Martino Contractors Ltd. and Humber students collaborate to create state-of-the-art furnace technology

by Aastha Shetty


A partnership between Humber College Institute of Technology & Advanced Learning and Martino Contractors Ltd. has led to the development of a unique furnace accessory that could save your life – via email.


Project lead Georges Livanos of the School of Applied Technology has mentored Humber alumni Vlad Porcila since 2013 and student Michael Johansen since summer of 2017 throughout the development of the MB Furnace Minder – a device that attaches to furnaces to detect when an issue arises that could be life-threatening. Now, the device is almost half the size and half the cost of the first prototype made back in 2015.


The MB Furnace Minder (patent pending) counts “miles” on a furnace to prevent gas leaks and fires. When something is about to go wrong, the Minder taps into the home Wi-Fi and sends the homeowner an email notification to warn them of a weak valve or a faulty line in their furnace. Meanwhile, anyone inside the house will hear a loud, unmistakable siren urging them to leave the building.


Michael Martino of Martino Contractors says he was inspired to design the product when getting maintenance for his car. “How do you know when your car needs maintenance? It tells you. But what about your furnace?” he asks, reflecting on the hundreds of accidental deaths caused by a lack of preventative measures against furnace gas leaks and fires.


“The furnace is the number one suspect in house fires,” Martino adds. “People need this.”


The MB Furnace Minder is a small unit that can be attached onto most furnaces without any nuts or bolts, or hefty manuals. Humber alumnus and the brains behind the technology Porcila says that the non-invasiveness of the product also follows the tight guidelines of most furnace warranty protections. The Minder attaches onto any furnace like a magnet on a fridge, without messing with any of the wires inside.


The MB Furnace Minder is an affordable furnace accessory that can detect smoke, gas leaks, carbon monoxide and methane before conventional detectors and is expected to be released to the public sometime this year.


Research team
Partner: Martino Contractors Ltd.
Project lead: Georges Livanos
Staff Researcher: Vlad Porcila
Student: Micheal Johansen


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