“The Season of Puff Back” – guest blogger Kevin Coates

Curious what puff back is – It’s important to know if your home furnace runs on oil…… thank you Kevin for this important info…..


The season of puff back is around the corner

Thinking of the phrase puff back may send you into a chorus of Puff the Magic Dragon but the two are not the same. When puff back happens in your home, believe me it is not a happy sing song time. You may not have heard of it but puff back is one of the many little preventable disasters that can happen in your home and cost you a lot of time and money. Puff back can occur in your home if you have oil heat and it can happen on a large or small scale.

A faulty ignition switch is the cause of puff back. When the ignition switch fails to light properly oil fumes accumulate in the chamber of your homes furnace. If the ignition is stalled long enough the amount of fumes that gathers will cause a small explosion when the pilot finally lights. This little explosion will blow every spec of dust and soot that lives in your homes duct system all over everything in your house: drapes, bedding, furniture, walls,.

This soot is not just a powder like substance it is black and sticky. This dirty residue needs to be cleaned from every inch of your home as soon as possible. In addition to the sticky soot puff back causes there is also an odor. This odor is difficult to remove and often requires professionals to come in to get it out of the house. A professional certified home restoration company Like Servpro that is experienced with restoring homes from smoke damage should be called. They will come in and use the same process required to get the smell out of a house where there has been a fire. This process is called “thermo fogging”.

The previous description is what happens when puff back occurs on a large scale. Puff back can also occur on a small scale, it happens gradually over a period of time. You will notice the black, sticky, soot accumulating on the carpet around the heating vent and maybe even on the surfaces inside your home.

Thankfully, you have the power to prevent puff back and the costly and time consuming damage it can cause in your home. The first step in puff back prevention is to be constantly vigilant and when you notice soot in your home call a certified oil furnace repair person. The second step is to have regularly scheduled maintenance for your oil furnace. These simple steps can save your home from the damage of puff back.

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