Chicago Real Estate Owners: Don’t Forget About Furnace Vents

February 03, 2011

The snow may have stopped, but the effects of the Blizzard of 2011 linger on and many are still stuck in their Chicago homes.

More than 20 inches of snow was dumped this week onto the Chicago area, which is now experiencing frigidly cold temperatures and wind chills that make it feel even colder.

Groundhog Day in Chicago felt more like Christmas. Most businesses, restaurants, banks and shopping centers were closed.

Yesterday was a fun snow day for Chicago kids. Today, it's too cold to be outside.

Most schools were down for the day, including the Chicago Public School system, which hasn’t had a snow day in 12 years.

Today’s temperatures aren’t helping the recovery effort. CPS is closed for a second day, as are most Chicago area schools. Chicago schools will resume on Friday, though there will be no bus service until Monday.

Many businesses and offices remain shut today due to the cold, and a multitude of residents are struggling to get their cars out of frozen snow banks.

Even the trusty mailman didn’t make it out to deliver mail on Wednesday, and there will be limited delivery today as well.

Lake Shore Drive finally reopened today. If you are one of the unlucky ones who had to abandon your car on the Drive during the blizzard, you can now visit cityofchicago.org to find out where your car was taken. You can also dial 3-1-1 within the city. Owners calling from outside city limits can call (312) 744-5000.

There will be no charge to vehicle owners to pick up their cars.

Crews are working to clear Chicago’s main streets, but city officials said there is no promise as to when they will get to the clogged side streets.

Metra is attempting to get back to normal, but is still struggling to recover. Visit metrarail.com for all the information.

CTA and Pace are almost back to normal schedules, though there are some interruptions and officials are encouraging riders to expect delays.

An estimated 4,600 residents are still without power, but ComEd officials are hoping to have everyone restored by this afternoon. Almost all of those customers are in the city of Chicago.

In all, more than 182,000 Illinois customers lost power from the storm that started on Tuesday; the city of Chicago was the hardest hit.

Residents with furnaces, water heaters and dryers that vent through the wall should be on the lookout for a buildup of snow or ice around the exterior vent.

“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,” said a Peoples Gas spokesperson.

Because of the extreme cold, city officials are again urging residents to stay inside. If you are without heat or are in need of shelter, there are warming centers. Visit keepwarm.illinois.gov for locations around Illinois.

Keep warm, stay safe, and remember: It’s almost over; all the groundhogs on record this week signaled an early spring.

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