Accutools BluFlame Combustion Analyzer Review
Accutools BluFlame Combustion Analyzer Review | Updated October 2022
Hello folks, it's getting around to fall and winter, and combustion season is upon us once again. Accutools is a brand well known for AC tools and is universally respected. They have now thrown their hand into the combustion market and delivered a real powerhouse analyzer called the BluFlame.
This top-notch analyzer incorporates lots of exciting new technology and is one of the best tools on the market now for combustion work. Let's take a quick look through the innovative design features, how it stacks up to the competition, and things to consider if you're in the market to purchase a new analyzer.
One of the first things you'll notice about the Accutools BluFlame is that it's leading the pack in technological features. On the physical level, the unit is beefy and rugged. It has a great feel in your hand and is equipped with a touch screen interface that you'll be able to use intuitively if you are a user of any standard smart device. The analyzer will pair with the free iOS or Android MeasureQUICK app so you can view readings remotely as well as on the analyzer screen. In addition, the app will let you send reports for printing or just if you need an email copy.
Before moving on to the specs, this analyzer has an awesome advantage that isn't talked about enough. Accutools provides a free comprehensive guide on combustion analysis in Pdf format. This guide walks you through the entire combustion analysis process, from booting up the analyzer to checking your pressures and temperatures at the end. Now the really cool thing here is that if you've got your smart device (a tablet probably works best for this just because of the screen size), you can pull up the guide and the readings from your BluFlame Analyzer on the same screen. So not only will you be able to read through the guide as you work, but you can also compare your live readings to the recommended levels given in the guide. This is a huge advantage in determining the safety and efficiency of the furnace you are tuning or commissioning.
The BluFlame combustion analyzer is going to measure every parameter you need to commission a furnace from start to finish. The first thing you always want to do is check around the home and the boiler generally for ambient CO. Take the unit outside so you can get a fresh air "zero" reading when you boot it up. Now realistically, there might be a smidge of CO in the air in cities, but you definitely don't want to see anything above 9ppm when you're zeroing, and the most you're likely to see in any case is 1 or 2 ppm. Once you've got a fresh air "calibration," start checking around the furnace for ambient CO. This is a safety check, most of all, to make sure there are no leaks or funny stuff going on with the furnace. After you verify that everything is good with ambient CO, you'll move on to doing your combustion checking.
I won't bore you with all the nitty-gritty details of this process as you probably know them if you're in the field (we hope!) because the guide that you can download covers it in-depth, and like I've mentioned, you can use the guide as you work to make sure you're doing everything properly.
What we should address is what the analyzer can do. So first off, you've got the ambient CO readings to start, then you can check the following: O2 and CO levels in the flue gas, stack and differential pressure with the built-in digital manometer, and differential temperatures with the built-in thermocouple thermometer.
The CO sensor has NOx filtering on it, which is an important thing to have. High levels of nitrogen oxides can give false CO readings, so it's crucial to filter out all that noise. It's entirely possible with efficient combustion to have CO readings that are close to zero. Not so if you have NOx floating about that isn't being filtered away from the sensor.
You can also get an upgraded model that includes an NOx sensor if you need to measure directly for the oxides.
Let's have a quick word about where in the market AccuTools combustion analyzer is positioned with this new meter. Probably the closest direct competitor model would be the Testo 300 Combustion Analyzer.
For my money, I'm going to take the BluFlame, but it's a fairly close race. I'll tell you why. I think the ability to have the guide pulled up on your tablet while you're doing the testing procedures is a no-brainer. For whatever reason, AccuTools doesn't advertise this feature all that much. They really should. For the price point, the features between these two units are relatively similar. These days I'd prefer AccuTools as a brand over Testo for various reasons, but the split-screen guide and live readings blow everything else out of the water for me. Also, I think the physical platform of the BluFlame is superior. It feels much less fragile to me, and boiler work is not exactly gentle all the time. The Testo sometimes feels like I might break it on accident. Probably not, but having rugged tools is a must for at the least peace of mind.
So to wrap up, my verdict is that the Accutools Blu Flame is the preferred analyzer in this price range. It's going to do everything you need for residential up through light commercial testing, and you can do it with accuracy and style. And honestly, I can't get enough of talking about the guide and live readings on the same screen feature. It's the best thing going for combustion testing because even seasoned vets could do with the extra assurance that comes from checking your results on the job. Plus, I like the feel of the thing. Maybe that's a minor issue since we're after performance, but if the performance is good, you might as well buy a meter that you like to use.
I can't think of any good reason why you shouldn't pick this as your next top-of-the-line residential and light commercial analyzer. Try one out soon!
For more information about Accutools BluFlame Combustion Analyzers and a great pricing, follow this link.