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What is a Furnace Puff Back?

Written by jsolloway on . Posted in , , , .

What is a puff back?
A puff back is a misfire or malfunction of an oil burning furnace. It sends soot throughout a home or business. The phenomenon can happen all at once (suddenly like a car backfiring) or over an extended period of time (a chronic problem that occurs with each system ignition). The property’s air ducting system will act as a conduit to distribute soot into every corner of the house or business. You will find an oily “dust” or soot covering your furniture, flooring, walls, picture frames, soft-contents, electronics, etc…
After a puff back…
Recovering from a puff back is no easy task, but can be manageable with the right actions. You need to get three parties involved immediately: heating contractor, insurance company, and a qualified disaster restoration company (Soil-Away). Contact your heating contractor to coordinate repairs. Confirm insurance claim coverage with your insurance company. Submit a claim for the cleaning. Contact Soil-Away to handle the cleaning and claim processing. Puff back cleaning is extensive and “do-it-yourselfers” WILL cause additional damage if attempting to clean it themselves. Leave the puff back cleaning to Soil-Away.
Can it be prevented?
A puff back is never 100% preventable; however you can take a few steps to drastically reduce the probability of having one. The best advice is to keep your oil burner in good repair. You should schedule annual visits by a qualified heating contractor to inspect the entire system. Another defense is to keep the area clean around the oil burner. Continuously remove anything that could interfere with functionality of the system (dirt, debris, pet hair, etc…). You should also consult with your heating contractor to determine adequate oil levels for your tank. Dirt and debris build up at the bottom of oil tanks and low oil levels can result in clogging up the system.

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Jay KorsenJay Korsen
00:51 04 Aug 22
All I have to say is WOW and FANTASTIC. I just got done building out my new professional office with Soil-Away’s construction division and they went ABOVE and BEYOND. Scott and Mike, the carpenters are skilled artisans. The project got done on time and the project came in on budget! The finished results have been blowing people away. Much better than I could have anticipated. Anyone is welcome to come to our office, Bright Light Chiropractic in Hooksett to check out the fine work they did. Simply can’t sing enough praises for them. Sorry that the picture doesn’t do the job justice. Thank you Jack and your team. -Dr. Jay
Asian BreezeAsian Breeze
04:28 15 Jul 22
Since day one, I’ve known the owner, Jack, to be a hard-working and selfless leader. Through the efforts of him and his team, he was able to restore my flooded restaurant to tip-top shape. I was amazed with Jack’s orderliness throughout the entire process. Jack has proven to me that he is trustworthy, as both a friend and an individual in the work environment.
Breton LangendorferBreton Langendorfer
21:17 07 Jul 22
Highly recommend Soil-Away. A pipe in our upstairs bathroom gave and sent water down through a wall for at least a day before we noticed water dripping through our kitchen ceiling. Our insurance put us in touch with Soil-Away and they were at our house the next morning to assess the damage and dry things out. Joe, Ray and Tom were phenomenal to work with. They explained every part of the process to us and were very professional and friendly. If you have to deal with similar issues call Soil-Away, you won’t regret it.
Maureen CidzikMaureen Cidzik
13:49 15 May 22
Superior service from start to finish. Highly responsive. The entire team is dedicated to quality and customer care and it shows in everything they do – from first call, to estimate, to job completion.
Sarah GrugnaleSarah Grugnale
16:02 14 Jan 22
Joe and Tommy were amazing to deal with, they kept us updated every step of the process. They were punctual and hard working, answering all of our questions that we had. Everything was done as promised and even above and beyond. A great experience from start to finish.