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Preventing Puff-Backs Redux: Oil Furnace Puff Backs

Puff, the dragon, preferable to the furnace puff backIf you are on the ball, you already had the chimney cleaned to prevent puff backs in your wood stove. Now there are things you should do to prevent puff backs in your oil furnace. In an oil furnace puff back, soot and oil blow back into the house. The presence of petroleum in oil furnace puff backs can do some serious damage to your belongings.

As in a wood stove puff back, there are some precautions you can take. An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure: have your furnace serviced annually before heating season.if you are not able to have your oil furnace serviced, monitor it closely during the heating season. A sudden change in the smells generated by your furnace can indicate a problem, have this checked out right away.

If a puff back does occur, time is of the essence. The petroleum-based oil can cause long-term damage, but under the right conditions, your carpet and furniture can be saved. Though puff back clean up is a fairly involved process, don’t wait. The sooner you act, the greater your chances for complete remediation.

Here is what we recommend: Turn off the furnace and leave the house! Breathing soot is is not good for you. Soot is comprised of tiny particles of impure carbon (the result of incomplete combustion). In some cases, these particles are so tiny that once introduced cannot be easily dislodged from your respiratory system by coughing or sneezing. Don’t take the risk, just step out side.

Also tramping soot around your house is not good for you stuff. Soot can leave dark stains; the oils in it can embed into porous materials. Get outside and give us a call. We’ll take it from there.

To help with clean up efforts, do not do any of the following:
• Wipe or attempt to wash soot residue from walls or ceilings.
• Use furniture or walk on carpeting affected by the puff back.
• Use food items or canned goods exposed to soot.
• Turn on computer, stereo’s, electronic appliances, TV’s until they can be cleaned
or checked.

Puff back clean up is a special process that eliminates the source of the soot and its detrimental effects. It is particularly difficult to prevent further damage during remediation. To this end, we’ll carefully clean vulnerable articles to prevent oils from being embedded.

Then during the clean up process, we take care to remove the odors caused by the puff back, so your house can feel like home again.

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