The long, hot and humid summers along the Coastal Bend mean many of us run our air conditioners for the better part of the year. If you don’t want to be left with high electric bills, an energy-efficient air conditioner is essential.
One of the most significant factors affecting a system’s energy efficiency and performance is the type of blower motor it uses. If you’re shopping around for a new air conditioning system, take a moment to get acquainted with the most common types of blower motors.
Shaded pole motors – The oldest type of blower motor, this AC induction motor is neither efficient nor particularly flexible. It uses a single coil assembly (winding) to turn the rotor, which accounts in part for its inefficiency. On the upside, this type of blower motor is cheap and reliable.
Permanent split capacitor motor (PSC motor) – This is another type of AC induction motor usually found in less efficient HVAC systems or those older than 10 years. This motor has two windings, which combined with other design elements, improves its efficiency. Although a PSC motor is approximately twice as efficient as a shaded pole motor, its efficiency averages only around 50 percent. This motor is also less efficient at lower speeds.
Electronically commutated motor (ECM) – These brushless DC motors are the most efficient and flexible blower motors available today. ECMs average around 80 percent greater efficiency than PSC motors. You’ll often see ECMs referred to as variable-speed motors because they can adjust their speed to more effectively meet your cooling and heating demands. They’re efficient at all speeds, so they run at lower speeds for longer periods than systems with PSC motors. This keeps your home’s temperature consistent and helps control humidity.
An ECM adds to a system’s purchase price, but the greater efficiency means you’ll recoup your investment within a few years.
If you’re looking for a new A/C system or other ways to improve your home’s energy efficiency and comfort, contact us at CCAC, Inc. We’ve been proving reliable HVAC care around Corpus Christi for more than 35 years.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Corpus Christi, Texas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about blower motors and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Resource guide.
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