You turn on the furnace when temperatures drop without second thoughts. It’s not normal for a puffback or a cloud to form. You just witnessed a puffback.
What exactly is a boiler puffback or furnace? Continue reading to find out more about this costly, dangerous and messy phenomenon.
What is a Heating System Pufferback?
A puffback refers to an explosion within the heating system. This can happen when the heating system misfires. Both in boilers and furnaces, oil or gas vapours can build up within the combustion chamber. The system can be turned on to cause a misfire. When it ignites, excess oil or gas vapors will explode. Puffbacks can occur at any time, even though they are more common in the winter.
Unfortunately, a single puffback can cause significant damage. Larger puffbacks can spread smoke and soot throughout a house. Even a small puffback can cause damage to the heating system’s internal components. Heating system explosions can cause damage to your ceiling, walls, and furniture. A house fire can possibly erupt in the worst case.
What causes puffbacks in a Furnace
What causes a furnace puffback? A furnace puffback refers to an explosion in the ignition chamber. This happens when your system isn’t properly ignited for a variety of reasons, such as excess oil or gas in the ignition chamber. Puffbacks can cause damage to any gas or oil appliance including your furnace.
There are many causes of furnace puffbacks.
- Leakage in the oil supply pipe
- Stopper not working
- Oil spray nozzle clogged
- Problems with combustion gas venting
- To press the manual reset button too often in a row.
Furnace puffback warning signs include:
- The furnace’s exterior is covered in soot.
- While in use, the furnace can produce smoke or soot.
- When the furnace isn’t running, you can hear the combustion chamber making percussive noises.
- At the start of each burn cycle, you will hear a banging sound.
What causes puffbacks in a boiler?
Boiler boilers can also cause puffbacks. Boilers heat homes with hot water, not gas furnaces. Boiler heating systems still use gas to heat the water in their reservoir tanks. Gas can buildup in boilers due to leakage or malfunctioning shutoff valves.
A puffback may be caused by problems within the combustion chamber. A puffback could occur if there is too much gas in the chamber.
The following warning signs for a boiler’s puffback include:
- Leakage of fuel around the combustion chamber
- Blockage of venting by dirt or other debris
- Leakages or cracks in the heating system
How can you prevent puffbacks?
Are you concerned about furnace or boiler puffbacks? Prevention is the key. It is easier and more affordable to fix a problem early on.
These are some helpful tips for preventing puffbacks
- Regularly clean your boiler or furnace. Keep your heating system clean.
- Your ears are your best friend. While boilers and furnaces can make some noises while they are running, you should not hear any rumbling or banging. You shouldn’t be able to hear the heating system when it isn’t in use.
- Look for oil or gas leaks. Puckerbacks can be caused by a leaking boiler or furnace. All the connections, valves and piping should be checked for cracks or visible holes.
- Each year, hire a professional technician for heating system inspection and cleaning. The tools and training necessary to spot problems before they become serious are available to technicians.
- Install a carbon monoxide detector close to your heating system. Puffbacks emit carbon monoxide to the atmosphere. This odorless gas could cause harm to your family. Although it won’t stop a puffback from happening, a carbon monoxide detector will alert your family to evacuate.
Clean Up after a Puffback
Puffbacks can cause a lot of damage. Your home may be filled with soot or smoke depending on how large the puffback is. It can travel through the air ducts to other rooms. It is not healthy for your family to inhale unhealthy air. Black soot can cause damage to walls, ceilings, furniture, window covers, carpets, and ceilings.