Document Type


Date of Award


Degree Name

Master of Science in Chemical Engineering - (M.S.)


Chemical Engineering and Chemistry

First Advisor

Deran Hanesian


This project examines the problem of how to improve energy utilization in a residential space heating environment. Techniques for lowering unit energy consumption are developed and the feasibility of their implementation is discussed.

The project development first establishes the magnitude of the energy wastage problem for the individual consumer and its impact on the national scale. It must be emphasized that these represent two, sometimes distinctly different justifications for reducing energy use in the home. What may be considered only a small personal waste of $50 to $100 per year may indeed--when viewed in aggregate--represent a significant burden on the rapidly worsening United States crude oil import situation.

Having established the incentives for reducing inefficiency in residential furnaces the project concentrates on developing various techniques for recovering the waste heat. The technical feasibility and economic viability of implementing the energy recovery ideas is then discussed.

The project concludes that about $50 to $100 per year could be saved in a typical residential furnace by waste heat recovery. This amounts to the equivalent of reducing crude oil imports by nearly one million barrels per day. In the author's opinion; however, it is unlikely that the individual consumer would invest to recover this waste heat unless governmental pressure--perhaps in the form of tax credits--is vigorously exerted.



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