What is a Furnace Puff Back?
A puff back occurs when a furnace does not ignite properly. After the failed ignition, a buildup of gas accumulates inside of the combustion chamber. You may notice a small puff of black smoke or even a small explosion. Once the furnace lights properly, this gas will burn.
Puff backs can come in varying degrees of severity. In some cases, the damage is immediately evident. Other times the damage to your property and contents may go unnoticed for a while. In either case, the damage can be costly.
Indications of a Puff Back
Indicators that this may have happened in your home are oily surfaces, such as a light switch or faucet. Soot may also become visible in rooms with dust or cobwebs. Puff backs can go undetected, so knowing the indicators is important in being able to understand how your furnace works.
Common Causes of Puff Backs
There are several common causes of furnace puffbacks, including:
- Leaks in the oil supply piping
- Malfunctioning shutdown valve
- Clogged oil spray nozzle
- Issues with combustion gas venting
Preventing Puff Backs
Know the indications of a potential issue:
- There is soot on the outside of the furnace.
- The furnace blows out smoke or soot while in use.
- You hear percussive sounds inside the ignition chamber when the furnace isn’t running.
- You notice a banging noise at the beginning of the burn cycle.
- Make sure to clean your furnace or boiler regularly and confirm the area around your heating systems is free of debris and dust.
- Listen for strange sounds. You shouldn’t hear loud banging or rumbling sounds from your furnace.
- Check for gas or oil leaks. A leaking boiler or furnace is prone to puffbacks. Look for visible holes or damage to the valves, piping and connectors.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector near your heating system. Puffbacks release carbon monoxide into the air, which can be a much more dangerous issue.
What To Do After a Puff Back Occurs
Puff backs can be tremendously damaging to your property and it’s contents. Depending on the size of the puff back, soot and smoke may fill your home. It can even travel through the air ducts into other rooms. Soot may damage the walls, furniture, personal items, carpets and the ceiling.
In order to properly restore your home, you’ll need to enlist the assistance of a professional disaster restoration company. A qualified restoration provider will not only be able to remove and replace damaged building materials, but will also have the proper equipment to remove odors, as well as clean and temporarily store personal items that may have been impacted.
24 Restore is the preferred restoration services partner of commercial & residential property owners across New England. Whether you’re dealing with an emergency situation, or just simply need help implementing a sound Disaster Response Plan, we’re available to help. Contact 24 anytime, day or night for assistance.