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Replacing the Furnace Motor: Choosing ECM or PSC

December 20, 2016 | Blog

Replacing the Furnace Motor: Choosing ECM or PSCNeeding a furnace motor replacement offers an opportunity to explore a relatively new option to enhance your home’s comfort and save energy. Chances are, your HVAC system’s motor is a PSC (permanent split capacitor), the most common type. The newer and more efficient choice is an ECM (electronically commutated motor).

The Differences

  • A PSC motor runs at one speed only, which is on high.
  • An ECM adjusts its running speed automatically using high-tech components.
  • ECMs use up to 75 percent less electricity than PSC motors.
  • A PSC lasts less than half as long as an ECM.

Benefits of ECMs

ECMs clearly have more advantages over PSC motors because they are energy efficient and durable. Besides lower electric bills, the more tangible benefits include:

  • Increased indoor comfort. A system equipped with an ECM will normally run at low speeds for longer periods. This gives the HVAC system time to thoroughly circulate conditioned air to the farthest reaches of the home. Such a system starts and stops the running cycles slowly.

    There’s no cold blast of air from the ducts when the furnace first starts, and it will circulate all the heated air that would remain in the ducts in a system with a PSC motor. The longer running time also removes more humidity in the summer, promoting more indoor comfort and lower cooling costs.

  • Quieter home. ECMs run much more quietly than PSC motors. Any room close to the air handler will remain quiet even when the HVAC system runs with an ECM versus a PSC as the furnace motor replacement.
  • Better indoor air quality (IAQ). A system with an ECM, often called variable-speed, will clean the air better. The longer and slower running cycle sends more air through the air filter, which traps more airborne particulates.

    Families whose members have allergies, asthma, or respiratory problems can set their systems to run nearly continuously to better filter the air.

Opting for an ECM when making a furnace motor replacement makes sense for solid reasons. To learn more, contact the pros at CCAC, Inc., providing trusted HVAC services for Coastal Bend homeowners.

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 HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 361-678-2495.

Credit/Copyright Attribution: “feng-yu/Shutterstock”

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