There are numerous factors you should take into account when buying a furnace, one of which involves the motor. When searching for the right furnace for your needs, you’ll have the choice between an ECM motor and a variable-speed motor. Here are a few things you need to know about each type of motor to guide you in your decision.

ECM Motors

An electronically commutated motor (ECM) is common in furnaces. Today, all furnace motors must be as efficient as ECM motors. These motors have a regulator that allows you to select different settings. They use a microprocessor that effectively calculates the motor’s torque and speed to maintain airflow. This brushless DC motor is able to run without any external sensors or devices.

Advantages of ECM Motors

ECM motors offer many advantages, including everything from a lengthy lifespan to improved air quality. It is possible for ECM motor speeds to vary from 0 to 100%. Users can program speed adjustments directly into the motor. These motors are also capable of gradually increasing and decreasing their speed, meaning that they shouldn’t experience as much wear and tear as other motor types. Because ECM motors run longer cycles to maintain consistent temperatures, you will avoid issues like high humidity and quick, drastic temperature fluctuations.

Furnaces with ECM motors generally have low maintenance requirements. These motors have ball bearings that don’t need consistent lubrication. You shouldn’t have many issues with overheating because these motors run at a low power. Since these motors are brushless, you’ll avoid sparks and other problems. These motors typically last for around 10 years.

Variable-Speed Motors

A variable-speed motor is a blower motor that allows airflow to vary during the day depending on the indoor temperature. Since these motors can regulate their speed without any outside controls, they are considered variable.

The motor alters the temperature based on the amount of static pressure in your home. If your home’s duct system is dirty or dusty, it won’t damage the blower motor. Instead, more air is sent through your ducts to eliminate the problem.

Advantages of Variable-Speed Motors

There are many benefits that come with using a variable-speed motor. One of the top advantages is that they allow for accurate electrical control. Since the motor speed only changes when necessary, you will save on your monthly energy bills. These motors are usually quiet since they turn off and on gradually.

Another clear benefit of using a variable-speed motor is that it won’t consume as much power during startup. Motors with only one speed can use considerable energy when starting the furnace. By using high amounts of energy every time the furnace powers up, single-speed motors will encounter problems more rapidly because of wear and tear. Variable-speed options have fewer maintenance requirements because of the gentle startup process.

Differences Between ECM and Variable-Speed Motors

The primary difference between an ECM motor and a variable-speed motor is that variable-speed motors are more efficient. Even though ECM motors offer enough efficiency to be allowed in homes, they won’t substantially lower your energy bills. ECM motors can’t pull additional air into ducts when necessary, meaning your home might not maintain its internal temperature when the air filters or ducts are dirty.

In comparison, variable-speed motors offer better efficiency because they respond to changes in a home’s static pressure. The motor reacts automatically to alter the speed, meaning you don’t need to go through the hassle of adjusting the regulator on your own. While ECM motors have a lower cost, variable-speed options provide more energy-efficient benefits for your home.

After you buy a new furnace, contact our team at Quality Cooling & Heating for professional installation services. We provide residents of Austin, Abilene, and the surrounding areas with speedy, reliable installation services, regardless of the type of HVAC system they select for their homes. If you are still searching for the right system, we carry numerous brands of energy-efficient heating systems. Along with HVAC repairs and maintenance, our team also provides indoor air quality services, air purifier installation, and duct cleaning services. Call Quality Cooling & Heating today to learn more about what we can do to help you enhance your home’s comfort!

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