News Releases

North Shore Gas

For Release: 12/21/2010

North Shore Gas Utility Reminds Customers to Clear Snow from Furnace Vents, Meters, Create Path if Possible

Waukegan, IL - Lake County residents were hit with snow during the evening rush hour yesterday, and with even more snow predicted this week, North Shore Gas wants to urge customers to clear the snow from around their gas meters.

The heavy snows in some parts of the city have nearly buried natural gas meters and regulators and could have caused drifts that cover furnace vents. Customers with new high-efficiency furnaces and water heaters that vent through the wall (not into a chimney) should be wary of a buildup of snow or ice around the vent, according to North Shore Gas (NSG). The newer equipment provides great savings in terms of efficiency but a blocked vent could cause the heating system to malfunction by shutting off or, in extreme cases, lead to the accumulation of carbon monoxide in the home. NSG reminds customers to check the outside vents just to make sure they aren't covered with snow or ice.

The heavy snowfalls have increased snow cover throughout the Midwest and, when coupled with windy conditions, could result in conditions that could cover vents, natural gas meters and regulators.

If snow covers natural gas meters and regulators, it could cause a freeze up that disrupts the flow of gas into the home and causes a safety hazard. "It's important to clear the snow away from gas meters and regulators," said Bonnie Johnson, North Shore Gas spokesperson.

Wherever possible, NSG also asks that customers keep the area around their gas meters clear of snow so that the meter readers have access to them. A clear path also shows the meter readers what route you want them to take when they're on your property. "Of course, we want customers to use caution and know their limitations," says Johnson. "We don't expect customers to clear such a path if doing so is physically difficult or could aggravate medical problems."

Johnson also said that conditions are "just about perfect" for the formation of large icicles as snow on rooftops melts due to the radiant heat of the sun at this time of year and below freezing temperatures.

"Icicles that form above natural gas meters could break and fall onto the meters causing damage. Damaged meters could malfunction and cause service interruptions to homes. It's best to clear the area above meters, if you can safely do so," Johnson said.

About North Shore Gas

North Shore Gas is a regulated natural gas delivery company that serves approximately 158,000 residential, commercial and industrial customers in 54 communities in Northeastern Illinois. The company is a subsidiary of Integrys Energy Group, Inc. (NYSE: TEG). For more information on North Shore Gas, visit the company's website

For More Information, Contact:

  • Bonnie Johnson (Media)
    Manager, Public Relations
    312-907-7333 (Cell)