As winter makes a return to Eastern Iowa, Minnesota, and Wisconsin, Alliant Energy is reminding customers to clear snow and ice from around gas meters and furnace vents.
Alliant Energy says snow and ice can accumulate around gas meters and other vents, causing system malfunctions and a build-up of carbon monoxide.
The company says customers should be aware of the dangers and risks of carbon monoxide and have at least one working CO monitor in the home.
Important safety tips from Alliant:
• Don't pile snow on or near the meter when shoveling or using a snow blower.
• Use your hands or a brush, not a shovel, to clear snow and ice from the meter.
• Never bang on the meter or pipes.
• Don't let dripping water or freezing rain build up on the meter. The vent can become plugged when ice and snow melt during the day and refreeze at night.
• Carefully remove icicles hanging above the meter.
• Check furnace and water heater exhaust pipes. If an exhaust pipe is blocked, the furnace or water heater could malfunction or stop working.
High winds, ice and snow can also take down power lines and poles. If you see a downed line, stay away and call your local power provider.