An Industry Change: ECM Motors to Be in All New Furnaces Starting July 2019

What’s happening?

As part of an energy-saving initiative, a regulation was passed by the Department of Energy stating that gas furnace manufacturers are no longer allowed to produce furnaces that have PSC motors. Instead, they must produce furnaces made with ECM motors. This is an industry-wide and nationwide change that is expected to save nearly $9 billion in energy bills across the country.

When will this change go into effect?

Starting on July 3, 2019, all furnaces will have to be manufactured with ECM motors.

PSC motors vs. ECM motors

PSC (Permanently Split Capacitor) motors are designed only to turn on and turn off. They are single speed motors, which means they turn on and run at one constant speed until the thermostat is satisfied, then they turn off until they’re needed again. This results in a constant rate of air flow and a relatively constant use of energy. PSC motors have historically been a low-cost option with high noise levels and low efficiency.

ECM (Electronically Commutated Motor) motors are designed around a direct current, meaning the motor can ramp up and down to meet the airflow needs of the thermostat. Because of this capability, ECM motors consume less energy and cost less to operate when compared to PSC motors. Furthermore, ECM motors are 75-80% efficient, quiet, programmable and result in greater comfort levels for the consumer.

What this change means for you

This change effectively eliminates “base builder” models of furnaces. As a result, the industry is estimating a furnace cost increase of approximately 25%. The DOE predicts that the cost savings consumers will see over the lifespan of the equipment due to greater efficiency will offset the higher upfront cost.

Questions? Comments? Concerns? We are here to help. Contact Crown Group Ohio today.