Anyone who lives or has lived in the north knows the drill on snow and ice. Long days are devoted to mitigating the extent to which snow and ice affect our lives. There are tons of bags of ice melt to buy. Not to mention all the snow blowers, plows, shovels and rubber boots that are obtained. Yet, the two of us tend to forget about the other fancy components around our lake home which can be harmed by snow and ice buildup. Many of us use an oil furnace for our heating needs while in the Winter. That air conditioner component outside next to the home still needs some attention. The best thing to do is to simply cover the condenser. Go online, there as a wide selection of covers which will minimize corrosion and rust from snow and ice build up. Believe it or not, those gorgeous daggers of ice hanging off the roof can be bad news for oil furnace AC components. They can create problems when they fall from a height only to hit the cooling system. But, I suppose the most serious thing is keeping all ductwork vents clear and unobstructed. The oil furnace fire needs oxygen to breathe, or it will quit. And the exhaust needs to flow unobstructed to minimize any chance of pushing CO2 back into the system or worse, the lake house. Most oil furnaces have a safety switch that would shut it down. But still, it’s just not a good idea. So, while you’re thinking about the driveway and the mailbox, take a walk around the home too. Snow and ice can be beautiful, just don’t let them be harmful.