace and water heater vents to ensure that snow and ice are not blocking their safe operation.

By following these safety guidelines, you can ensure the safe operation of your natural gas appliances.