Preventing Puff-backs

January 21, 2015 at 9:44 AM | Posted in Personal Insurance, Personal Property, Regulations, Safety Tips, Seasonal, Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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A “puff back” is an explosion in the burner chamber of a furnace or boiler. They are usually small and confined to the burner chamber, however, they can do considerable damage to the heating system. In addition, a puff back can send soot and smoke throughout the house, covering walls, ceilings, carpets, furniture, etc. The cleanup of such damage must be done by a professional cleaning company.

The cause of a puff back can always be traced back to a lack of maintenance or repairs to the heating system. Here are some tips to help prevent this dangerous and extremely messy event from happening in your home.

  • Have all of your oil-fired heating appliances serviced annually by a licensed technician.
  • Stay alert for noises, odors, or soot, and watch for oil leaks or air leaks in the oil piping system and at the oil burner. If you notice any of these, contact a licensed technician for an inspection, diagnosis, and repair if necessary.

Keeping up with regular maintenance, and being alert for symptoms, will help prevent the risk of having to cover the cost of cleanup and the disruption in your life that a puff back would create. Fortunately, your homeowner policy will usually cover damage to your home and contents caused by a puff back.

If a puff back occurs, we recommend that you do not attempt to clean it yourself. Using standard cleaning products could cause further damage and may not get rid of the oil residue and odors. The cost of hiring a professional cleaning company would be covered as part of the claim.

If you have any questions on puff backs or the coverage your policy offers, call us at 888-850-9400. It is always recommended to have your furnace cleaned and boiler checked before the winter cold sets in to avoid the chances of a puff back in your home.


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