The Department of Energy announced a new mandate to make furnaces more energy efficient. The regulation requires a new type of fan motor that is much more energy-efficient. Fire & Ice Heating & Air Conditioning wants to make sure you understand what this means for the typical Columbus, OH homeowner.
What we're talking about
Furnace manufacturers must now use what's called electronically commutated low-wattage motors (ECMs) to power furnace fans. They are replacing the permanent split capacitor (PSC) induction blower motors that have been the norm.
Why the change?
The answer is simple: Energy efficiency.
The ECM fan motors use less electricity than the old-style motors. How much less? Estimates are in the area of 45%, so just about half as much.
What does it mean for me?
This is very likely the question many people are asking. The new ECM fan motors do add a few dollars to the upfront cost of a new furnace, but the homeowner should quickly get that money back. The Department of Energy estimates an energy savings of $340 to $500 over the life of the furnace and that takes into account the higher upfront cost. The ECM fan motors can also make you more comfortable by making airflow in the home more efficient.
Repair vs Replace
The new mandate should be a factor to consider when it comes to making this important decision. Does it make sense to spend money repairing an old inefficient furnace in your Columbus, OH home? Many older furnaces are only 50% to 70% efficient compared to 90% to 95% today. The new ECM fan motors mean the gap is even wider and a new furnace will save you even more money every month on utility bills.
The heating season is here, and colder weather is on the way. Don't forget to schedule your furnace tune-up. HVAC maintenance is the best way to make sure you don't wake up one morning in a cold house. Depend on Fire & Ice Heating & Air Conditioning where Your Trust is Our Business.