Replacing the Furnace Motor: Deciding on ECM or PSC

Replacing the Furnace Motor: Deciding on ECM or PSCFurnace motor replacement presents an opportunity to improve your heating system’s energy efficiency as well as your household comfort. In the years since your existing furnace was new, blower motor technology has evolved substantially. Now you’re at a fortunate point in time where you can make changes that will bring the air circulation function of your furnace into the 21st century by upgrading to a smart ECM blower motor.

Your original equipment furnace blower was probably a PSC (permanent split capacitor) variety that hasn’t changed much in decades. It operates in only two speeds — on and off — plus consumes lots of electricity. Short for electronically commutated motor, new ECM units are programmable, variable speed motors that run almost continuously and automatically adjust blower air output to the heating sequence. Here are some specifics about upgrading to an ECM furnace motor replacement.

Lower Operating Cost

Your gas-fired furnace adds substantially to your monthly electric bill. In most residences, a conventional furnace blower is the largest electric motor in the household. An old-tech PSC motor consumes about 500 watts of electricity while a new ECM unit typically uses only about 80 watts.

Enhanced Temperature Control

The on/off operation of a PSC motor alternates between the “blast furnace” effect of 100% air output that typically spikes room temperatures uncomfortably and zero output when the unit cycles off and air circulation totally ceases. These yo-yo variations degrade indoor comfort as rooms are only temporarily in the optimum comfort zone.

An ECM furnace motor cycles on at low, gentle air output and incrementally ramps up to higher circulation of warm air to match the desired thermostat setting. Once the house temperature is stable, the blower gradually drops back to lower output and runs continuously, maintaining temperatures at a high accuracy, typically within a couple degrees of the thermostat setting. This eliminates annoying temperature swings — as well as the distracting noise of on/off blower operation — and keeps household comfort more consistent.

Offering the most up-to-date heating and cooling technology since 1922, Paitson Bros. is ready with more information about the benefits of upgrading to an ECM furnace motor replacement.

Our goal is to help educate our customers in Terre Haute, Indiana about energy and home comfort issues (specific to HVAC systems). For more information about furnace motors and other HVAC topics, download our free Home Comfort Guide or call us at 812-645-6859.

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

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    By Jeff Paitson
  • About Jeff

    Jeff Paitson Jeff Paitson is a third generation business owner who continues to run the business with the same values that have been passed down from previous generations since 1922.

    Jeff’s belief is that the business belongs to Jesus Christ; therefore 10 percent of the company’s profits go toward the Maryland Community Church.

    Jeff is a Terre Haute Chamber of Commerce member and in his spare time, he enjoys photography.
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  • About Ethan


    Ethan Ethan Rayburn is a lifelong resident of Terre Haute and a 2005 graduate of Purdue University.

    An Eagle Scout, Ethan spent four years as a non-profit executive with the Boy Scouts of America before joining Paitson Bros. as a comfort advisor and later General Manager. In that role, Ethan has brought a renewed enthusiasm for customer care, integrity, value, and service to Paitson Bros. Heating & Air Conditioning.

    Ethan enjoys singing and was a member of the Purdue Varsity Glee Club. He also enjoys playing and coaching soccer, spending time with his family and two young boys, and volunteering his time and resources with his church, Terre Haute First Baptist Church, which he has attended from a very young age.
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