ECM or PSC Furnace Motor Replacement

ECM or PSC Furnace Motor Replacement

If your home’s furnace needs a new motor, of if you’re buying an entirely new furnace, a key decision will be whether to opt for traditional blower motor technology or energy-efficient advanced technology. In technical terms, the former refers to the permanent split capacitor (PSC) motor and the latter the electronically commutated motor (ECM).

In deciding on furnace motor replacement, the two main factors should be cost and energy efficiency.

Furnace Motor Differences

The operation of PSC motors is limited to two speeds — 100 percent off and 100 percent on. Yet, weather circumstances vary greatly here in New Jersey, and often you don’t need a furnace running at full blast. During milder wintertime weather conditions, a PSC motor will short-cycle, running at 100 percent for a short period of time, then stop. This noisy operation will be repeated all day long. It wastes energy at startup, and with lots of startups, that means a lot of waste.

An ECM, also known as a variable-speed blower motor, will adapt its running speed to real-time weather conditions. At startup, it will gradually ramp up to a higher speed. Once it achieves the thermostat setting, it will settle into a continuous lower speed. On colder days, it has the ability to run at full blast if necessary.

The variable-speed operation (along with intrinsic technological advantages of an ECM over a PSC) saves money on energy, sometimes as much as 70 percent over a standard blower motor. This operation also will help filter, clean and dehumidify/humidify indoor air. Blowing continuously at a slower speed, household air flows through the air filter and any whole-house air-cleaning equipment many more times a day. The same goes for whole-house humidity control systems.

Tempering your decision will be the cost factor. Advanced features on furnaces, including variable-speed technology, raise the price. Discuss your decision with a trusted HVAC technician to determine whether long-term energy savings will justify paying more for new furnace or a furnace motor replacement.

To discuss upgrading or replacing the furnace in your Monmouth County area home, please contact us at Aggressive Mechanical Contractors.
Our goal is to help educate our customers in Monmouth County, New Jersey and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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

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