Serving territories throughout Connecticut, Massachusetts & New York


When Oil Heaters Backfire, We Can Help!

Wednesday, October 18th, 2017 by Lauren Wills

When Oil Heaters Backfire, We Can Help!

Is your home heated by an oil furnace or burner? If so, it could be vulnerable to a puff back. A puff back occurs when an oil burner backfires sending soot throughout your home. It can happen all at once, like a balloon popping, or more gradually, as if someone was holding the end of a balloon and letting the air seep out slowly. Although there is no guaranteed way to prevent a puff back, annual inspection and maintenance of your oil burner or furnace can greatly reduce your risk. If a puff back occurs at your home soot can cover every surface and may range from light to very heavy. Sometimes the disbursement of soot is so light and fine it appears to be ordinary dust. However, this "dust" reappears hours after being cleaned. There is often a strong odor of oil accompanying a puff back.


  • Contact ServiceMaster Restoration by Wills and notify your insurance agent or company immediately


  • Do not attempt to wash wallpaper or flat-painted walls in your home, as improper cleaning with further compound the soot residue
  • Do not use retail cleaning solutions or soap. These will only smear and spread the soot, not fully remove it
  • Do not try to clean carpets or upholstered furniture
  • Avoid touching items in your home as soot on your hands can easily permeate upholstery, walls and woodwork, causing additional damage
  • Don’t wait! Soot travels and will reappear if not immediately removed

Signs you've experienced a puff back:

When Oil Heaters Backfire We Can Help - Image 1

ServiceMaster Restoration by Wills is available 24/7/365 to assist you after experiencing a puff back. We offer emergency services, quick response time and work with all major insurance companies. For more information about any of our disaster restoration services, call our office!

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New YorkConnecticut Our Locations:

ServiceMaster Restoration by Wills
26 Montauk Ave
New London, CT 06320

ServiceMaster Restoration by Wills
200 Harvard Ave
Stamford, CT 06902

ServiceMaster Restoration by Wills
235 Newfield Ave
Hartford, CT 06106
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