After our most recent service issue with a High Efficient Furnace with an ECM motor (electrically commutated motor), I have resolved that they are not the best option for everyone. Although ECM motors are promoted as the best thing since sliced bread there are two exceptions that far outweigh the marginal benefits of energy savings at least here in Manitoba where our cost for electricity is low by national standards.
1. As it stands the replacement cost of an ECM motor is between 5 and 10 times the cost of a standard PSC (permanent split capacitor) motor. This can bring the cost of replacement to well over $1,000.00 making it an important reason to have the best furnace warranty available.
2.Even with warranty coverage, the best heating contractors will carry a variety of motors to service their customers. Most ECM motors however have the requirement to be programmed to specifically match the furnace make and model making it unrealistic to have a replacement available in the middle of a cold Winnipeg night.
This creates the situation where temporary heat needs to be set up until a motor module is available and a return service call is arranged. Manitobans that live in more rural communities can be inconvenienced even more when you add in travel and wait times.
For those that want the benefits of a high efficient motor without these drawbacks I feel that the answer is the X13 motor that
meets all of the new government energy standards. Although they are double the cost of the ECM they outperform the PSC motor providing constant torque and are available without the requirement to be programed to match the furnace.
For a more detailed version of this topic, check out my video “ECM Motors Good or BAD”