What's an Electronically Commutated Motor?
Whether you heat with oil, electricity, natural gas or propane, your furnace has an electric blower motor that circulates warm air throughout your home. This motor uses a significant amount of electricity to operate. For example, in a standard gas furnace, the motor can account for up to 80% of total furnace electricity consumption.
Older furnaces likely have a standard Permanent Split Capacitor (PSC) motor – a type of Alternating Current motor with only one speed. This means that any time your furnace fan is running, it’s blowing at full force.
Electronically Commutated Motors (ECMs), on the other hand, are Direct Current motors designed to run at a range of speeds, making them ideal for delivering airflow more efficiently. ECMs start more smoothly than PSC motors and adjust their speed according to your home’s temperature, reducing drastic temperature swings from chilly to toasty warm.
While furnaces equipped with ECMs may run more frequently, the different motor speeds enable the fan to start more slowly and run more consistently – instead of turning on and off abruptly, which consumes more electricity.
The result? Lower electricity consumption.
An ECM can
lower your overall home heating costs year after year, from 13% to as much as 25%.