Calgary firm develops device to help older furnaces function more efficientlyAn Alberta company, Applied Research Manufacturing, has introduced an innovative product aimed at helping Canadian homeowners rise to the "One-Tonne Challenge" of reducing annual greenhouse gas emissions per household.
Its Furnace Buddy device attaches to furnaces built before 1987, electronically diagnosing the operation of the furnace, calculating the most efficient levels of gas flow and flame activity, and making automatic adjustments. As a result, says the company, Furnace Buddy can reduce carbon dioxide emissions by up to 30%. For most households, this would far surpass the one-tonne target. In addition, the unit can be easily installed by the do-it-yourself homeowner.
"Most home furnaces built since 1987 are higher efficiency units, but those built before 1987 just weren't designed with energy efficiency in mind," says Doug Wessel, president of Calgary-based Applied Research, adding that "with today's high prices for natural gas, this is a serious issue for owners of older furnaces.
"Simply by preventing the loss of excess heat through the chimney, Furnace Buddy allows the furnace to heat the house with up to 30% less natural gas," Wessel explains. "Depending on the location of the house, and the price of natural gas, the homeowner will save several hundreds of dollars in natural gas per year." At a suggested retail price of under $300, Wessel believes the Furnace Buddy will pay for itself in a single year, while at the same time reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to global warming.