Should You Own a Combustion Analyzer?

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Editor’s Note: The following article was originally published by Plumbing & Mechanical Magazine and is being redistributed with their expressed consent. The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Bacharach, Inc.

Most Cost-effective Sales / Service Tool

My kids jokingly call me cheap, as I do not like to spend money. When analyzing a purchase, I equate it to how many hours I must work on a lousy jobsite to pay for my indulgence.

One of the most cost-effective sales / service tools I have is a combustion analyzer. It has paid for itself many times over, as I use it for all types of HVAC equipment and not just boilers. It can generate thousands of dollars of extra revenue yearly and verify the safety of your customer’s systems. The combustion analyzer can read and display the efficiency and emissions of any fuel fired appliance. The analyzer will also read and display the carbon monoxide levels.

If you service boilers, a combustion analyzer is almost a must-have tool.

If you service boilers, a combustion analyzer is almost a must-have tool. Some techs tell me they can eyeball the flame and adjust the air-to-fuel ratio. Even after four decades in the trade, I have never been able to do that. What looks like a good flame could be spewing thousands of parts per million of dangerous carbon monoxide out the flue. I like using a before- and after-adjustment readout and show it to the customer, explaining how I made the unit safer or more efficient.

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One of the ways the combustion analyzer could pay for itself is to use it on every heating service call that includes boilers, packaged rooftop units, furnaces, pool heaters, water heaters and even ovens.

A manufacturer’s representative who sells combustion analyzers told me he urges contractors to use an analyzer on every call and charge a small fee for the use. He calls it an emission test fee and further suggests you give… Continue Reading

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