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Fire & Water - Cleanup & Restoration

Keep the Heat On by Preventing a Puffback

12/29/2019 (Permalink)

Soot webs on ceiling. Puff back Puffback damage in Hygiene, CO

Keep the Heat On by Preventing a Puffback

When cold weather arrives, heating appliances are often taken for granted—until they fail. Oil-fired water heaters, furnaces and heating boilers need more attention than gas and electric. So, regular maintenance is key to limiting risks such as furnace puffback. A puffback occurs when unburned oil pools at the bottom of a heating appliance’s combustion chamber, ignites and then explodes. At a minimum, the area around the appliance will be a sooty mess. Puffback damage can, however, take a major toll on the equipment as well as the building and other contents. Lower your risk of a puffback by taking these proactive steps:

1. Get a Yearly Inspection and Servicing

Have your heating system inspected and serviced yearly. Problems can be solved early on or avoided completely if caught before they have a chance to develop. The servicing of an oil furnace will include opening the appliance for a thorough inspection, cleaning and making any needed repairs.

2. Be Aware of Leaks and Soot

Regularly check around the area of the furnace and the boiler for oil leaks and soot. Oil leaks can be at the oil burner or on the oil piping system. If puffback damage has occurred, you’ll likely see soot and debris in the area, maybe even on the walls and ceiling. Moreover, it can be dispersed throughout the building if it’s in the air ducts.

3. Be Aware of Sounds and Odors

Be aware of noises or odors that might be associated with these appliances. If it’s malfunctioning, your oil burner might start with a small puff or banging sound. It might even rumble. Smoke or oil smells are another sign that something’s not quite right.

4. Install Carbon Monoxide Detectors

In the event of a puffback, carbon monoxide levels in the building will increase. A detector will give you an early warning of something that otherwise might go unrecognized until it's too late.
Regular maintenance is imperative for the health of your heating equipment and your property overall. If puffback damage occurs at your building in Hygiene, CO, you can rely on restoration professionals to return it to its previous state.

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