Proposed Blog on Puff Backs

Understanding Puff Backs and what to do?
A “puff back” occurs when an improperly running heating system misfires spewing out damaging smoke and soot. Most puff backs happen in oil fired boilers and furnaces. When starting the heating appliance, unburned fuel ignites, forcing the soot or smoke through the heater’s exhaust system into the home. This explosion can be large, creating extensive and expensive damage or small, creating minor damage. However, smaller ignitions usually occur several times causing the soot to accumulate throughout the home. If the puff back’s heating flue vent bursts or is dislodged, there is a risk of fire or release of dangerous carbon monoxide. The most damaging puff backs occur in forced air systems as their ductwork allows the soot to travel throughout the entire premise. The heating system itself can be severely damaged when a puff back occurs.

What preventive signs to look for?

  • Look for visible oil stains on the floor.
  • A small bang or puff sound when you start the heater.
  • A strange noise after you shut the heater off.
  • Do you notice a small amount of soot in the furnace room?
  • Is there a gaseous odor in the furnace room?

How to prevent Puff Backs from happening?
One word sums up the best way to prevent puff backs. MAINTENANCE. Have your heating system regularly serviced by a professional technician. Have them clean the soot that naturally builds up during the heating season, change your oil spray nozzle if it is dirty or clogged, check your entire heating system for any sign of potential puff backs.

Puff backs can cause severe physical damage to your home or business. They are also very costly and time consuming to repair.
Puff back on Puff Backs

Frozen Pipes, What to Do

Winter is coming, and when temperatures drop below 32 degrees your pipes can freeze and even burst. When this happens, it can potentially lead to significant water damage to your home. Water floods at an alarming rate of 4-8 gallons of water an hour. What starts as a small leak can quickly escalate to a full emergency. Especial vulnerable areas are exterior walls, crawl spaces, and attics — also, areas exposed to cold flowing air.

Quick tips to prevent frozen pipes:

  • On extremely cold days turn up your thermostat a few degrees
  • Allow warm water to drip from the faucet overnight
  • Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors so warm air can reach under sinks
  • Seal up any holes or gaps where pipes run through the wall floor with caulk or spray insulation

Permanent solutions to consider:

  • Insulation of pipes or areas surrounding pipes (exterior walls, crawlspace, garage, attics)
  • Install electronic heat cables, which are thermostatically controlled and designed to activate when a temperate drop is detected and shut off when the desired warming temperature is met
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