Replacing Your Furnace Motor: Deciding on ECM or PSCWhether you are installing a new furnace in your Indianapolis home, or are simply performing a furnace motor replacement, you may be offered a choice between an ECM or a PSC motor. There are several differences between the two, and your choice may have a significant impact on your furnace’s overall energy usage.

What the Furnace Motor Does

The furnace motor drives a blower fan that distributes heated air from the furnace through the ductwork and in to each room of your home. It is responsible for most of the electrical usage of the furnace, and older models can use well over 500 watts while running.

How ECM and PSC Motors Differ

A PSC or permanent split capacitor motor offers a single speed and is turned on and off in cycles to control airflow and temperature in your home. It is based on older technology and is the least expensive of the two types. An ECM or electrically commutated motor is slightly more expensive, but offers variable speeds that can be matched to the desired output of the furnace.

Benefits of an ECM

One of the most immediate benefits of choosing an ECM for a furnace motor replacement is energy savings. Because the motor does not have to run at full speed all the time, it reduces the amount of electricity used significantly.

It also tends to be quieter, because instead of turning on at full speed, an ECM slowly ramps up when needed, and it slows down gradually when turned off. This also makes it more reliable, requiring less maintenance than PSC motors do because of their hard starts and stops. Typical PSC motors have a lifespan of 40,000 to 50,000 hours, while ECMs last 90,000 hours or more.

Finally, because ECMs can move smaller volumes of air consistently, or large volumes when necessary, they provide more consistent temperatures than the constant on and off cycling of PSC motors.

To learn more about your furnace motor replacement options, talk to our HVAC professionals at Mowery Heating, Cooling and Plumbing. We serve Indianapolis and the surrounding areas.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Brownsburg, Indiana and surrounding areas about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems).

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