Puff Back: Causes and How to Prevent It

Thursday, September 27th, 2018 by Lindsey Pierce

Now that the summer weather is coming to an end and the winter months are quickly approaching, homeowners are going to need to start up their heating systems again for the first time in months. One issue that can arise in doing this is known as a "puff back". A puff back is a release of smoke or soot that occurs when the furnace misfires. At its worst, a puff back can damage your home by covering your walls, curtains, bedding, and furniture with soot. This requires an expensive cleaning and restoration job, but there are ways you can prevent this from happening to you. 

What causes a puff back?

Puff backs can occur in both oil and gas furnaces, but they are more common in oil furnaces. Since oil furnaces require more maintence, there is a higher risk of a misfiring, causing the puff back. Puff backs occur due to a lack of maintence and age-related wear and tear. A clogged exhaust or chimney that is blocked by dirt, dust, or debris can prevent the gases from venting properly out of the furnace, causing the puff back. Another common cause of a puff back is when homeowners manually reset their system too often when it fails to ignite the first time. Doing so can cause the unburned fuel to build up and lead to a puff back. 

How to prevent a puff back?

The best way you can avoid a puff back from happening is to have your oil or gas furnaces cleaned regularly; this should happen once a year. As a homeowner, you can also be aware of any odors or leaks coming from the burner, which can indicate you need to get your furnace inspected. 

If all else fails and you experience a puff back in your home, make sure to call Armor Shield Restoration and we'll be out to help right away. 

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