As of 7/3/2019 manufacturers of gas furnaces are no longer able to make units with Permanent Split Capacitor (PSC) motors. Electronically Commutated Motors (ECM) motors are now required in all new manufactured furnaces. The furnace fan uses electricity to circulate air heated or cooled through a buildings ductwork system and into the occupied space. ECMs feature two modes of operation; constant airflow within the system or constant torque on the motor.
The Department of Energy (DOE) has mandated a new minimum fan energy rating (FER) standard. Read about it here. DOE also estimates that for products sold over 30 years (2017-2046), the proposed standards will reduce energy consumption nationwide by about 500 billion kilowatt hours, an amount equal to the annual electricity use of about 47 million U.S. households, and will save consumers $29 billion. The energy savings from the new standards will translate to reductions in CO2 emissions of about 180 million metric tons.
What does this mean to the consumer?
The ECM motor driven furnaces can save you money in heating and cooling costs by up to 75%. ECM motors have less moving parts and generally last more than double the lifespan of PSC motors. Your comfort level will be improved as ECM fans can use slower speed to better treat the air. The air quality will also be improved by the more constant airflow through the filtration system. The only downside is that the initial cost for a standard furnace will likely increase when the changeover occurs.
When will they be available?
Most models of furnaces already had a ECM motor, the standard level of furnace is the only models adapting the new standards. Although manufacturers can no longer make new standard units with PSC motors, there are still plenty of old models to go through before this changeover occurs. Stay posted as we at Hauck Bros., Inc. transition over to the new furnaces, we will let you now when the old PSC motors are done with.
- Check to make sure the furnace pilot light is on, if not lit re-light according the manufacturer owners manual.
- Make sure all return and supply registers are clean and unobstructed.
- Make sure to check and change or clean the air filter, on some models at least once a month.
- Make sure the area around the furnace is clear of debris and combustible materials.
- Check your thermostat and turn to heat to make sure it comes on.
- Check to make sure your Oil or Liquid Propane tanks are full. Generally, they are cheaper to fill during the cooling season than the heating season.
With normal maintenance and care, furnaces can last over 20 years! Our experienced technicians can help you maintain the life of your equipment by performing a Home Comfort Protection Plan check on your furnace. Some inspections the technician will perform are checking the air filter, blower motor, blower wheel, transformer, gas leaks, flame sensor, thermostat, and more!