In the world of furnaces and air conditioning, there is a never-ending quest for energy efficiency. Over a period of years, or even decades, it has been an extraordinarily successful quest, but the journey is far from over. There are technological advancements virtually every year.
Energy-efficient fan motor mandate
One of the recent advances is something called electronically commutated low-wattage motors. Yeah, you’re right, that’s a mouthful so in the trade they are just called ECMs. They are more energy-efficient than the previous generation and starting July 3, 2019, they are now required as the blower motors on all new furnaces.
How Furnace ECMs will affect you
Climate Control Company and other HVAC maintenance contractors were able to install the old-style motors if the furnaces were already in stock but going forward all furnaces installed will have the ECM fan motors. Here’s what you can expect:
The new motors increase the initial cost of the furnace, but it’s difficult to put an exact number on it. Owners should get that money back.
The Department of Energy estimates the ECMs will save consumers $340 to $500 over the lifetime of the furnace.
Breaking it down:
ECM fan motors generally reduce energy usage by about 46% compared to the older-style motors. It could reduce the energy cost in your Glenwood Springs, CO home by about $67 a year.
The repair vs. replace decision
The new mandate is something to consider when you are deciding whether to repair or replace your furnace. If a problem is found during a furnace tune-up, the greater energy efficiency of the ECM fan motors means it could make more sense to replace rather than repair. It’s a decision only you can make, but we will be happy to look at the numbers with you to make sure you have all the information you need before deciding.
Serving the Western Slope since 1956
Whatever decision you make, Climate Control is here to help. We offer a comprehensive array of heating and cooling products and services. You can also depend on us for emergency service 24/7 in Glenwood Springs, CO and the Roaring Fork and Vail Valleys. Be sure to like and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.