When the season’s first snow falls, it coats the entire area in sparkling beauty. Children can’t wait to play (and eat) in it! Dreaming of a white Christmas tops the list for the aesthetic effects that snow offers. But northerners know full well what lies ahead – months of snow removal, congested highways, and just plain cold treachery. Furnaces run constantly and the fear of one quitting or malfunctioning, not to mention the possibility of power outages, is an ever-present thought. Snow can cause disastrous results when it blocks a furnace’s air intake. Furnaces need to constantly take in air from the outside to replace the air they’ve used. If snow piles up against the side of a home, it can block the furnace’s air intake, causing it to work harder and potentially break down. And just as a furnace takes in air, it also pushes air out of the home after being used. If piled up or packed in snow blocks the furnace’s exhaust, pressure and heat can build up and potentially cause a fire. Additionally, furnaces and their parts are made of metal. Metal will corrode when it gets too much moisture. The snow sitting against or on top of your outdoor heat pump or other HVAC unit can cause water damage that can lead to corrosion. Snow can become heavy, especially when it turns to ice. That kind of weight can easily bend the fans in the outdoor HVAC unit, leading to repairs that could have been avoided if the snow had been cleared. A good habit to get into is that when you shovel your sidewalk and driveway, take a few extra minutes to clear the snow from any exhaust areas of the furnace as well as any off any outdoor units.