With some parts of the metro area getting as much as 25cm last night, I thought it would be a good time to remind our wonderful customers about the importance of keeping your propane vents clear!

Recap: How Do Propane Vents Work?

Your vent has an intake which draws oxygen into the unit, as well as an exhaust that removes carbon monoxide.

What Happens When a Vent Gets Clogged?

Even the smallest snow/ice blockage can affect the performance of your fireplace.

  • If snow or ice gets into the intake, you’re likely going to have issues lighting the fireplace. You may not be able to keep the flame running or get what’s called a “ghosting effect”

Propane Fireplace Ghosting – Lack of Oxygen


  • If snow or ice gets into your exhaust, it can create a CO build up in your home. If you do not know the dangers of carbon monoxide, please take a moment to Google it.

What About the Propane Tank?

Propane providers do not ask you to keep the tank clear just so they can service you easily, but it’s also to ensure that:

  • Your regulator/gas meter does not freeze up – Will cause performance issues if it does.
  • Excessive ice build-up could cause fittings to damage, creating a propane leak.
  • If there’s an unrelated emergency, the tank needs to be able to easily be removed from property

What Can I Do To Avoid These Issues?

  • Know where your vents are! Not just your propane vent but your dryer vents, etc.
  • We all have a snow clearing routine- Add snow clearing the vicinity of your tank and vent to it!
  • Clean snow off the top, as well as whatever is running directly from the tank.
  • Keep the actual vent clear by using a broom to get into tighter areas. Anything more abrasive may damage a fireplace/venting component.
  • If vent is higher up or you’re standing under your eave, be aware of the falling snow/ice, as you clear it.
  • If you’re in an area known for wind, we have wind guards available! They go right over the vent, allow for the correct amount of air flow but cut down on wind blow-outs and snow/ice build-up.
  • Before a snowstorm, I like to place my garbage bucket in front of the propane tank so it’s blocking the prevailing wind direction. This cuts down on the amount of snow clearing immensely!
  • Turning on your fireplace as a storm is getting bad or leaving it on low for a bit will keep the vents warmed up, as well as keep you warmed up! It’ll allow for less snow/ice build up during the worst parts of the snow storm.
  • Be sure that you understand how to turn on and off your propane tank, just in case an issue occurs, despite your best efforts.

A direct vent termination, before and after snow clearing


Hope these tips are helpful! Happy snow clearing 🙂


Valor LX2 3-Sided Series

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