If you’re a homeowner with oil heat, you may have experienced puffback even if you never knew what it was called. Most of the time you probably really aren’t thinking about your oil burner except when that bill for oil delivery arrives. But sometimes, the burner doesn’t ignite right away. This causes fumes to build up which in and of itself can be dangerous but the evidence it leaves behind is what will really drive you mad as a homeowner – it spreads oily soot all over your property. Sometimes its immediate and sometimes its gradual, but its always a hassle.
While you can’t account for everything, there are some steps you can take to avoid the hassle.
So what exactly is a puffback?
In short, it’s a failure to ignite or combust in your oil burner. As mentioned, this can leave you with a trail of black soot all around your property. It can weave its way into your furniture, your clothing and even your pets’ fur. While you might mistake it for dust, there’s no mistaking that oily smell.
It can be a danger to your health and your property.
It’s not just your furniture and carpeting you have to worry about. The small particles produced by a puffback can lodge in the lungs so in the event you experience a misfire and the accompanying mess, you’ll want to get it cleaned up immediately. The soot’s distinct, strong smell can also make you queasy or give you a headache.
Preventative steps can ensure you never have to worry about puffback.
Many homeowners take an approach of “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But when it comes to your oil burner, preventative maintenance is a must. Make sure you bring in a qualified professional to ensure that your oil burner is functioning properly before you really need it in the colder months. A pro will inspect, and if necessary, clean your system. You should also always do your best to keep the area around your heater clutter and dust free.
And because puffbacks can inflate carbon monoxide levels, installing, maintaining and checking your carbon-monoxide detectors is a must.
If you have a puffback, call in the professionals.
While a new bill is never a welcomed addition, hiring a professional clean-up service is the best step you can take. Unfortunately, most common household cleaners are ineffective or even defenseless against those oily, tiny particles. Your cleanup efforts can spread soot and make the situation an even bigger mess.
Since those particles can spread even to your walls and electronics and appliances, a professional restoration company is the best source of assessing the damage and creating a plan. They can help you seal and secure your belongings to mitigate damage. Your team will also eliminate odors, smoke damage if it occurs and clean and inspect air ducts to make sure that your air quality is safe for you and your family.
Avoid puffbacks, but if you cannot, call us.
As we always say, prevention and maintenance is your best approach, but in the event of a puffback, relax and know that an experienced team of professionals is only a call or a click away.