Avoid and Treat a Puff Back in Your Furnace

from Gammons Insurance Agency Inc.
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Dec 08, 2014

It’s getting colder day by day here in New England. If you’re going to be turning on your home’s furnace in the near future, make sure that you take the necessary precautions to avoid having a nasty “puff back.” What is a Puff Back, and what causes it?

A puff back is the result of a misfire in your furnace that causes a cloud of sticky black soot to coat your home – floor, ceiling, walls, and furniture… nothing is safe from the grime. Typically this is caused by either a delayed ignition in your oil burner (similar to a car backfire) or a buildup of debris that exploded upon ignition of your oil. Either way, it will give your home a “scorched” appearance, like in this picture:

Avoid and Treat a Puff Back in Your Furnace How can I avoid having this problem?

 If you have a furnace, you should plan to have it serviced once a year. Both the furnace and the oil burner need to be professionally cleaned so that a misfire or a soot buildup will be less likely to occur. Most people prefer to have this done in the Fall months of the year so that their furnace is clean and ready to be used safely during the first cold snap of the winter.

 If I do have a Puff Back, what should I do?

You need to do everything you can to avoid inhaling the soot that is coating your home. These impure carbon particles can get lodged in your respiratory system and cause health problems, so don’t take any chances. Turn off the furnace immediately, and make sure that everyone leaves your home at once. Call your furnace service person promptly to have your furnace serviced and repaired after the puff back. Once it is clear for you to return to your home, make sure that you dispose of any food that could have been contaminated by the soot. When in doubt, throw it out – it’s better to be safe than sorry.

How do I clean up after a Puff Back?

The sticky black soot of a puff back is extremely difficult to clean properly. If you want your home to return to normal as quickly as possible (and we know that you do), call Jason at ARS Restoration Specialists 508-737-4258 or 877-461-1111. They are trained on how to professionally clean and disinfect your home after a puff back or any other kind of fire or water damage. Trying to clean up the mess yourself will probably only result in making the issue worse, as well as risking the health of yourself and your family. Calling ARS Restoration Services will mean getting the problem solved quickly and efficiently.

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